Faculty

The DFFB’s rich network of industry contacts has enabled SERIAL EYES to secure highly respected scriptwriters, producers, directors and commissioning editors as instructors and guest lecturers. Top US and European showrunners are invited to lead workshops drawing on their particular expertise, while master classes and hands-on modules concentrate on the scriptwriting process and other vital aspects of serial production – always with a practical focus.

Core Tutors

Luke Franklin

Development Producer (UK)

Luke is a pro­du­cer at Yel­low Bird UK, where he works across the devel­op­ment slate and in pro­duc­tion, with both estab­lished and emer­ging writers. Pre­vi­ously, Luke worked at Frank Spotnitz’s Big Light Pro­duc­tions, on The Man In The High Castle and two sea­sons of Ransom, a CBS pro­ced­ur­al about a team of host­age nego­ti­at­ors. Luke …

Ben Harris

Writer and Producer (UK)

Ben has just fin­ished writ­ing and exec­ut­ive pro­du­cing Young Wal­lander, the show he cre­ated for Yel­low­bird and Net­flix about the form­at­ive exper­i­ences of the icon­ic detect­ive Kurt Wal­lander. Before that, Ben wrote and exec­ut­ive pro­duced Dev­ils, star­ring Patrick Demp­sey for Lux Vide and Sky Italia, a con­spir­acy thrill­er set in the world of high fin­ance. …

Nicola Lusuardi

Writer (Italy)

Since 1990, Nic­ola Lusuardi has been work­ing as a play­wright and screen­writer. He has been script con­sult­ant, super­visor and cre­at­ive pro­du­cer for sev­er­al Itali­an and European broad­casters and pro­duc­tion com­pan­ies. Since 2013 to 2019 he con­sul­ted the ori­gin­al scrip­ted con­tents pro­duced by Sky Italy. Since 2020 is Head of Devel­op­ment at The Apart­ment Pic­tures, a …

Frank Spotnitz

Showrunner (USA)

Award-win­n­ing Amer­ic­an writer and pro­du­cer Frank Spot­nitz is the Chief Exec­ut­ive of Big Light Pro­duc­tions Ltd., over­see­ing a diverse slate of tele­vi­sion series. Most recently, Spot­nitz co-cre­ated and exec­ut­ive pro­duced the drama series Leonardo, star­ring Aidan Turn­er, Fred­die High­more and Mat­ilda De Angel­is, which was a block­buster hit on RAI in Italy and premiered on …

Cyril Tysz

Writer, Story editor, Producer (France/USA)

Born in Par­is, Cyril first stud­ied film­mak­ing at the Sor­bonne, then at UCLA. He then learnt hands-on pro­duc­tion on the sets of Tim Burton’s Edward Scis­sorhands and Laurence Kazdan’s pro­duced film Dizzi­ness. His career in screen­writ­ing and devel­op­ment began at com­pan­ies like Pan­dora, Arte, Canal Plus, Equi­noxe and Tele Images. After a few years as a devel­op­ment exec­ut­ive in …

Instructors

Neil Arksey

Head of Studies, Serial Eyes

As a writer, story edit­or, head writer and pro­du­cer, Neil Ark­sey has been respons­ible for over a thou­sand epis­odes of seri­al drama. In the UK he has worked on shows such as Cross­roads, Mile High, Fam­ily Affairs, Doc­tors, River City. In Europe he was part of the team that set up long-run­­n­ing Finnish Soap Sal­atut …

Jeffrey Bell

Showrunner (USA)

Jef­frey Bell is a showrun­ner, writer, dir­ect­or and exec­ut­ive pro­du­cer. He began his tele­vi­sion career writ­ing for The X‑Files. He then joined Angel and was pro­moted to exec­ut­ive pro­du­cer and showrun­ner for the series’ final two sea­sons. Bell then spent four years under an over­all deal at ABC devel­op­ing, writ­ing, dir­ect­ing and pro­du­cing. He was …

