Series Mania 2019 had a splendid conclusion in Lille, France on March 30. Four Asian series were presented and nominated in the International Panorama and Short Form categories. Here are some of the highlights.
This year’s Series Mania was said to be double the scale of 2018, with American actress Uma Thurman, British actor, Freddie Highmore, creators of “Black Mirror”, Charlie Brooker, Anabel Jones and Netflix’s Chief Content Officer, Ted Sarandos, gracing the week-long festival, which brought the small city of Lille to life. This year’s festival saw the introduction of original Asian series to an international audience, while giving Asian talent an opportunity to present their creative thought processes on a global platform.
Referencing “Two Asian Series selected for Series Mania”, the screenings’ turnout for “Folklore” and “The Guest”, competing for the International Panorama award, were impressive. Director for “The Guest”, Kim Hong Sun was particularly impressed with his first outing to this festival as he said, "We were pleasantly surprised with this nomination and being here to experience Series Mania first-hand was indeed interesting. We’ll continue creating high quality series and look forward to participating in future events.” He’d also mentioned more creative talent and industry professionals from Korea should try to make it out here to Lille for the festival. “The Guest” was produced by Studio Dragon and distributed by CJ E&M.
Singapore's short form premium video platform, Viddsee, made its debut at this year's Series Mania with "Drive", a series that tells the story of a taxi driver and his encounters with passengers as he drives through the streets of Singapore late at night. "We’re excited and honoured to be featured in Series Mania; it spurs us on to explore more creative ideas, and work with more Asian filmmakers to bring new Viddsee Originals to international viewers very soon," said Kenny Tan, Head of Viddsee Studios. While “Rasbhari”, a production from India’s Applause Entertainment showcased the realistic social issues experienced by women in India through satire.
Lille was the perfect location for a festival like Series Mania as screening rooms, panel discussions and all other festival activities were within walkable distances. Plus there was something for every one to do both for industry folks and the series lover alike. While the Asian contingent was small this time, it is an encouraging sign for other Asian creatives and represents the start of a greater exchange between East and West in the world of series.
Image sources: All original photos taken by Soundboard Asia.