CANNES — Leticia Dolera’s Spanish women’s comedy “Perfect Life” swept the 2nd Canneseries TV festival on Wednesday night, scooping both best series and best special performance for its female leads, Dolera herself, Celia Freijeiro and Aixa Villagrán.
With Israel’s “Nehama,” a HOT Original dramedy created, co-written and starring Reshef Levi winning best performance for Levi, the 2nd Canneseries prize winners can be seen as a vindication of the drama series’ decided bet on comedy as a way to portray key gender issues.
“Now more than ever, it is important for women and men to get together and recognize the importance of gender equality,” jury member Katheryn Winnick said during the awards ceremony.
In “Perfect Life’s” case that’s gender stereotypes with its protagonists, male and female, fall short of the high-achievement traditional role models they have been brought up on – a home, husband, children. They would be happier, Dolera suggests, in a solution brought out more in the Spanish title, with just going with the flow.
Pushing the envelope on some issues – women’s sexuality, for instance, “Perfect Life” was appreciated at Canneseries for its ability to treat such themes in a fun, fast moving comedy, with an eye-popping pop palette, mixing, sometimes at one and the same time, pathos, emotion, life-changing drama and bathos.
“I think future should include a women’s point of view. I wont to dedicate this award to everyone who fought against stereotypes,” Dolera said, accepting the award.
In “Nehama,” Levi turns in a full-on performance as a father of five whose attempts, after his wife’s tragic car accident deaths, to juggle being a single father of five with his comeback as a stand-up comic.
Sometimes the butt of the series’ comedy – as in his hypochondria – as much as its source, Levi’s quandary of whether to put children or career merely comes in from a male angle a dilemma faced by women for decades. For ever garrulous, self-centered, fanciful, at times genuinely funny with his stories or one-off reactions, Nehama looks from its first episode at least like a portrait of classic male neurosis.
“If I had to thank one person, I would thank myself,” Levi joked on stage, in the style of Nehama.
France’s Canal Plus has acquired “Nehama,” he added.
Breaking out in 2016 with “Hotel Beau Séjour,” which shared Series Mania’s Audience, Belgian writers Bert Van Dael and Sanne Nuyens took best screenplay “The Twelve,” a court room drama-thriller which turns on the trail for double murder of a once-respected school mistress.
Van Dael and Nuyens skillfully sow their screenplay with clues, false or not, via flashbacks, as to the accused’s culpability, and to how the jury, scarred, prejudiced or compromised by the past, might actually vote, right or wrongly. Produced by Eyeworks, “The Twelve” is distributed by Federation Entertainment.
Christoph M. Kaiser and Julian Maas won best music for their jazz score of “Bauhaus – A New Era,” sometimes laid-back, at other times jaunty. Sold by Beta Film, directed by Lars Kraume, “Bauhaus – A New Era” portrayed the early years of the legendary art school, but, notably, from
Australian comedy “Over and Out,” from Adele Vuko and Christiaan Van Vuuren, won best short form series for its vision of the tribulations of parenting in a post-apocalypse zombie infested world.
The closing ceremony opened with a musical number in which the singer arrived on the Debussy Theater stage mounted on a horse. It pooped before the number – maybe a double first for a Cannes Festival.
Canneseries closed with the world premiere of Russell T. Davies’ “Years & Years,” one of the big titles at this year’s festival, starring Emma Thompson, Rory Kinnear and T’Nia Miller, showrun by Russell T. Davies (“Dr. Who,” “A Very English Scandal”) and produced by Studiocanal’s U.K. RED Production Company for BBC One, Canal Plus and HBO.
2019 CANNESERIES WINNERS
“Perfect Life,” Leticia Dolera
Reshef Levi, for “Nehama”
SHORT FORM SERIES
“Over and Out,” Adele Vuko, Christiaan Van Vuuren
SPECIAL PERFORMANCE PRIZE
Leticia Dolera, Celia Freijeiro, Aixa Villagrán for “Perfect Life”
Bert Van Dael and Sanne Nuyens for “The Twelve”
Christoph M. Kaiser, Julian Maas for “Bauhaus – A New Era