Jan Bennemann

VP Acquisitions & Co-Productions / Dynamic Television LLC

Fol­low­ing his stud­ies of Inter­na­tion­al Eco­nom­ics at the Maastricht Uni­ver­sity, Jan Ben­nemann star­ted his career in TV as dram­at­urge and assist­ant dir­ect­or. In 2003 he went on to work as pro­du­cer and since then has pro­duced over 100 hours of seri­al­ized prime­time TV drama for the Ger­man and the inter­na­tion­al mar­ket. Work­ing for Ger­man prodco’s …

David Bianculli

TV critic, author, editor and columnist (USA)

Dav­id Bian­culli has been the TV crit­ic for Nation­al Pub­lic Radio’s Fresh Air, where he also appears as occa­sion­al guest host, since 1987. He has worked as a TV crit­ic for news­pa­pers in Flor­ida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York, most recently for the New York Daily News from 1993–2007. For 14 years, from 2007–21, he …

Olivier Bibas

Producer, CEO (France)

Olivi­er Bib­as is an exec­ut­ive pro­du­cer and Co-Man­a­ging Dir­ect­or of Atlantique Pro­duc­tions, a sub­si­di­ary of Lagardère Stu­di­os. Since 2011, he has over­seen devel­op­ment and pro­duc­tion of numer­ous inter­na­tion­al TV series, includ­ing Mid­night Sun, Bor­gia, Jo and Trans­port­er – The Series. He star­ted his career at CANAL+ in 1995 where he held vari­ous pos­i­tions in busi­ness …

Jana Burbach

Writer, German

Jana Burbach was born in 1985 in Munich and raised in Bonn, Lon­don, and Ber­lin. She now lives and works in Ber­lin as a script writer in Ger­man and Eng­lish. From 2004 to 2007, she com­pleted a BA in Clas­sics and Eng­lish at the Uni­ver­sity of Oxford and from 2009 to 2011 an MA in …

Maria Cervera

Producer (Spain)

Maria has been telling audi­ovisu­al stor­ies for over 15 years. Her pro­fes­sion­al path has lead her through Ger­man TV fic­tion, inde­pend­ent film pro­duc­tion, the pub­lish­ing world, inter­na­tion­al co-pro­­duc­­tions and con­tent for VOD plat­forms. Since 2011, Maria man­aged devel­op­ment and inter­na­tion­al co-pro­­duc­­tions for the Span­ish pro­duc­tion com­pany Pla­no a Pla­no. In 2017, Maria became part of …

Sven Clausen

Producer (Denmark)

As Exec­ut­ive Pro­du­cer with DR TV (Dan­ish Broad­cast­ing Corp.) Sven Clausen became a three time Emmy win­ner for the drama series Unit One (2002), The Eagle (2005), and The Pro­tect­ors (2009). After retir­ing as pro­du­cer Sven worked through­out 2013 as Head of Fic­tion at the com­mer­cial Dan­ish TV2 and is now a con­sult­ant with major …

Julia Fontana

Writer and Producer (US/Spain)

Julia Fontana is an LA-based Span­ish fea­ture film and TV writer-pro­­du­cer. She works in Hol­ly­wood as well as in the European film and TV indus­tries and enjoys con­trib­ut­ing to cul­tur­al exchange across the Atlantic. A Ful­bright schol­ar and a Sund­ance Insti­tute fel­low, Fontana’s TV cred­its include “LUCIFER” (Warner Bros. for Fox/Netflix), “THE INBETWEEN” (Uni­ver­sal for …

Ellis Freeman

Writer (UK)

Born in Lon­don, Ellis is a screen­writer, cur­rently liv­ing in Ber­lin where he is Head of Screen­writ­ing at the DFFB. He began teach­ing at the Lon­don Film School, where he developed the Writer’s Gym, a series of cre­at­ive writ­ing work­shops for screen­writers, dir­ect­ors and pro­du­cers. He has held the work­shop inter­na­tion­ally at the AFI Con­ser­vat­ory; …

