×

‘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

  • Sean Hannity

    Sean Hannity Set for Super Bowl Pre-Game Interview With President Trump

    Sean Hannity has talked with President Donald Trump many times, but never quite like this. Hannity is the latest TV-news personality to take on what has in recent years developed into a Super Bowl Sunday tradition: a pre-game interview with the President of the United States. Savannah Guthrie, Gayle King and Bill O’Reilly are among [...]

  • CBS Orders Comedy Pilot From '9JKL'

    CBS Orders Comedy Pilot From '9JKL' Creator, Comedian James Acaster

    CBS is developing a project that takes a comedic look at the age-old “12 Angry Men” dilemma of how does a jury come to a unanimous verdict? The network has issued a pilot order for “We The Jury,” a hybrid series from “9JKL” co-creator Dana Klein and Stephanie Darrow. The project hails from CBS Television [...]

  • Taylor Swift attends the premiere of

    Taylor Swift Bows Out of Unannounced Grammy Performance

    Taylor Swift has bowed out of a possible performance on the Grammy Awards program Sunday night just as stealthily as it appeared she might have bowed into it, multiple sources tell Variety. Her possible appearance on the show had been kept a secret — albeit not an extremely well-kept secret —  so her exit won’t [...]

  • 'American Idol' Producer Fremantle Strives To

    'American Idol' Producer Fremantle Looks To Reduce Global Environmental Footprint

    Aiming to reduce its waste and emissions, London-based “Idol” producer-distributor Fremantle has formed a partnership with Albert, a collaborative industry-backed project aimed at tackling the environmental impact of the entertainment sector.  Founded in 2011, Albert is governed by an industry consortium that includes BAFTA, independent companies and broadcasters.  Fremantle is working with Albert to develop [...]

  • Fleabag

    Intl. TV Newswire: NATPE Deals, ZED Pre-sales, Aardman Distribution

    In this week’s International TV Newswire Variety recaps more NATPE news from All3Media, Comedy Central Latin America, AMC’s Acorn TV, VIS, El Deseo, Globo and Univision, ZED pre-sales from Realscreen and Aardman’s latest distribution pickup. All3Media Sells to Comedy Central, AMC Networks in Latin America Comedy Central Latin America and All3Media International have closed a deal for [...]

  • Chance The RapperiHeartRadio Music Festival, Arrivals,

    Chance the Rapper to Host ‘Punk’d' Revival at Quibi

    Chance the Rapper is ready to get his prank on. MTV Studios has announced Chance as the host of its revival of the prank show “Punk’d,” which is coming to short form content platform Quibi. “Punk’d” was a hidden camera reality show which aired for ten seasons on MTV and was created by Ashton Kutcher, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content