PARIS – The French government has decided to back the launch of a new international fest dedicated to series in Lille, in Northern France – the country’s third such event, on top of a recently announced drama festival to be held in Cannes and the high-profile Series Mania festival in Paris. 

The decision to establish a new festival in Lille was taken by a committee specially appointed by the French government and overseen by Audrey Azoulay, the president of the CNC (National Film Board).

Lille was chosen over Paris, whose Series Mania has already gained international recognition, drawing 40,000 spectators and 1,300 industry professionals in 2016. The upcoming edition of Series Mania will feature world premieres of anticipated shows such as Jim Carrey’s “I’m Dying Up Here,” Adam Price’s “Ride Upon the Storm” and Jimmy McGovern’s “Broken.”

Meanwhile, the mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard, announced the launch of Cannes International Series Festival upon hearing that his city hadn’t been shortlisted by the committee in February. Lisnard subsequently enlisted two partners: Reed Midem, the organizer of Mipcom and MipTV, and Canal Plus. The first Cannes series fest will take place in 2018 and will run alongside MipTV.

Both Cannes International Series Festival and Series Mania will take place in April. The timing of the Lille festival has not been unveiled.

The new festival in Lille will be backed by France’s Socialist government via the CNC, the Hauts-de-France region, and the city of Lille, which is run by Martine Aubry, a prominent figure in the Socialist party.