Piodor Gustafsson

Producer (Sweden)

Piod­or Gust­afs­son has more than thirty years of exper­i­ence with­in film, TV and advert­ising. Since Septem­ber 2020 Piod­or is respons­ible for Scrip­ted Con­tent in the Nor­d­ic ter­rit­ory at TV4 Media. Piod­or has pre­vi­ously worked as CEO for Black Spark Film & TV, Head of Pro­gram­ming and Com­mis­sion­ing Edit­or at SVT and as a com­mis­sion­ing Fea­ture …

Kirsten Ittershagen

Writer (Germany)

Kirsten Itter­sha­gen was born and raised in Ham­burg, Ger­many. After gradu­at­ing her stud­ies of Soci­ology, Cul­tur­al Stud­ies, Polit­ics and Psy­cho­logy at the Uni­ver­sity of Ham­burg, she began work­ing in advert­ising and brand man­age­ment but dreamed of a career in the TV Industry. In 2005 she decided to make the leap of faith. Kirsten Itter­sha­gen moved …

Dominique Jubin

Producer, Studiocanal Original (France)

Domi­n­ique gradu­ated from French lead­ing movie school LA FEMIS with a major in Screen­writ­ing. For ten years, she worked as Dir­ect­or of French Drama and Co-Pro­­duc­­tions at the Canal+ Créa­tion Ori­ginale (Ori­gin­al Pro­gram­ming) Depart­ment, where she played a pivotal role in their series’ devel­op­ment. In 2016, Domi­n­ique was appoin­ted Exec­ut­ive Cre­at­ive VP of Stu­di­ocanal TV …

Gabor Krigler

Writer, Hungary

Gabor’s career began in the writ­ing staff of a daily seri­al at Grundy UFA in 1999. He became a Cre­at­ive Exec­ut­ive at the Bud­apest office of HBO Europe in 2010, respons­ible for all cre­at­ive aspects of devel­op­ment and pro­duc­tion. After leav­ing HBO at the end of 2018, Gabor went on to found his own com­pany, …

Sarah Linton

Development Excecutive, UK

Sarah Lin­ton is a Devel­op­ment Exec­ut­ive at Kudos. Pri­or to this, Sarah worked as Script Edit­or on the first series of dra­mat­ic thrill­er Killing Eve. Pro­duced by Sid Gentle Films and writ­ten by Fleabag cre­at­or Phoebe Wall­er-Bridge for BBC Amer­ica. Pri­or to Killing Eve, Sarah script edited sev­er­al dra­mas includ­ing ITV’s The Hal­cy­on (Left Bank …

Steve Matthews

VP Executive Producer, Drama Development, HBO Europe

Steve was Con­sult­ing Pro­du­cer on all three series of Neil Jordan’s series The Bor­gi­as for Show­time Net­works, and pro­duced four series of RTE’s award win­ning Dub­lin gang­ster series Love/Hate. He was formerly Head of Devel­op­ment at Ray Winstone’s Size 9 Pro­duc­tions and worked as a script edit­or at the BBC on Silent Wit­ness. He is …

Sonia Moyersoen

Writer, Story Editor (France)

Born in 1966, Sonia Moy­er­soen first com­pleted a law degree and stud­ied theatre before becom­ing an act­ress. Since 1994, she has developed around a hun­dred TV movies, in the capa­city of Head of Devel­op­ment at GMT Pro­duc­tions: includ­ing Monte-Cristo, Balzac, Les Mis­ér­ables, Aime ton père by Jac­ob Ber­ger. Since 2007, she has super­vised and acted …

Maggie Murphy

Co-head of Shaftesbury U.S., (USA)

Mag­gie Murphy is an inde­pend­ent Exec­ut­ive Pro­du­cer for Shaft­es­bury U.S. and foun­ded the company’s Los Angeles-based divi­sion focused on devel­op­ment for the U.S., Cana­dian, and inter­na­tion­al mar­kets. She has a new pro­ject in devel­op­ment at CBC in Canada with Katie Ford (MISS CONGENIALITY) writ­ing. Her most recent pro­du­cing cred­it is the drama series HOUDINI & …

