Rachel Feldman’s “Kinks,” Monica Bellucci-starrer “Radical Eye,” Nabil Ayouch’s “Black-Out” and “Perfect Monsters,” from “Roma” producer Nicolas Celis, all figure among the 16 drama series projects to be pitched at this year’s second – and expanded – In Development, a joint venture of MipTV and Canneseries.
Also making the cut at In Development, known as well as the Cannes Drama Creative Forum, is “Twenty-Four Land,” an ambitious WWII project from Portugal, and “A Good Year,” from relatively new Flemish outfit Mockingbird Pictures. Chosen from 376 submissions, up on last year’s inaugural edition, the 16-title In Development projects will be pitched at an event which plays out this year over an extended schedule of three-and-a-half days as MipTV itself places ever more emphasis on project development, not just distribution.
The spread of country of origin of projects has also grown from a still predominantly European base, but taking in titles from Mexico, Morocco and South Africa.
From CBS “Blue Bloods” director Rachel Feldman, “Kinks” turns on a maverick sex therapist who will do what is needed to help her patients, which she describes as including “the despairing, dysfunctional, and downright dangerous.” “Kinks” is a winner of the WGA Writer’s Access Project, the WGA Drama Queens Award for best spec pilot, and a Sundance Lab finalist.
“Kinks” marks one of a four-project Drama Writer’s Pitch, which also includes Agata Koschmieder’s Polish series “The Tribe,” a 1918 Warsaw crime family saga where four sisters confront the local mob.
Otherwise, 12 projects comprise the main Drama Producers’ Pitch strand of In Development.
One of its potential highlights, starring Monica Bellucci as feminist pioneer Tina Modotti, and a Bellucci passion project, mini series “Radical Eye” is produced by Paula Vaccaro (“On the Milky Road”) and Aaron Brookner (“Uncle Howard”) who have written the screenplay. It is to be directed by Edoardo de Angelis. Project would mark the first series from Vacarro and Brookner’s Pinball London production house and Bellucci’s first lead role in an international TV series.
Developed at Ayouch’s Paris-based Les Films du Nouveau Monde and Casablanca label “Ali N’ Productions – which backed his latest two movies “Razzia,” a 2017 Toronto Platform premiere and Moroccan Academy Award entry, and upcoming “Positive School,” a realist hip-hop musical – “Blackout” is a high-concept, eight-part near-future drama thriller sparked by the fall of the Ceuta-Morocco wall separating Europe and Africa. Maryam Touzani, Rita El Quassar and Ayouch write, Ayouch directs.
A period piece set in northern Mexico, “Perfect Monsters,” also part of the Drama Producers Pitch, marks the first series from Mexico’s Pimienta Films whose Nicolas Celis produced “Roma” with Alfonso Cuarón and Gabriela Rodríguez.
Produced with Marion d’Ornano and Enrique Rizo, the drama series has crime and cop investigation elements, Celis has remarked.
From Ukbar Filmes, one of Portugal’s preeminent international co-producers (“The Man Who Killed Don Quixote”), “Twenty-Four Land” weighs in as an eight-part drama thriller set in WWII Portugal, a den of espionage and conspiracy where a high-society woman becomes a spy to save her homeland from foreign invasion. Jorge Paixao da Costa, co-director of WW1-set “Soldado Mihoes,” also from Ukbar, is attached to direct.
International jury members making the In Development selection include Rola Bauer, managing director, Studiocanal TV, (Germany), Tara Cook, development producer at the U.K.’s Carnival Films, David Ellender, president, global distribution and co-productions at U.S. company Sonar Ent, Tiago Mello, executive producer of Netflix hit “3%,” from Brazil’s Boutique Filmes, and Stephen Mowbray, head of Sweden’s SVT Intl.
Many jury members can be expected at some of the In Development sessions, or to serve as panelists at the event’s round tables, affording access not only to pitching producers and writers but audience participants as well.
