Pension reform protesters break into the violet carpet at the Series Mania festival on March 21 in Lille, France

Source: Courdji Sebastien/ABACA/Shutterstock

Pension reform protesters break into the violet carpet at the Series Mania festival on March 21 in Lille, France

The civil unrest that has been dogging France spilled over into Lille yesterday, with protestors disrupting the Series Mania Festival purple carpet resulting in heavy police presence in the French city.

Demonstrators have been turning out in cities across the country following a decision by president Emanuel Macron to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 without a vote in parliament.

In Lille, protestors attempted to break through barriers onto the Series Mania Festival purple carpet yesterday, with security guards and officials attempting to stop them.

Riot police were called to the scene and there was a heavy police presence with multiple police vans captured.

Elsewhere, transport issues are playing havoc for delegates with a general strike planned for Thursday in France – the last day of the Series Mania Forum – impacting Eurostar services in and out of the city. French rail service SNCF is also gearing up for disruptions. Series Mania Festival ends on Friday 24 March.

A statement from the festival organisers is expected soon.

Ukraine drama wins co-pro pitching session

Poland-Ukraine drama Unspoken has won the Series Mania Forum co-pro pitching award.

Produced by Match&Spark, Toy Cinema and 2Brave Productions, Unspoken is based on multiple true stories from the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. It is produced by Dmytro Sukhanov, Natalia Libet and Anna Rożalska and t is written by by Zhanna Ozirna and Filip Syczyński.

An international jury led by Channel 4 drama chief Caroline Hollick honoured Unspoken, which comes with a €50,000 prize, for its “raw, emotional intensity”.

“The powerful, relatable tale of a father prepared to go to any lengths to save his family was a bold and original take on the most urgent subject matter of our time,” Hollick said.

Also in contention was UK project The Bronte Girls, from The Fall exec producer Patrick Irwin, Patty Ishimoto and Harvey Myman, in association with Germany’s ZDF Studios.

This story first appeared on Screen’s sister site Broadcast.