Match Factory Productions’ ‘The Report’ Wins Series Mania Award at Berlin Co-Pro Series

Now in its eighth year, the Berlinale Series Market’s pitching event, Co-Pro Series, wrapped today after two hours of pitches from 10 of Europe’s most exciting independent TV projects. Match Factory Production’s “The Report” was the day’s big winner, scooping the Series Mania Award, meaning the production’s team will be invited to pitch again at next month’s Lille-based get-together.

“The Report” will look to emulate the successes of former participating Co-Pro Series standouts such as “Babylon Berlin,” “Freud,” “Furia,” and perhaps most especially Icelandic period drama “Blackport,” a former Series Mania Award-winner that last year took the French festival’s top prize when it returned as a finished series.

A major move from Germany’s Match Factory Productions, “The Report” marks one of the legendary film company’s first forays into series production.

Based on true events, the series will follow a U.N. commission assigned to investigate the assassination of the former Lebanese Prime Minister. According to presenters Tobias Pausinger – representing Match Factory Productions, and showrunner-writer Ben von Rönne – an International Emmy-nominated writer on “Blind Spot,” the series proposes a “multi-perspective journey into the dark heart of interest-driven Middle Eastern politics.”

“Ever since we started, our exchange of one of our Co-Pro Series projects with Series Mania has been very fruitful, and has brought forward amazing series such as “Blackport,” “Freud” and “Hierro”–  just to name a few,” Berlinale Co-Production Market head Martina Bleis explained after presenting the award. “We are very happy for ‘The Report’ to follow in these footsteps and have the chance to meet additional partners and do follow up at Series Mania in March, after an already packed meeting schedule here with many promising potential partners.”

Franceso Capurro, head of the Series Mania Forum, added: “As always, the selection offered diverse and ambitious stories, making it difficult to choose just one. Amongst the presented projects, one did particularly stick out to us: ‘The Report,’ by the Match Factory Productions. The series revisits a geopolitical conflict that is still relevant today – the Lebanese political crisis – through a gallery of complex characters. Led by a prestigious creative team, this political thriller reflects the excellence and the creativity of today’s European TV series.”

Other series projects which pitched this week included Argentine “The Promised Land” from San Sebastián award-winner Emiliano Torres – the first Latin American participant in the event’s eight-year history; “Nowheresville,” just boarded by NRK in Norway; “Belcanto” from Italy’s Lucky Red; Nimbus Film’s “Winterland” from Denmark; “This Is Not A Murder Mystery” from “Two Summers” producers Panenka in Belgium; Czech identity fraud proposition “The Attachment Theory”; graphic novel adaptation “You Are Obsolete” from Canada’s Sienna Films; and Finnish environmental drama “Spin Control” from Tuffi Films.

Co-Pro Series is curated and organized by the Berlinale Co-Production Market, run by Martina Bleis who explained to Variety that the plan this year was to pick “exciting” and “cinematic” series.

“For us, it’s always very interesting to have people who have made a name for themselves in cinema and are now trying themselves out in a series,” she told Variety.

Berlinale Series Market and its annual conference program, including Co-Pro Series, is a joint initiative of the European Film Market, the Berlinale Co-Production Market and Berlinale Talents, and is organized in close cooperation with Berlinale Series.

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