Series Mania Organizers Confirm Drama Event to “Go Ahead as Planned”

Series Mania
Photographer: Laurent Ghesquiere

The organizers of Series Mania have said the international TV drama event will go ahead in France this month, despite the coronavirus threat.

Set to take place from March 20-28 in the northeastern French city of Lille, Series Mania said it didn’t fall into the category of gatherings of more than 5,000 people in a confined space that were forbidden by the French government over the weekend.

In a briefing note titled, ‘The Series Mania Festival And Forum Will Go Ahead,’ the event said: “Given the audience capacities and attendance figures for festival locations, including movie theaters, the Nouveau Siècle auditorium, Lille Grand Palais, the Tri Postal, and so on, all events comprising the Series Mania Festival and Forum will be going ahead as planned.”

Series Mania added that hygiene and information measures would be put in place, including the provision of hand sanitizers across all festival locations, and reinforced cleaning schedules for all public spaces, including screening rooms, conference rooms, dining spaces, meeting points and bathrooms.

Organizers also said there would be special notices relating to recommended hygiene practices at the event, and specific training for its staff.

“We are in close and regular contact with local and national authorities to monitor how the situation is evolving,” said organizers. “As such, we will be providing updates to participants with regard to any measures introduced by authorities as they are announced, and will fully comply with said decisions.”

France has 191 confirmed cases of coronavirus, and three have died so far from the disease.

Narcos” showrunner Chris Brancato and “Godfather of Harlem” star Giancarlo Esposito, actors Carole Bouquet and Zabou Breitman, and the cast and crew behind the Canal Plus series “The Bureau” are among the many guests of honor set to attend this year’s event.

Series Mania is set to showcase international scripted dramas from 25 different countries including Chile, Peru, Niger, Senegal and South Korea alongside high profile productions from the U.S., U.K. and France.

Among the 38 productions world premiering in Lille, the BBC/TVNZ literary adaption “The Luminaries” will play as opening series.

Reed Midem, the organizer of TV conference and market MipTV, said Monday it is “monitoring the situation” after the French government banned indoor gatherings of more than 5,000 people. Last year, 9,500 attended MipTV.