Serial Eyes and DETECt are looking for the next great European crime series!
We are looking for proposals for TV series in the crime genre for either broadcast or streaming services. The proposed show should push the genre in unexpected ways, using crime narratives to explore the richness and complexity of European society. An international jury of top industry professionals will review the final five submissions. The winning author(s) will be invited to attend the DETECt final project conference in Rome in June 2021 and meet the members of the jury.
The DETECt Project and European Crime Narratives
DETECt: Detecting Transcultural Identity in European Popular Crime Narratives is a European-funded research project involving 18 academic and industrial partners from 10 countries across the continent. DETECt investigates the representation of European social, cultural and political identities in one of the most popular genres in contemporary fiction, film and television, analysing how different kinds of crime narratives have been used to represent the tensions that shape European society. From the French Polar to Nordic Noir, from Mediterranean Noir to German Krimi, from British mystery to Eastern European mobster dramas, the transnational success of the genre brings unity to a diverse and often conflicted continent.
What We Are Looking For
In the DETECt CRIME SERIES CONTEST we welcome proposals for any kind of crime fiction. In particular, we are interested in series appealing to European audiences because of their ability to give shape to characters, stories and themes that speak of social and cultural concerns beyond the local. However, we are not looking for a “Europudding”, i.e. the type of show that combines and mixes together actors and locations from different European countries in order to satisfy some content quota. DETECt proceeds from the assumption that good crime narratives are able to capture international audiences and offer engaging transcultural representations in more subtle ways, revealing the profound diversity that characterizes all of European countries and informs the everyday experience of their citizens.
Our jury consists of top industry professionals involved in the creation and distribution of crime series:
- Karen Hassan, Cattleya
- Steve Matthews, HBO Europe
- Giacomo Poletti, Mediaset Group
- Eva Van Leeuwen, Netflix
The winner will be invited to attend DETECt final conference in Rome (21–23 June 2021) for the Awarding Ceremony, where she/he will also have the opportunity to meet the members of the Jury (travel and accommodation expenses covered by the organizers). Furthermore, the winner will receive an annual subscription to an online marketplace for films and series in development, including a script analysis and evaluation.
Contest Submission Requirements
We are looking for project proposals (not scripts!) that outline the major elements of the television series. The proposal must be written in English and no longer than 5 pages (A4, standard formatting). Proposals may be for procedural or serialized returning series or for limited series (mini-series). Series length should be 6 to 10 episodes at 25–30 or 45–60 minutes per episode. The proposal should discuss the following elements:
- Overview (brief story synopsis / what makes the series stand out)
- World of the Series
- Character Descriptions
- Season Summaries
- Potential Episodes
- Author’s note
How to Submit
Proposals must be the original creation of a writer or a writing team. Proposals should be saved as PDF files. Be please sure to include on the cover page:
- Name(s) of the writer(s), address, telephone number(s)
- E‑mail address, possibly homepage or similar.
Submissions must be made no later than 15 March 2021 (midday) via our submissions portal: https://detect-contest.application.dffb.de/en/.
General conditions of participation
- Eligibility: All writers, regardeless of their residency in the European Union, may submit.
- Applicants, alone or in teams, should apply with only one project.
- The copyright and rights of use of the submitted materials remain with the submitter(s).
- The submitted works may not be based on works protected by third-party copyright unless permission is granted and documented.
- The submitter(s) confirms that the project has not been optioned or purchased by a third party at the time of submission.
- DETECt or its partners are not obligated to option or produce any of the submitted projects.
- DETECt guarantees that the submissions will only be made available to people involved in the selection process.
The Serial Eyes Crime Series Webinar
Serial Eyes now offers a webinar on how to create crime series. This webinar is intended for both beginning and advanced writers. In regular weekly instalments the Serial Eyes faculty discusses the fascination of writing crime and explains the main dramaturgical elements that make up a good crime series. You can follow this webinar series on the Serial Eyes YouTube channel.
For any inquiries about this contest, please contact Hannah Bethe at firstname.lastname@example.org.