Dir. Nikolaj Lie Kaas
Danish actor-turned-writer/director Lie Kaas (The Kingdom Exodus, Riders Of Justice) takes a comedic look at the role of talent agents in the Danish entertainment industry — although this is not a Danish remake of Call My Agent!. Esben Smed (Follow The Money) takes the lead role of Joe, an agent with a chaotic life. The cast also includes Sidse Babett Knudsen, Dar Salim, Ulrich Thomsen and Another Round’s Lars Ranthe and Magnus Millang — all playing caricatured versions of themselves. Zentropa’s Louise Vesth produces the 8x40-minute series, which TV2 will air in Denmark.
The Architect (Nor)
Dir. Kerren Lumer-Klabbers
This dark satire series, produced by Nordisk Film Production Norway for Viaplay, stars Eili Harboe (Thelma) as a woman living in a near-future Oslo, where the housing market has gone crazy and she has to live in a former underground car park. She dreams of being a successful architect, but an unexpected friendship grows that could threaten her career. Lumer-Klabbers, who was shortlisted for a student Oscar for Papapa, directs the four-part series, which is co-written by Nora Landsrod and Kristian Kilde.
Contact: Alexandra Aldred, Viaplay
Bad Behaviour (Australia)
Dir. Corrie Chen
Chen’s big break was directing all four episodes of New Gold Mountain, and with Mustangs FC and Homecoming Queens among her credits, she is now a go-to director in Australia for stories about girls and young women. Bullying, burgeoning sexuality and power struggles that occur in the wilderness retreat of an exclusive boarding school for girls are the themes of her emotionally intense four-parter Bad Behaviour. Screen Australia bankrolled the production, which will screen locally on streamer Stan. VicScreen provided development and production support. Amanda Higgs produced for Universal’s Australian outpost Matchbox Pictures.
Contact: Matchbox Pictures
The Good Mothers (UK-It)
Dirs. Julian Jarrold, Elisa Amoruso
Three women who were born into — and helped bring down — one of Italy’s most vicious and wealthy mafia clans, the ’Ndrangheta, have their story told in this six-part Disney+ original series. Gaia Girace, Valentina Bellè and Barbara Chichiarelli star in the Italian-language drama, which charts the criminal organisation’s downfall in 2010. It is produced by Juliette Howell and Tessa Ross for House Productions (recently snapped up by BBC Studios) and Mario Gianani and Lorenzo Gangarossa for Wildside, a Fremantle company. UK filmmaker Jarrold, whose credits include Kinky Boots and TV series This England, directs alongside Italy’s Amoruso, who makes her series debut.
Dirs. Reema Kagti, Ruchika Oberoi
The first Indian series to premiere at the Berlinale, Roar (Dahaad) is a crime drama that follows a female police officer on the trail of a serial killer in a sleepy town, where women have been found dead under mysterious circumstances. It is directed by Kagti, who co-wrote Zoya Akhtar’s film Gully Boy which screened in Berlinale Special in 2019, and Ruchika Oberoi of Venice award-winner Island City. Sonakshi Sinha takes the lead role and the festival will show two of the series’ eight episodes. Produced by Excel Entertainment and Tiger Baby, it is set for release later this year via Amazon’s Prime Video.
Contact: Excel Entertainment
Dir. Christopher Smith
God’s Own Country star Alec Secareanu headlines this spy drama, which won HBO’s national screenwriting competition in Romania and marks one of the streamer’s final productions from Central and Eastern Europe. Set in 1978, the six-part series centres on a high-ranking spy from the Eastern Bloc who defects to the West. Director Smith’s recent film credits include The Banishing, as well as TV series Alex Rider and Temple. Spy/Master, which filmed in Romania and Hungary, is produced by Proton Cinema and Mobra Films.
Contact: HBO Max
The Swarm (Ger-Belg)
Dirs. Barbara Eder, Luke Watson, Philipp Stölzl
Produced by Game Of Thrones executive producer Frank Doelger and ndF IP’s Eric Welbers, The Swarm is a big-budget environmental sci-fi backed by some of Europe’s leading broadcasters, including ZDF, France Télévisions, Rai and Viaplay Group. Based on Frank Schätzing’s bestseller, it chronicles humankind’s struggle against an unknown enemy that demonstrates swarm intelligence and lives in the depths of the sea. Cécile de France, Alexander Karim, Leonie Benesch and Joshua Odjick lead the cast. Beta Film and ZDF Studios handle world sales.
Contact Beta Film email@example.com; Tina Wagner, ZDF Studios
Why Try To Change Me Now (China)
Dir. Zhang Dalei
This Chinese-language series, a first for the Berlinale Series, is the brainchild of executive producer Diao Yinan, whose Black Coal, Thin Ice took the Golden Bear for best picture in 2014, and director Zhang, whose Day Is Done picked up the Silver Bear for best short film in 2021. Why Try To Change Me Now is adapted from Shuang Xuetao’s novel Moses On The Plain, and features Dong Zijian as a policeman who probes a cold case about a taxi driver’s murder. Backer iQiyi premiered it on its streaming platform in China in January. Zhang also has short film All Tomorrow’s Parties in this year’s Berlinale Shorts competition. His debut feature The Summer Is Gone won best film at the Golden Horse Awards in 2016.
Contact: Bryce Tsao, iQiyi
Profiles by Ellie Calnan, Tim Dams, Patricia Dobson, Sandy George, Jeremy Kay, Rebecca Leffler, Wendy Mitchell, Jean Noh, Michael Rosser, Mona Tabbara, Silvia Wong
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