Power Play

Source: © Motlys - Erika Hebbert 2022

Power Play

Norwegian political satire Power Play was named best series as the sixth annual Canneseries (April 14-19) came to a close on the Riveria.

The series from Norway’s NRK was the last of the 10-strong competition titles to screen at the six-day event, but triumphed with the festival’s top prize in addition to the award for best music that jury member and The Police drummer Stewart Copeland called “downright revolutionary”.

Power Play is based on the true story of the bid to become prime minster by pro-abortion ecologist politician Gro Harlem Brundtland in the 1970’s and 1980’s. REInvent is handling international sales for the production from Motlys / Novemberfilm.

Paramount+ South Korean crime thriller series Bargain won the best screenplay award. The series follows a human organ trafficking ring and its targets who have to escape a sudden earthquake.

Produced by SLL and Climax Studio, the series premiered on Korea’s TVING and will be released in the coming months on Paramount+ globally with Paramount Global Content Distribution handling sales.

Israeli actress Dar Zuzovsky won the best performance prize for her role in Hadas Ben Aroya’s Curduroy from Banijay’s MoviePlus Productions which was broadcast on HOT in Israel.

Also earning accolades from Israel was Carthago, which won the best acting award for the ensemble cast. Based on a true story, the series set in a Second World War prison camp in Africa was co-created by Reshef Levi, who won best performance at Canneseries in 2019 for Nehama.

Carthago is produced by 24 Drafts Studios, Yoav Gross and Levi and broadcast on KAN 11. Ehud Bleiberg and UTA Independent Film Group handle international sales.

Israeli actor Lior Raz, best known for Fauda  and Hit & Run, presided over the international competition jury alongside Copeland, Irish actor Daryl McCormack, Algerian-born, France-based actress Shirine Boutella, and French actress-director Zabou Breitman/

Six-part documentary series Draw For Change about female cartoonists across the globe was named best documentary series in the festival’s first competition dedicated to the non-fiction format.

Draw For Change prevailed over five other series in the running for the top prize. Oscar-winning UK filmmaker Asif Kapadia led the jury alongside journalist and producer Melissa Theuriau and writer-director Nathalie Marchak. Spanish series The Left-Handed Son won the prize for best short- form series.

US actress-producer Sarah Michelle Gellar won the career Icon Award, sponsored by Canal+.

The prize ceremony was followed by the international premiere of episodes from the fifth and final season of Prime Video’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Cast members Rachel Brosnahan, Alex Borstein, Tony Shalhoub, Michael Zegen, Marin Hinkle, Caroline Aaron and Kevin Pollak joined the show’s creative team Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino for the series’ farewell tour.

Just before the ceremony Brosnahan cemented her handprints to remain forever on Cannes’s walk of fame, the “Chemin des Étoiles”.

Shalhoub took to the stage in the Palais Lumiere before the screening and said, “We are delighted and insanely proud to be doing it here in this historic place”. He then uttered the show’s signature catch phrase “Tits up!”, which he said was “our creators’ way to say find your voice, go after your dreams and, while you’re at it, try to break every single rule there is”.

Launched in 2018, the festival has become a strategic launching pad for international series, with 30,000 public and professional attendees this year. 

The festival opened with end-of-the-world event series Silo produced for Apple TV+ by AMC Studios and also featured a bevy of high-profile screenings in and out of competition including Prime Video’s Dead Ringers, Paramount+’s Fatal Attraction, Netflix’s Tapie, and Showmax-Canal+ series Spinners produced by Federation Studios’ Empreinte Digitale.

Canneseries x MIP Connection programme, now in its second edition, brought “the top 50 executives in the industry in the world who matter” according to the event’s artistic director Albin Lewi, for round tables, cocktails and networking events.

The parallel MIPTV market, focused on non-fiction series, also closed on April 19. Onsite participation rose 22% year-on-year for what was it’s 60th edition. Organisers RX France confirmed 5,650 participants from 86 countries including 5,510 in person in Cannes.