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‘Apples Never Fall’, ‘Hotel Cocaine’ & ‘So Long, Marianne’ In Main Competition At Series Mania

Peacock’s Apples Never Fall, MGM+’s Hotel Cocaine and NRK’s buzzy drama about Leonard Cohen, So Long, Marianne will be in the International Competition race at Series Mania in March.

The shows will be up against BBC Three’s UK series Boarders, France 2 drama Dans L’Ombre (In the Shadows), ARD’s German series Herrhausen, the Banker and the Bomb (Herrhausen, Der Herr Des Geldes), ABC Australia’s House of Gods, and Franco-Hungarian co-production Rematch, which is for Arte, Disney+ and HBO Europe.

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The shows comprise an interesting cross-section of U.S. and European projects, with the Annette Bening-starring thriller Apples Never Fall among the highest profile. Hotel Cocaine, about a Cuban expatriate who re-made his life in Miami, is among MGM+’s biggest recent bets, while So Long, Marianne has been building steam as a study into the life of singer-songwriter Cohen and his muse, Marianne Ihlen.

The International Competition jury will comprise French-American director and screenwriter Zal Batmanglij (A Murder at the End of the World, The OA), German actor Malick Bauer (Sam: a Saxon), French-Argentinian actress Berenice Bejo, French-Swedish director Charlotte Brändström (The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, Occupied), and French actor and producer Sofiane Zermani (The Wages of Fear, Spirit of Ecstasy).

They will award a Grand Prize for Best Series and gongs for Best Script, Best Actress and Best Actor.

The International Panorama competition, whose jury chair is American writer Douglas Kennedy, will see TV4 and C-More’s Swedish series 8 Months (Doktrinen), SWR’s German show 30 Days of Lust (30 Tage Lust), TVNZ’s New Zealand show After the Party, Scandinavian co-pro All and Eva (All Och Eva), Showmax’s UK-South African drama Catch Me a Killer, NRK’s Norwegian entry Dates in Real Life, Spanish streamer series La Mesías and Show Yourself (Dejate Ver), Canada’s Société Distinct (Distinct Society), Latvian comedy Soviet Jeans (Padomju Dzinsi), Taiwan’s Three Tears in Borneo and Channel 4’s UK comedy-drama Truelove.

There will also be a European premiere for Netflix’s 3 Body Problem, the upcoming drama series from Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss and The Terror co-creator Alexander Woo.

The likes of Godfather of Harlem creator Chris Brancato, The Staircase director Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, Timewaster creator Daniel Lawrence Taylor and Gossip Girl actress Kelly Rutherford will attend the festival.

The French Competition will pit OCS’s Homejacking, Arte’s Le Monde M’Existe Pas (The World Does Not Exist) and Machine, M6’s Murder Club, Prime Video’s Ourika, and France Télévisions’ One Amitié Dangereuse (A Dangerous Friendship).

Series Mania General Director Laurence Herszberg and President Anne Bouverot said in a statement, “More than ever, TV series reflect the sweeping technological and geopolitical changes at play in the world.”

They noted this year’s event marks the first time no Israeli productions will feature, due to the ongoing conflict in the region. Entries from Russia and Ukraine are also down to due to the Eastern European war and U.S. entries dipped due to the labor strikes.

“This year being marked by several international crises, the TV business and, consequently, the festival are both affected,” they said. “The current Russo-Ukrainian war and Israel–Hamas war have drastically reduced the number of applicants from these territories. In Israel, many ongoing projects were shut down, making it impossible for Series Mania to include an Israeli production this year, for the first time ever. South America is still experiencing geopolitical and economic turbulence.

“As for the U.S, the Hollywood strike that paralyzed film and TV production last year for several months explains why the 2024 lineup contains fewer American premieres. In this regard, we are delighted to welcome entries from newcomer nations who rose to the occasion, and surprised us with content whose quality matches the creativity of the countries temporarily absent this year.”

In total, Series Mania will feature 52 unreleased series, 26 world premieres, 15 international premieres and 21 countries represented. Last year, around 85,000 people participated overall, with 3,800 registered for the industry-focused Series Mania Forum. The screenings are free to attend.

The event will run on March 15-22 in Line, France.

INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION

Apples Never Fall Peacock (U.S./Australia)
Boarders BBC Three (UK)
In the Shadows France 2 (France)
Herrhausen, the Banker & the Bomb ARD (Germany)
Hotel Cocaine MGM+ (U.S.)
House of Gods ABC (Australia)
Rematch Arte, Disney, HBO Europe (France/Hungary)
So Long, Marianne NRK, Crave (Norway, Canada, Greece)

INTERNATIONAL PANORAMA COMPETITION

8 Months TV4, C-More (Sweden)
30 Days of Lust SWR (Germany)
After the Party TVNZ (New Zealand)
All and Eva Viaplay (Sweden, Denmark)
Catch Me a Killer Showmax (UK, South Africa)
Dates in Real Life NRK (Norway)
La Mesías Movistar+ (Spain)
Show Yourself Atresmedia (Spain)
Société Distincte Club Illico (Canada)
Soviet Jeans Go3 (Latvia)
Three Tears in Borneo PTS (Taiwan)
Truelove Channel 4 (UK)

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