Mayte Kappel Rovira

Coach (German)

As a Ber­­lin-based coach, train­er and facil­it­at­or, Mayte is an expert in design­ing, plan­ning and sup­port­ing human devel­op­ment pro­cesses for groups and indi­vidu­als. Her work focusses on pur­­pose- and val­ues­driv­en lead­er­ship, col­lect­ive ideation and storytelling. Besides a uni­ver­sity degree in Fine Arts, Per­form­at­ive Arts, Philo­sophy and Cul­tur­al Man­age­ment, she holds cer­ti­fic­ates in Sys­tem­ic Coach­ing, Gen­er­at­ive …

Michaela Sabo

Writer, Slovakia

Michaela stud­ied at VŠMU (Slov­akia), DAMU (Czech Repub­lic) and UCLA (Los Angeles). In 2014, Michaela moved to Ber­lin to be part of a Ser­i­al-Eyes pro­gram. An intens­ive 8‑month post­gradu­ate course on TV writ­ing and show run­ning based in Ber­lin. Michaela found her net­work dur­ing the stud­ies and is cur­rently liv­ing in Ber­lin. Michaela was part …

Donna Sharpe

Writer (UK,Germany)

Donna Sharpe is co-writ­ing TROM, a Dan­ish political/crime thrill­er series (6 x 54 for Viaplay Nor­d­ic, ZDF and the BBC, sched­uled to shoot sum­mer 2020). Pri­or to his, she co-wrote all six epis­odes of Ber­­lin-set espi­on­age drama WEST OF LIBERTY (6 x 45 for ZDF and SVT, 2019), as well as the pilot for Sea­son 2 (in devel­op­ment). …

Johnathan Young

VP Original Production, HBO Central Europe

Johnath­an Young is a pro­du­cer and exec­ut­ive pro­du­cer with a long his­tory in the tele­vi­sion industry. He joined HBO Europe as an Exec­ut­ive Pro­du­cer in 2014, and was respons­ible for Mamon in the Czech Repub­lic and Pakt in Poland in 2015, and Pakt2 and Valea Muta in Romania in 2016. In Janu­ary 2017 he became …

Klaus Zimmermann

Managing Partner, Dynamic Television (Germany/ France)

Klaus Zimmermann’s career star­ted in 1993 at the Ger­man com­pany Kirch­Gruppe. For two years, he worked in Munich along­side the company’s Dir­ect­or of Pro­duc­tion and Dis­tri­bu­tion, Jan Mojto. He was suc­cess­ively in charge of mar­ket­ing, inter­na­tion­al dis­tri­bu­tion and inter­na­tion­al pro­duc­tions. In this capa­city, he par­ti­cip­ated in pro­duc­tion of anim­a­tion films, fea­ture films, tele­vi­sion series and …

Mentors

Piodor Gustafsson

Producer (Sweden)

Piod­or Gust­afs­son has more than thirty years of exper­i­ence with­in film, TV and advert­ising. Since Septem­ber 2020 Piod­or is respons­ible for Scrip­ted Con­tent in the Nor­d­ic ter­rit­ory at TV4 Media. Piod­or has pre­vi­ously worked as CEO for Black Spark Film & TV, Head of Pro­gram­ming and Com­mis­sion­ing Edit­or at SVT and as a com­mis­sion­ing Fea­ture …

Hanno Hackfort

Writer, German

Han­no Hack­fort was born in Pader­born in 1970. After jobs as Assist­ent Dir­ect­or and musi­cian on sev­er­al theatre pro­duc­tions, he star­ted work­ing as Boomop­er­at­or and Sound Engin­eer on vari­ous TV and fea­ture films in Ger­many and abroad. At the same time, he star­ted dir­ect­ing his own short films and in 2002 he  shot his fea­ture …

