‘On the Spectrum’ Tops 2018 Series Mania

Israel took top honors for a second year in a row and Italy’s “Il Miracolo’ doubled down

Winners were announced on Saturday night for the 9th edition of France’s Series Mania, the first held in the Northern France city of Lille, and Israel’s “On the Spectrum” took home the top Grand Jury Prize, making it the second Israeli series in as many years to claim the award.

Also announced at the Series Mania Forum, the festival’s industry event, France’s Federation Entertainment is teaming with Donna Wiffen and Paul Marquess to create Long Story TV, a European drama series production company. The new outfit will look to create commercial content that is cost-effective, popular, and maintains a British sensibility. It’s one more example of Pascal Breton’s Federation pushing further into English-language programming.

Everything about this year’s edition spoke to the growth of the festival, the most immediate difference being the shear geographic scale. Whereas previous editions were held at the Forum des images in Paris’ Les Halles district, this year the festival took over the entire city of Lille with multiple locations hosting screenings, and industry events taking place at the Lille Grand Palais.

A heartwarming comedy, “On the Spectrum” features a group of 20-something roommates, each on the autistic spectrum. Produced by Yes Studios, the series premiered its first episode at Tribeca, and episodes 2 and 3 at Series Mania. The show’s success may be indicative of a shift towards comedies; Germany’s TNT original comedy ‘Arthur’s Law’ also played Series Mania and the Swedish “We Got This!” won the CoPro Pitching Sessions.

Italy’s “Il Miracolo” won the Special Jury Prize and lead actor Tommaso Ragno snagged best actor. The series kicks off when a police raid uncovers a statue that weeps blood in the possession of a mob boss, causing both believers and non to confront the inexplicable. It is produced by Sky, Wildside, Arte France and Kwaï, and broadcast in Italy by Sky, and Arte in France and Germany.

“Ad Vitam,” received mix reviews, but was a hit with the jury, and took home top prize in the French Competition. The series marked a trend at Series Mania of near-future, low-fi sci-fi that says as much about the present as the future it portrays.

Best actress went to Anna Mikhalkova for her role in “An Ordinary Woman.” The jury described her work as: “A sensitive and nuanced performance of a strong woman who constantly has to repress her most private feelings to survive in a corrupted society.”

The Audience Award was given to Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs Maisel,” while the International Panorama went to the U.K.’s “Kiri.”

The Official Competition jury was led by “Narcos” creator Chris Brancato, who also held a keynote earlier in the week; with Maria Feldman, co-creator and producer of “False Flag” which won at Series Mania in 2015; actor Clovis Cornillac (“The Story of My Life”); and French screenwriter and novelist Pierre Lemaitre.

2018 SERIES MANIA

INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION

Jury’s Grand Prize

“On the Spectrum,” (Dana Idisis, Yuval Shafferman, Israel)

Jury’s Special Prize

“Il Miracolo,” (Niccolò Ammaniti, Italy)

Best Actress

Anna Mikhalkova (“An Ordinary Woman”)

Best Actor

Tommaso Ragno (“Il Miracolo,”)

AUDIENCE AWARD

“The Marvelous Mrs Maisel,” (Amy Sherman-Palladino, U.S.)

 

FRENCH COMPETITION

Best Series

“Ad Vitam,” (Thomas Cailley, Sebastien Mounier,  France, Germany)

Best Actress

Anne Charrier (“Maman a tort”)

Best Actor (shared)

Bryan Marciano (“Vingt-cinq”)

Roschdy Zem (“Aux Animaux la guerre”)

 

INTERNATIONAL PANORAMA

Best Series

“Kiri,” (Jack Thorne, Euros Lyn, U.K., U.S.)

 

SHORT FORMS COMPETITION

Best Short Form Series

“First Love,” (Adi Tishrai, Jonathan Cohen-Berry, Anthony Jorge, France, U.S.)

High Schoolers’ Prize

“Kiki and Kitty,” (Nakkiah Lui, Catriona McKenzie, Australia)

COMEDY MARATHON

Students’ Prize

“Kiki and Kitty,” (Nakkiah Lui, Catriona McKenzie, Australia)

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