Last week, K7 attended the fifth edition of Serial Killer, the CEE and wider Europe-focused scripted TV festival. Emanating from the Czech Republic’s beautiful second city of Brno, the event featured both a buzzing industry get-together and open-to-the-public competition screenings.
In terms of the impressive array of series shown, the Main Competition featured a strong field of contenders from around Central and Eastern Europe (click the titles below to see trailers). The nominees included intrigue-laden Estonian murder mystery Who Shot Otto Müller?, as well as skin-crawling youth horror from Serbia, Block 27. Ultimately though, from Ukraine, FILM UA Group’s drama detailing the unexpected implosion of a family after secrets from the past are exposed, Picnic, took the prize.
A special mention from the jury was also given to Croatia’s The Last Socialist Artefact – about a forgotten Balkan town brought back from the dead by a diverse array of characters, while the web series category was won by Czech TV’s recently debuted Five Years.
Running alongside the screenings was a dynamic, snappily-paced TV Days industry schedule. SVT drama head Anna Croneman delivered this year’s rousing ‘Killer Speech’, a call to action for European pubcasters. Netflix’s director of local language series for CEE, Anna Nagler, spoke on the streamer’s increasing focus on the region with a brand new Poland office. Co-production was a hot topic too, with local collaborations such as Estonian/Ukrainian crime thriller A Girl from Tallinn impressing, to name just one.
Showcases of the latest series coming from Spain, France, Estonia, Ukraine, Serbia, Belgium, Finland, the Czech Republic and this year’s country of focus, Sweden, also featured. K7 Media’s own Richard and David themselves hosted sessions looking respectively at global scripted trends, and the surprising cues which unscripted and entertainment are taking from the world of drama and comedy. Email us if you would like to know more!
Last, but very definitely not least, the festival hosted a number of sessions in partnership with Kyiv Media Week, which this year takes place in a roaming format. The event is also set to travel to MIA in Rome and MIPCOM in Cannes in the coming weeks. In the session ‘Storytellers Never Stop’, reps from StarlightMedia and FILM UA told of the massive importance and hurdles faced by those producing TV in a time of war. K7’s David, meanwhile, hosted a panel looking at the ample opportunities for co-production in Ukraine – a place which certainly has a lot of important stories to tell right now.
Above all, it was heartening and inspiring speaking to Ukrainian friends old and new in attendance about the victories and ongoing challenges they faced whether personally, as members of the TV industry, and as Ukrainians.