Sky Original’s fifth and final season of “Gomorrah,” RTL Group and Beta Film’s German-language “Sisi,” and Canal Plus’ hip-hop themed “All The Way Up” will — rather fittingly — join the David Tennant-led, Slim Film+Televison/Federation co-produced “Around the World in 80 Days” for an internationally accented edition of Canneseries, which plays from Oct. 8-13.
Running concurrent to Mipcom before returning to its traditional April berth in 2022, this year’s fourth edition will spotlight nine countries in its ten series long-form competition, though with a limited U.S. presence.
Alongside those four aforementioned series, all playing out of competition, this year’s most high-profile competition premieres include the Gaumont-produced, Amazon Prime broadcast Cold War thriller “Totems,” a Franco-Spanish-Czech co-production that stars Niels Schneider, Lambert Wilson and Ana Girardot, and “Limbo… Until It’s Over,” the latest series from Argentine hit-makers Gastón Duprat and Mariano Cohn (“Official Competition”), produced and broadcast by Disney’s Latin American Star Plus platform.
Of the 10 series selected, two come from Israel. Co-created and directed by “Our Boys” creator Tawfik Abu-Wael and commissioned by public broadcaster Kan, “Unknowns” follows a group of at-risk youths accused of sexual assault, while “Sad City Girls,” from cable service Hot, comes courtesy of Shir Reuven and “Zero Motivation” director Talya Lavie and shines a bittersweet light on young-adult friendship.
Thrillers will be served in various shades and flavors, from United Media’s Serbian police drama “Awake,” which finds a female detective haunted by a string of unsettling suicides, to Newen/Sky/Lucky Red’s religious-minded “Christian,” which follows a violent enforcer beset with stigmata and the Vatican postulator hot on his tail.
Broadcast by NRK and Arte and sold by Banijay, Norway’s “Countrymen” follows four miscreants who, entirely unexpectedly, end up the founders of the country’s first Halal cheesemaking venture. Offering a rather different Nordic vision, the Federation-sold, Elisa Viihde-broadcast Finnish series “Mister 8” follows a CEO who truly has it all – including a different spouse for each day of the week. Trouble arises when she meets, well, mister 8.
Rounding out the competition are “Dreams of Alice,” from Russia’s 1-2-3 Production, which tracks a young woman looking to make a fresh start in a remote and somewhat mystical northern community, and Germany’s “The Allegation,” a based-on-a-true-story legal drama led by “Babylon Berlin” star Peter Kurth, broadcast by RTL subsidiary VOX and sold by Fremantle.
Festival guests include award-winning filmmaker and former Haitian culture minister Raoul Peck, who will serve as this year’s guest of honor, Danish “Game of Thrones” star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who will lead the long-form jury, and American actor Connie Britton, who will accept Variety’s Icon Award. Meanwhile, Britton’s recent “The White Lotus” collaborator Mike White will participate in an online rendezvous.
“Canneseries Season 4 will be a delight,” managing director Benoît Louvet told Variety. “A delight to discover exclusive series in this legendary place that is the Palais des Festivals; a delight to meet the creative teams and talents, to learn from their variety; a delight to be in Cannes, this city that has the unique power to make us starry-eyed; and a delight, finally and most of all, to be together again and make the pop universe of Canneseries shine bright.”