Kirsten Ittershagen

Writer (Germany)

Kirsten Itter­sha­gen was born and raised in Ham­burg, Ger­many. After gradu­at­ing her stud­ies of Soci­ology, Cul­tur­al Stud­ies, Polit­ics and Psy­cho­logy at the Uni­ver­sity of Ham­burg, she began work­ing in advert­ising and brand man­age­ment but dreamed of a career in the TV Industry. In 2005 she decided to make the leap of faith. Kirsten Itter­sha­gen moved …

Bob Konrad

Writer, German

Bob Kon­rad was born in Heidel­berg in 1968 and stud­ied at the UdK Ber­lin. Since 1993 he has writ­ten and dir­ec­ted numer­ous radio plays, radio play series and radio com­edy for pub­lic broad­casters. He found his way to tele­vi­sion in 2000 through an anim­a­tion series. His first fea­ture film Bess­er als Schule fol­lowed. Since then he has …

Richard Kropf

Writer

Richard Kropf was born in West Ber­lin in 1979. He began his career as an act­or and trained at the Lee Stras­berg Insti­tute in New York before writ­ing the short film Bum Bum in 2005, which he co-dir­ec­ted with Mar­cus Schuster. Kropf then focused on screen­writ­ing and was co-head writer of the SAT1 series Der …

Sarah Linton

Development Excecutive, UK

Sarah Lin­ton is a Devel­op­ment Exec­ut­ive at Kudos. Pri­or to this, Sarah worked as Script Edit­or on the first series of dra­mat­ic thrill­er Killing Eve. Pro­duced by Sid Gentle Films and writ­ten by Fleabag cre­at­or Phoebe Wall­er-Bridge for BBC Amer­ica. Pri­or to Killing Eve, Sarah script edited sev­er­al dra­mas includ­ing ITV’s The Hal­cy­on (Left Bank …

Steve Matthews

VP Executive Producer, Drama Development, HBO Europe

Steve was Con­sult­ing Pro­du­cer on all three series of Neil Jordan’s series The Bor­gi­as for Show­time Net­works, and pro­duced four series of RTE’s award win­ning Dub­lin gang­ster series Love/Hate. He was formerly Head of Devel­op­ment at Ray Winstone’s Size 9 Pro­duc­tions and worked as a script edit­or at the BBC on Silent Wit­ness. He is …

Donna Sharpe

Writer (UK,Germany)

Donna Sharpe is co-writ­ing TROM, a Dan­ish political/crime thrill­er series (6 x 54 for Viaplay Nor­d­ic, ZDF and the BBC, sched­uled to shoot sum­mer 2020). Pri­or to his, she co-wrote all six epis­odes of Ber­­lin-set espi­on­age drama WEST OF LIBERTY (6 x 45 for ZDF and SVT, 2019), as well as the pilot for Sea­son 2 (in devel­op­ment). …

Sabine Steyer-Violet

Writer, Producer (Germany)

Sabine Stey­er-Viol­­et is a screen­writer (Oth­er Par­ents, TNT Series) and cre­at­ive pro­du­cer (Unortho­dox, cre­ated by Anna Wing­er, Net­flix) and works some­times as a music super­visor (Bad Banks, ZDF/Arte) too. She stud­ied visu­al com­mu­nic­a­tion with Wim Wenders and Gerd Roscher at the Hoch­schule für bildende Kün­ste Ham­burg. She com­pleted a fea­ture length doc­u­ment­ary, vari­ous doc­u­ment­ary con­tri­bu­tions for Arte, 3sat and ZDF …

Ben Worsfield

Development Producer, Stolen Picture Productions (UK)

Ben is an award-win­n­ing Devel­op­ment Pro­du­cer with extens­ive exper­i­ence in scrip­ted TV and Radio for the UK and Inter­na­tion­al mar­kets. He has a strong track record of devel­op­ing, script edit­ing and pro­du­cing high qual­ity com­edy and drama with both emer­ging and estab­lished tal­ent. Ben strongly believes that the best time to start a new job …

