Serial Eyes Cycle 4 came to an end with a bang. The Serial Eyes Final Pitch on May 11 at Soho House Berlin was attended by around 70 guests – producers, broadcasters and agents, who came from all over Europe to finally get a taste of the new television series projects developed by our twelve participants.
After a warm welcome from DFFB director Ben Gibson, Jimmy Desmarais from Atlantique Productions and Felix von Boehm from Lupa Productions briefly talked about the challenges and opportunities awaiting this new crop of writers in the contemporary TV landscape. It was a hopeful note to start the day with!
After that, it was showtime for our participants. The 12 series pitches, which were truly diverse in genre, tone and theme, had been developed for eight months under the watchful guidance of our top-notch tutors and lecturers. And now the industry got to hear them for the first time!
Paolo Bernardelli started the session with his crime drama, The Basement, which features a young, female detective who investigates a crime ring in contemporary Milan with the help of an unlikely associate. Arne Ahrens followed up with his crime drama, Two Man Institution, set in Berlin of 1990, that brings together a corrupt policeman from the West and a former Stasi agent from the East in a joint investigation during the period leading up to the German reunification. For some lighter fare, Camille Couasse’s family comedy, Cheeky, introduced the audience to the cheeky world of young Lola, who struggles to find love while she must manage her family’s business – a porn company. Juan Ortiz closed out the first set of pitches with his political drama, Agent Provocateur, about an undercover policeman torn between his mission as a cop and his passion as an environmental activist.
After the first break, Ruddy-Williams Kabuiku took us to 1960’s France with his political thriller, Mr. Françafrique, about a young French black man who joins the French secret service in Africa. Judit Anna Banhazi’s supernatural thriller, The Crossing, transported the audience to the dark mysteries looming below Budapest and the thin line between life and death. For a change of tone and place, Céline Decoox took us to London with her comedy, Butt, the story of TV producer Mimi, who hires a former boyfriend to work as the butt double for her current actor-boyfriend. Staying in London, albeit in a different time period, Anne-Marie Angelo presented her historical drama, Flappers, the story of four young women fighting for their own liberation in the aftermath of World War I.
After lunch, Davide Serino carried us off to the Eternal City with Crescendo, a contemporary drama about two young friends and composers who struggle to find success in the unexpectedly wild and sumptous world of classical music. Storm Sigal-Battesti rewound the clock to the Age of the Conquistadores with his historical drama, Azteca, and told us the true story behind the legend of Hernan Cortez. Emily Rhodes showed us a glimpse of the future with her sci-fi drama, Halfway House, the story of a rehabilitation center for tech-addicts. Finally, Marine Lachenaud returned us to present-day France with her comedy, The Wall, in which the freshly-elected mayor of a small village faces the unusual challenge of having to keep his election promises.
It was a day of big stories and exciting, new worlds. After the pitches, the audience got a chance to chat with these young creators about their ideas and to get to know them a little better.
We couldn’t be happier with the event, and wish to thank all our guests and friends for their participation, our tutors, teachers and mentors for their invaluable contributions, our partners for their continued support, and, above all, the Serial Eyes Class of 2016/17 – an exceptionally creative and talented bunch of twelve writers from whom you’ll, no doubt, be hearing great things soon. More information on all the projects can be found here.