×

‘The Virtues,’ ‘Just for Today,’ ‘Mytho’ Take Top Honors at Series Mania

Three series from strong creative voices – Shane Meadows’ “The Virtues,” Nir Bergman’s “Just for Today” and the Fabrice Gobert-directed, and Netflix-backed, “Mytho” – shared  major honors at an enlarged, hectic 10th Series Mania, now firmly established in festival, industry and discussion forum terms as one of the major TV events in Europe.

A story of redemption, unexpected love and imperfect fatherhood – a growing trend among drama series, Eurodata TV’s Avril Blondelot said at Series Mania – “The Virtues” won the Series Mania Grand Prix and best actor for Stephen Graham, a standout in Meadows’ “This is England,” who puts in profoundly affecting performance, by common consensus, as Joseph, a man who travels to Ireland to confront the demons left by a childhood in its care-system.

“From the first frame, ‘The Virtues’ moves you with its deep humanity. Masterfully directed, written and acted, the show is a prime example of the power of series television to illuminate and create empathy,” the International Competition jury, led by screenwriter-producer Marti Noxon, said in a statement, adding that Graham’s performance “is simply stunning. His powerfully raw portrayal of a man coming to grips with his past and himself is truly heart-breaking.”

Benefitting hugely from Meadows’ sustained use of 5-10 camera set-ups, which allowed him to “capture that one magical moment in time,” as he told Variety, and also choose what angle to portray it from, “The Virtues” is written with Jack Thorne, produced by Warp Films, airs shortly on the U.K.’s Channel 4 and is part of ITV Studios Global Ent.’s spring drama slate.

Co-created and directed by Bergman, the co-creator of “In Therapy,” adapted in the U.S as “In Treatment,” “Just for Today” won Series Mania’s Special Jury Prize.

Produced by Endemol Shine Israel for Yes TV, and sold internationally by Yes Studios, “Just for Today” adds a social edge to Bergman’s work, delivering a severe critique of Israel’s parole system, detailing the life, after exhaustive research, at a South Tel Aviv ex-cons’ rehabilitation center.

A psychological drama asking how much people can change their lives, Bergman told Variety, it explores this on a parallel romantic level in its story of the hostel’s director who’s been paying emotional penance for years after shopping a ward, a Russian immigrant and the love of her life. Suddenly, once more out of jail, he appears at the hostel.

“Suspenseful, touching and full of heart, Just for Today is a beautifully realized portrait of newly released prisoners and the social workers assigned to help them adjust to life on the outside,” Series Mania’s International Competition jury said in a statement. .

Commissioned by French-German broadcaster Arte, sold by Federation Entertainment and to be released outside France and Germany by Netflix, the idiosyncratic drama-comedy “Mytho” proved a breakout audience hit at Series Mania. Produced by Unité de Production (“Razzia,” “The Churchmen,”), written by Anne Berest (“Paris Etc.”) and directed by Gobert, creator of “Les Revenants,” “Mytho” won Series Mania’s Audience Award and best actress plaudit for Marina Hands (“Tell No One,” “Lady Chatterly”) who, ignored by hubby and offspring, announces she has cancer. The family’s life will never be the same.

“Marina Hands’ delicate, compassionate performance commands every frame of ‘Mytho.’ Funny, genuine and sly, she makes the show an undeniable delight,” the jury declared.

Of other prizes, Arte France scored once more with “Apnea,” produced by Image et Compagnie, sold by Lagardere Studios Distribution, and acquired by Amazon Prime Video for France.

A reworking of the mermaid myth, cast in a murder mystery set in a quaint fishing village on a Mediterranean isle, and starring Laetitia Casta and Noée Abita, “Apnea” won best picture in French Competition. France 2’s “Super Jimmy,” a buddy cop comedy, won Carole Weyers (“Manhattan”) best actress; Gregory Montel scooped actor for M6’s “Family Shake,” about the tribulations of a second-marriage couple.

Doing thing to damage the idea that some of the best scripted series in Scandinavia are now coming out ofNorway, produced by Fremantle Norway, NRK’s “Exit,” an acid tragicomic depiction of Norway’s financial elite, won best series in a highly competitive international panorama, featuring series such as Yes Studios’ “Asylum City” and Sky Deutschland’s “Eight Days.”

