Magazine article Variety

Small Screen Fare Grows at Berlin

Magazine article Variety

Small Screen Fare Grows at Berlin

Article excerpt

INTENSE INDUSTRY interest and growing demand for a major TV market early in the year could lead to a much larger role for small-screen series at the Berlinale and European Film Market in the coming years.

Berlin became one of the first A-list festivals to launch TV sections as part of the main festival and market in 2015. The festival's Berlinale Series sidebar and the Drama Series Days event (Feb. 19-21), launched jointly by the European Film Market, the Berlinale Co-Production Market and the Berlinale Talents, have made Berlin an increasingly vital platform for international makers of high-end series.

This year marks the first time that all market and festival series activities will take place at one location: the recently restored Zoo Palast, where they are overseen by program manager Solmaz Azizi. In addition to the Drama Series Days market screenings and conference program, the Berlinale Series will present its festival and red carpet public screenings at the theater.

"We know there's great demand," Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick told Variety. "To what extent we'll expand the section, for that we'll have to wait and see how successful it is at the Berlinale."

If the massive crowds that lined up outside the Zoo Palast on Monday are anything to go by, the festival may have to find a bigger venue next year.

Noting that France has added three TV festivals in addition to Mip- TV and Mipcom in Cannes, Kosslick added, "We want to expand our market, but not to compete with Mip, because that is much too big. We are doing something completely different. We are showing these series like films and of course a market will grow out of that, as has always happened in the past. There are three components: We have premieres followed by discussions; we have a market where you can buy and sell; and, thirdly, we have panels, professional get-togethers, where the state of series production can be discussed.

"Will the Berlinale become a TV festival? No, because we have 396 films here made for cinema and there we have the premiere of seven series. Even if we multiplied that tenfold, the balance is still there."

Nevertheless, it's becoming clear that the crossover between series and films of writers, directors and actors is very much increasing, he added. …

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