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Source: HBO

Sidse Babett Knudsen in ‘Westworld’

Danish actress Sidse Babett Knudsen has been announced as patron of the first edition of the Cannes TV festival, Canneseries, due to unfold alongside MIPTV in April 2018.

The Borgen star’s appointment was unveiled at a press conference at sister content market MIPCOM on Monday (Oct 16).

Canneseries president Fleur Pellerin, managing director Benoît Louvet and artistic director Albin Lewi also gave fresh details about the first edition’s main events and calendar.

Running April-11, 2018, the inaugural edition will revolve around four key strands: an Official Competition, the Canneseries digital competition, Canneseries Addict and In Development.

The Official Competition will present 10 world premieres between April 7-11 in the Lumière auditorium of the Palais des Festivals, which hosts the red-carpet screenings during the Cannes Film Festival.

Artistic director Albin Lewi said the selection would hail from around the world and span every genre, every format and every distribution form, without any set quotas.

The screenings of one or two episodes will be available free of charge to all audiences, from industry professionals with MIPTV accreditation, to press and the general public.

Three new high profile series will also be presented Out of Competition.

The Canneseries digital competition will be devoted to short formats, and aimed at putting the spotlight on this innovative new scene.

Canneseries Addict is aimed at the general public. Kicking off April 4, it will consist of free screenings and events in which TV series will be screened on cinema theatre screens throughout Cannes.

The Official Selection and jury members for the two competitions will be announced early in 2018. The Canneseries gala awards ceremony will take place on April 11 and be broadcast live on Canal+.

On the industry side, Canneseries and MIPTV are joining forces to create the In Development event, which they are also calling the Cannes Drama Creative Forum.

The two-day forum will take place April 10-11 in the Gare Maritime next to the Palais des Festivals.

The aim is to bring decision-makers and financing partners – including commissioning editors, distributors, and talent agencies – together with writers and producers to accelerate the development of new international series.

The event will feature pitching sessions for projects at two different stages of development.

There will “early-stage projects”, scouted mainly out of writing residencies and talent agencies, and “programmes in development”, selected through an international call for entries to be a launched in November.

The final selection of projects will be made by a jury of international drama experts from In Development’s dozen-strong advisory board, featuring Studiocanal TV managing director Rola Bauer, Atlantique Productions co-managing director Jimmy Desmarais and BBC Worldwide head of drama Ben Donald.

There will also be roundtable matchmaking meetings, a line-up of panels and keynotes, plus other facilitated networking and one-to-one matchmaking opportunities using dedicated online tools.