Series Mania’s Short Forms competition was won by “People Talking,” from Spain’s Atresmedia, described by its jury, as “a bold and modern concept, perfectly suited to the short format. ‘Black Mirror’ but on the tender side. A series that goes so far in so little time. Funny, sincere and incredibly deep.”

2019 SERIES MANIA WINNERS:

INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION

GRAND PRIX

“The Virtues,” (Shane Meadows, Jack Thorne, U.K.)

Special Jury Prize

“Just for Today” (Nir Bergman, Ram Nehari, Israel)

BEST ACTRESS

MARINA HANDS (“MYTHO,” FRANCE)

BEST ACTOR

Stephen Graham (“The Virtues”)

AUDIENCE AWARD

“Mytho,” (Anne Berest, Fabrice Gobert, France)

FRENCH COMPETITION

BEST SERIES

“Apnea,” (Gaia Guasto, Aurélien Molas, Simon Moutaïrou, Marcia Romano)

BEST ACTRESS

Carole Weyers (“Super Jimmy”)

BEST ACTOR

Gregory Montel (“Family Shake”)

INTERNATIONAL PANORAMA

BEST SERIES

“Exit” (Petter Testmann-Koch, Øystein Karlsen, Norway)

SHORT FORMS COMPETITION

BEST SERIES 

“People Talking,” (Alvaro Carmona, Spain)

ALL-NIGHT COMEDY MARATHON

BEST COMEDY

“M’entends-tu”? (Florence Longpré, Canada)

More TV

  • 'The Bachelor' Recap: Finding Love Among

    'The Bachelor' Recap: Finding Love Among Hometown Dates

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched the eighth episode of Season 24 of “The Bachelor.” For the first glimpse of the real world in weeks, titular bachelor Peter Weber took his women back home. With only four women remaining — Hannah Ann Sluss, Kelsey Weier, Madison Prewett and Victoria Fuller — [...]

  • Drew Carey Price Is Right

    'Price Is Right' Tapings Delayed After Drew Carey's Ex-Fiance Killed

    “The Price Is Right” tapings have been postponed following news that host Drew Carey’s ex-fiance was killed last week. Family and sex therapist Amie Harwick, 38, was found Saturday morning at her home in Los Angeles with injuries consistent with a fall. She later died at the hospital. Her ex-boyfriend Gareth Pursehouse has been arrested [...]

  • Caroline Flack

    'Love Island' Returns to Air As ITV Defends Treatment of Caroline Flack

    ‘Love Island’ was back on air Monday for the first time since the death of former host Caroline Flack on Feb. 15. Amid the reality series’ return, broadcaster ITV insists it supported the star after she was removed from the show. Monday night’s episode began somberly with narrator Iain Stirling providing voiceover over scenes of [...]

  • Tiffany BooneEntertainment Weekly Pre-SAG Party, Arrivals,

    Actor Tiffany Boone Addresses Her Decision to Quit 'The Chi'

    Actor Tiffany Boone addressed her exit from “The Chi,” the Showtime series she departed in November 2018 after making harassment allegations against her former co-star Jason Mitchell. Mitchell was fired from the show last May as a result of intimidation and abuse accusations made by Boone and showrunner Ayanna Floyd Davis. Mitchell was subsequently dismissed [...]

  • Amazon Prime nabs ‘Russian Affairs’ for

    Amazon Prime Nabs ‘Russian Affairs’ for Germany, France and the Netherlands

    Amazon Prime Video has acquired the first season of series “Russian Affairs” for distribution in Germany, France and the Netherlands, from Russia’s Start Studios. The eight-part drama that follows the lives of Russia’s elite and those who aspire to that position is set in contemporary Moscow. Under the title “Gold Diggers,” the series was broadcast [...]

  • MODEL RELEASED Mother with baby, 1

    Channel 4 Orders ‘Baby Surgeons’ From Wonderhood Studios

    U.K. broadcaster Channel 4 has commissioned Wonderhood Studios for a documentary series with the working title “Baby Surgeons.” The series will explore the journeys parents go through to save their babies during complex pregnancies and will feature cutting-edge baby surgeries, some performed inside the womb. It will also use CGI, MRI and Ultrasound to enhance [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content