Playtime, the leading international sales and co-production companies behind Olivier Assayas’s “Non-Fiction” and Laszlo Nemes’s “Sunset,” is rolling into Mipcom with its first TV drama slate.
Headed by former Fox executive Virginie Boireaux, Playtime’s TV division has boarded a pair of high-concept shows with female protagonists — “Mental” (“HP”), a comedy-drama series about Sheila, a twenty-something intern in psychiatry who discovers the burlesque and tragic world of madness; and “Helvetica,” a political thriller mini-series about Tina, a native of Albania in her forties who works as a maid in government offices in Switzerland, and turns into a double agent for the Balkan mob and the Swiss counter-terrorism agency.
“‘Mental’ and ‘Helvetica’ represent perfectly what Playtime is about regarding our international TV ambitions: strong scripts with high concepts,” said Boireaux, who is head of TV sales and acquisitions at Playtime.
“While ‘Mental’ brings out comedy and drama from off-beat situations in a unique setting, ‘Helvetica’ revisits the spy story building it up from an unexpected character’s point of view,” Boireaux added.
Ahead of its premiere in France on the pay TV channel OCS in December, “Mental” has just won a prize at La Rochelle Fiction Festival. Playtime is selling the show in either half-hour or hour-long formats.
Both series are backed by well-established producers. “Mental” is produced by Marc Missonnier’s Lincoln TV, whose credits include “Pigalle La Nuit” and “Beyond The Walls;” while the six-part series “Helvetica” is co-produced by Rita Productions (“My Life as a Zucchini”) and Versus production (“Continuer”) for Radio Television Suisse. Now in post, “Helvetica” will be delivered in 2019.
Playtime (formerly Films Distribution) is also currently developing “Capa – War Photographer,” a six-part mini-series about the legendary photographer Robert Capa under its Curious Times label which was jointly launched with Olivier Delbosc (“Let The Sunshine In”). The series is created by French director Gilles Bourdos (“Renoir”) and Israeli screenwriter Yaron Seelig (“Matter Of Time”).
The company, which has subsidiaries in Germany (Films Boutique), the U.K. (Film Constellation) and Belgium (Be For Film), is a shareholder in French TV production Empreinte Digitale, whose recent credits include the science-fiction series “Missions.”
Playtime’s recent hits include François Ozon’s “Double Lover”, Robin Campillo’s “BPM”, Claire Denis’s “Let The Sunshine In” and Raoul Peck’s “Young Karl Marx.” The company claims seven Oscar nominations and one win with Laszlo Nemes’s “Son of Saul.”