Klaus Zimmermann

Managing Partner, Dynamic Television (Germany/ France)

Klaus Zimmermann’s career star­ted in 1993 at the Ger­man com­pany Kirch­Gruppe. For two years, he worked in Munich along­side the company’s Dir­ect­or of Pro­duc­tion and Dis­tri­bu­tion, Jan Mojto. He was suc­cess­ively in charge of mar­ket­ing, inter­na­tion­al dis­tri­bu­tion and inter­na­tion­al pro­duc­tions. In this capa­city, he par­ti­cip­ated in pro­duc­tion of anim­a­tion films, fea­ture films, tele­vi­sion series and …

Special Guest Speakers

Channing Dungey

Ms. Chan­ning Dun­gey has been Pres­id­ent of ABC Prime­time Enter­tain­ment since Feb­ru­ary 17, 2016. Ms. Dun­gey served as Seni­or Vice Pres­id­ent of Drama at ABC Prime­time Enter­tain­ment since June 2009. She served as Seni­or Vice Pres­id­ent of Drama Devel­op­ment at Touch­stone Tele­vi­sion Pro­duc­tions, LLC (formerly ABC Tele­vi­sion Stu­dio) and also served as its Vice Pres­id­ent …

Tom Fontana

Writer and Producer (USA)

Tom Fontana has writ­ten and pro­duced such ground break­ing tele­vi­sion series as St. Else­where, Hom­icide: Life On The Street, Oz, The Phil­an­throp­ist, and Cop­per. He recently fin­ished film­ing Bor­gia for Net­flix and Canal+. He has received, among oth­ers, three Emmy Awards, four Peabody Awards, three Writers’ Guild Awards, four Tele­vi­sion Crit­ics Asso­ci­ation Awards, the Cable …

Jeppe Gjervig Gram

Writer (Denmark)

Win­ner of the BAFTA for Best Inter­na­tion­al Series, 2012 Jeppe Gjer­vig Gram was born 1976 in Odense, Den­mark. After uni­ver­sity stud­ies, he worked for 6 years as a drama series con­sult­ant for Dan­ish net­work TV 2, deal­ing with acquis­i­tion of inter­na­tion­al series as well as com­mis­sion­ing of ori­gin­al Dan­ish series, before enrolling in the screen­writ­ing …

Jed Mercurio

Writer (UK)

Jed Mer­curio is one of the few UK script-writers to work as an Amer­­ic­an-style showrun­ner. His most recent cred­it, Line of Duty, is the most watched BBC2 drama series in the mul­tichan­nel era. His oth­er cred­its include Lady Chatterley’s Lov­er, Crit­ic­al, Strike Back, Bod­ies, The Grim­leys, Invasion:Earth and Car­di­ac Arrest. Line of Duty and Bod­ies …

Abi Morgan

Writer (UK)

  Abi Morgan’s plays include SKINNED and SLEEPING AROUND (Paines Plough); TINY DYNAMITE (Tra­verse); TENDER (Hamp­stead); SPLENDOUR and FUGEE (Nation­al Theatre), LOVESONG (Frantic Assembly) and 27 (NTS) and The MISTRESS CONTRACT (Roy­al Court) . Her tele­vi­sion work includes MY FRAGILE HEART, MURDER, SEX TRAFFIC, TSUNAMI – THE AFTERMATH, WHITE GIRL, ROYAL WEDDING, BIRDSONG and THE …

Anna Winger

Showrunner (USA, Germany)

Anna Wing­er is the cre­at­or of the acclaimed TV series  Deutsch­land 83 and Deutsch­land 86. Her nov­el This Must Be the Place is pub­lished by River­head Pen­guin.Her essays have appeared in The NewYork Times Magazine, Con­dé Nast Trav­el­er and the Frank­furter Allge­meine Zei­tung. Her work for Deutsch­land 83 has been awar­ded with an Inter­na­tion­al Emmy …