Film und Medien Stiftung NRWNewsPressFourth edition of the „Drama Series Days“ opens as part of the EFM

Fourth edition of the „Drama Series Days“ opens as part of the EFM

  • Film- und Medienstiftung NRW again Official Main Partner
  • Keynote by Frank Spotnitz and Keren Margalit
  • Opening discussion with Rola Bauer, Sarah Doole, Ivar Køhn and Moritz von Kruedener
  • From 19 – 21 February as part of the European Film Market in the Zoo Palast
  • Filmstiftung-backed series „Perfume“ by Philipp Kadelbach presented for the first time, with August Diehl, Ken Duken, Wotan Wilke Möhring, Trystan Pütter, among others


How are successful high-end series produced for an international audience, and what is the current state of series development in Germany? These and other questions were among the central issues aired during the first day of the Berlinale’s „Drama Series Days“ which were officially opened on Monday by the EFM director Matthijs Wouter Knol and the Filmstiftung’s CEO Petra Müller. The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW is also the Official Main Partner for the fourth edition of the European Film Market's (EFM) „Drama Series Days“.  Experts from around the globe will continue discussing current trends in international series until Wednesday.

„Whoever loves series can no longer avoid the ,Drama Series Days‘ of the Berlinale“, says Petra Müller, CEO of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, „As a funding institution in Germany’s leading TV hub, the Filmstiftung NRW co-initiated the ‚Drama Series Days‘ and has supported it from the very beginning. We are very pleased that the Filmstiftung-backed Constantin production ,Perfume‘ was presented here for the first time and this is proof of the growing importance of the Drama Series Days.“

Matthijs Wouter Knol also points out that the platform has really taken off since its launch in 2015: „The ,Drama Series Days‘ are now in their fourth year and one can hardly imagine the European Film Market without them."

The keynotes of the Israeli director and author Keren Margalit, who has „Sleeping Bears” in this year’s Berlinale Series sidebar, and the US producer and showrunner Frank Spotnitz (incl. „X-Files”, „The Man In The High Castle”) set the scene thematically for the event. They both recommended that one should present storylines and characters in the series as personal and specific as possible in order to reach an international audience. Spotnitz argued that there will still be a „Golden Age“ for series production, triggered by the content needs of streaming platforms like Netflix oder Amazon, but also advocated that one ought not ignore classical free TV. An audience of millions continues to be reached there and also needs to be provided with premium content.

International marketing opportunities for series were under the spotlight in the opening panel „How to Make Series Travel?“ with Rola Bauer (Studiocanal TV), Sarah Doole (Fremantle Media, GB), Ivar Køhn (NRK, DK) and Mortiz von Kruedener (Beta Film), which was presented by „Variety“ in cooperation with the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. Streaming platforms such as Netflix or Amazon are now also enabling European series to come onto the market in the USA, explained Moritz von Kruedener, Managing Director of Beta Film, yet US channels like ABC, NBC or CBS are still opposed to non-American productions, as Rola Bauer, founder and CEO of Tandem Communications/Studiocanal TV, noted. This is even the case for British productions, although there isn’t any need here for dubbing or subtitling, added Sarah Doole, Creative Director for Worldwide Drama at Fremantle Media. Ivar Køhn, Head of Drama of the public Norwegian broadcaster NRK, presented his new series project „One Night“ which was produced in two language versions in Norwegian and English. In any case, it is always important to have as many target groups as possible in one’s sights.. „Picnic at Hanging Rock“, which opened Berlinale Series, and „Deutschland ´83“ are examples of series productions with young actors, which also appeal to a younger audience. Moritz von Kruedener took this opportunity to present the Norwegian teenager series „Skam“ which Beta Film is distributing internationally. A German adaptation is now being produced by Cologne-based Bantry Bay for the public-service youth portal funk and ZDF.

The showcase of „Upcoming Series from Germany“ featured „4 Blocks“ (Season 2, Wiedemann & Berg for TNT Serie), „Arthur’s Law“ (Good Friends Filmproduktion for TNT Comedy), „M for Murderer“(Super Film and Beta Film for ORF, RTL Crime) and „Eight Days“ (NeueSuper for Sky Vision). This was followed by the first presentation of the Filmstiftung-backed, six-part series „Perfume“ (dir: Philipp Kadelbach, prod co: Constantin Film in co-production with ZDFneo). Producer Oliver Berben had brought the author Eva Kranenburg and his impressive cast – August Diehl, Wotan Wilke Möhring, Ken Duken, Trystan Pütter, Christian Friedel, Marc Hosemann, Friederike Becht, among others.

Launched in 2015, the platform for high-end series is a joint initiative of the EFM, the Berlinale Co-Production Market and Berlinale Talents. The „Drama Series Days“ is being held this year at the Zoo Palast from February 19 -21. All the conferences and programmes about series have been brought together for the first time under one roof. This also includes the programme of the Berlinale Series where gala premieres of new quality series are being presented from around the world. The event will be rounded off on Wednesday, 21 February, by the CoPro Series pitchings of the Berlinale Co-Production Market.