Leading independent European producer Federation Entertainment (“The Bureau”) will co-develop, co-produce and distribute one of the selected projects. French investment fund La Fabrique des Formats offers financing for up to two series from the selection backed by a French producer or co-producer.
Also in the In Development mix is Greek-Serbian co-production “10 Bullets,” a crime drama TV series from Greece’s Kostas Gerampis, featuring two homeless caught in the middle of a Greek-Serbian mob showdown. Plays2place Productions produces.
“A Good Year” turns on a group of men who stumble on wine possibly from Adolf Hitler’s personal cellar. The Flemish contempo crime drama comedy marks one of the earliest productions from new Belgian production house Mockingbird Productions, launched by Dries Phlypo, from A Private View, and Bruno Wyndaele, previously at HH107.
“Crashers” is produced by Berlin’s Watchmen Productions, headed by Christopher Zitterbart, a producer on Karim Aïnouz’s “Futuro Beach.”
“For the Sake of the Child” is from United Studios of Israel, whose recent credits include hit high-end series “Autonomies.
Nordic Noir drama “Ice Valley,” set in Norway’s legendary Istelen Valley, is created by Silje Hopland Eik and Cindy Hanson for Cinenord.
An eight-part drama from writer-director Auli Mantila, “Transport” is set up at Finland’s Tekele Productions, founded in 2017 by Miaa Haavisto (“Tom of Finland,” “Unknown Soldier”).
“TV series are a genuine laboratory of creativity, and events like In Development, which put creatives at the heart of the business, are essential to engender the hits of tomorrow,” said said Pascal Breton, founder-CEO of Federation Entertainment. “The first edition was a success,” he added, “both in terms of the quality of the content presented and the opportunities which flowed from it. What’s more, we are proud to have gone on to develop some of those projects.”
Noting that this year’s selection is particularly diverse in terms of genres and countries represented, Laurine Garaude, director of television at MipTV organizer Reed Midem, said that “In Development is fast becoming a central part of the MipTV experience to discover, develop and distribute great content.”
“The success and relevance of a forum like In Development speaks for itself. The proof is in the fact that we received a new record number of submission,” Benoît Louvet, managing director of Canneseries, observed.
Further international jury members making the In Development selection take in Ash Atalla, managing director, Roughcut Television, (U.K.); Jane Gogan, executive producer, (Ireland); Serge Hayat, financier, Cinemage & Capucines Investment Funds, (France); Erik Pack, head of international distribution and co-production, Platform One Media, (U.S.); Vanessa Shapiro, president, WW TV Distribution & Co- Production, Gaumont Television, (U.S.); and Christian Wikander, director, co-production, Twelve Town, (U.K.).
IN DEVELOPMENT OFFICIAL SELECTION:
DRAMA PRODUCERS’ PITCH
“10 Bullets,” (Plays2place, Greece, Serbia)
“A Good Year,” (Mockingbird Productions, Belgium)
“Black-Out,” (Les Films du Nouveau Monde, Ali N’ Productions, France, Morocco)
“Crashers,” (Watchmen Productions, Germany)
“For the Sake of the Child,” (United Studios of Israel, Israel)
“Ice Valley,” (Cinenord, Norway)
“Perfect Monsters,” (Pimienta Films, Telegrama Audiovisual, Tita Productions, Mexico)
“Radical Eye,” (Pinball London, U.K, Mexico)
“Second Life,” (Omnicorp Estudio, Spain)
“The Mandela Effect,” (Tshedza Pictures, South Africa)
“Transport,” (Tekele Productions, Finland)
“Twenty-Four Land,” (Ukbar Filmes, Portugal)
DRAMA WRITERS’ PITCH
“Black Times,” (Sabrina Amerell, Alexandre Manneville, France, Germany)
“Hello Dolly,” (Johnny Maginn, U.K)
“Kinks,” (Rachel Feldman, U.S.)
“The Tribe,” (Agata Koschmieder, Poland)