Munich-based Beta Film has inked a number of initial European deals for its Croatian-Ukrainian crime drama “The Silence,” which has just screened in the Berlinale Series Market Selects showcase at this year’s Berlin Festival.

The six-hour series about human trafficking went to German-French broadcasting group ZDF/Arte, which is also on board as co-producer.

Beta signed further deals with HBO Europe for Central and Eastern Europe as well as with Lumière for Flemish-speaking Benelux, with additional territories currently being negotiated.

Produced by Croatian broadcaster HRT and Zagreb-based Drugi Plan in co-production with Beta Film, Russia and Ukraine-based Star Media, Ukraine’s OLL.TV and ZDF/Arte, “The Silence” is based on the critically acclaimed fact-based books by investigative journalist Drago Hedl that examine human and weapons trafficking throughout Eastern Europe.

Highly praised by the Italian press, the books were listed among the 33 best European crime novels of 2018. “The Silence” premiered at NEM Dubrovnik last summer.

A chilling crime drama revealing an unknown world to many viewers, “The Silence” follows Vladimir, a detective plagued by personal hardship as he investigates the mysterious deaths of a number of young women, one drowned, the second overdosed, the third hit by a car. It appears there’s a serial killer on the loose in the Croatian city of Osijek. Stribor, a reporter, directs him towards a maze of corruption, trafficking, and politics where the most vulnerable girls are victimized.

When Ukrainian expat Olga, wife of a powerful politician, finds her niece to be one of the victims, the three form an unlikely team. Together they plunge into the depths of underage trafficking that crosses Eastern European borders.

The series is among a growing slate of prestige productions from Eastern Europe that Beta is selling as part of its growing focus on co-financing and co-producing more projects in the region.

Underscoring that commitment, the company in 2020 took a majority stake in Drugi Plan, whose other recent productions include the Netflix pick-up “The Paper” and “Success,” HBO Europe’s first HBO Adria original.