The Mandalorian

Source: Disney

The Mandalorian

Disney’s Star Wars-spin-off The Mandalorian will open the third edition of Canneseries, running March 27 to April 1 alongside the MIPTV content market, as the event unveiled its full line-up today (February 26).

The series’ big-screen splash in Cannes’s Palais des Festivals will coincide with the launch of the new Disney+ streaming service in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria and Switzerland on March 24. 

One of the most high-profile original series commissioned for the new platform, The Mandalorian is expected to be a big draw for potential subscribers even if it is already available in the US, the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand, where Disney+ was launched at the end of last year.

Canneseries previously announced the closing show is season five of the international French-language hit The Bureau.

Other out of competition highlights include Greg Daniels’s Amazon-backed sci-fi comedy Upload, set in a future where humans can upload themselves into their preferred type of afterlife. 

The competition features 10 new series including the UK relationship comedy Trying, Norwegian World War Two drama Atlantic Crossing and Israel’s Losing Alice, a Faustian tale about a female director in her 40s who becomes obsessed with a young femme fatale. 

Trying, which is written and created by Andy Wolton and directed by Jim O’Hanlon, is Apple’s first UK scripted original. It stars Rafe Spall, Esther Smith and Imelda Staunton.

US film and TV producer Gale Anne Hurd will preside over the jury which comprises Palestinian director Tawfik Abu Wael (Our Boys), musician and former Police drummer Stewart Copeland, French actress Camille Cottin (Call My Agent!), Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa and actress Katja Herbers (Westworld).

David Hasselhoff will be a guest of honour at the festival.

The Canneseries team said the festival had taken special care to achieve diversity and inclusivity across the selection as a signatory of the gender equality festival charter. In the main competition, it said 70% of the selected series would pass the Bechdel test, assessing gender bias in a film or TV series.

It revealed that the selection committee had been given training on how to apply the test and were required to systematically indicate whether a series would pass the test or not. Half the series submitted passed the test. Among the selected competition titles, 30% are created by women, which is higher than the 20% figure for all the submissions.

For the first time, the festival is also teaming with the Women Of Cinema Lab, which already works with festivals like Les Arcs, for a special workshop on how “to develop diversity in screenplays” and a masterclass by Vernon Subutex writer and director Cathy Verney.

“With its first two editions, Canneseries offered a preview of series that went on to become major global events when they aired internationally,” said Canneseries artistic director Albin Lewi, citing Vernon Subutex, When Heroes Fly, Killing Eve and Years and Years. “Canneseries’ aim is to showcase creative, daring and innovative series in all formats in the magical setting of the Palais des Festivals.” 

The event’s managing director Benoît Louvet highlighted two new initiatives: a new dedicated space for the public and press by Cannes’ port-side Gare Maritime called Canneseries Land and the Canneseries Writers Club, dedicated to the art of screenwriting. 

Running March 31 to April, the latter initiative will host some 40 screenwriters over two days for a series of masterclasses and roundtables in English and French. Participants will include Eric Rochant (The Bureau) Fanny Herrero (Call My Agent!) and Benjamin Dupas (Vampires).

Louvet said the club would be a “hub of creative effervescence for screenwriters to help them to continue to tell stories that stay with us  after the credits roll.”   

The 2020 line-up: 

Out Of Competition

The Walking Dead (US)
Creators: Scott M. Gimple, Matt Negrete.
Cast: Alexa Mansour, Aliyah Royale, Hal Cumpston, Nicolas Cantu, Annet Mahendru, Nico Tortorella, Julia Ormond.
Broadcaster: AMC (USA, Canada), AMCNI (AmLat, Ibéria), Amazon Prime Video (rest of the world)
Production and sales: AMC Studios

Upload (US)
Creator: Greg Daniels
Cast: Robbie Amell, Andy Allo, Kevin Bigley, Allegra Edwards, Zainab Johnson
Broadcaster: Amazon Prime Video
Production: Amazon Studios, Greg Daniels & Howard Klein 

All The Way Up (Validé) (France)
Creators: Franck Gastambide, Charles Van Tieghem, Xavier Lacaille, Giulio Callegari
Cast: Hatik, Brahim Bouhlel, Saïdou Camara, Sabrina Ouazani, Moussa Mansaly, Franck Gastambide.
Broadcaster: Canal+
Production: Mandarin TV
Sales: Canal+ 

The Mandalorian (US) opening series
Creator: Jon Favreau
Cast: Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, Carl Weathers, Werner Herzog, Nick Nolte, Emily Swallow, Taika Waititi, Giancarlo Esposito, Omid Abtahi
Production: Lucasfilm
Broadcaster: Disney+

The Bureau (France) closing series
Creator: Eric Rochant
Cast: Mathieu Kassovitz, Mathieu Amalric, Florence Loiret Caille, Sara Giraudeau, Louis Garrel,
Production: The Oligarchs Productions, Federation Entertainment
Broadcaster: Canal+ 


257 Reasons to live (Russia)
Creator: Alexey Lyapichev
Cast: Polina Maksimova, Egor Koreshkov, Marusya Fomina, Maksim Lagashkin, Julia Topolnitskay
Production: Yellow, Black and White,Start, Super Production
Sales: Beta 

Atlantic Crossing (Norway)
Creator: Alexander Eik
Cast: Kyle Maclachlan, Sofia Helin, Tobias Santelmann, Harriet Sansom Harris, Søren Pilmark
Production: Cinenord in co-production with Beta Film
Broadcaster: NRK
Sales: Beta 

Dignity (Chile, Germany)
Creators: Maria Elena Wood, Patricio Pereira
Cast: Marcel Rodriguez, Götz Otto, Devid Striesow, Jennifer Ulrich, Martina Klier, Nils Rovira-Muñoz, Antonia Zegers
Production: Story House Pictures and Invercine & Wood in co-production with Chilean television fund CNTV, MEGA
Broadcaster: Joyn (Germany), MEGA (Chile)
Sales: Red Arrow Studios International 

Kidnapping (Denmark, France)
Creator: Torleif Hoppe
Cast: Anders W. Berthelsen, Charlotte Rampling, Zofia Wichlacz, Olivia Joof Lewerissa, Nicolas Bro
Production: Nordisk Film, FrenchKiss Pictures, TV2 Danmark, ARTE France
Broadcaster: TV2, ARTE, NRK, YLE, SVT RÜV
Sales: Newen Distribution 

Losing Alice | (Israel)
Creator: Sigal Avin
Cast: Ayelet Zurer, Lihi Kornovski, Gal Toren Yossi Marshak, Shai Avivi
Production: Dori Media Darset
Broadcaster: HOT
Sales: Dori Media International 

Man in Room 301 (Finland)
Cast: Antti Virmavirta, Kaija Pakarinen, Jussi Vatanen, Pöysti Leena, Andrei Alén
Production: Warner Bros. Television, Wall to Wall
Broadcaster: Elisa Viihde
Sales: About Premium Content  

Partisan (Sweden)
Creators: Amir Chamdin and Fares Fares, based on an original idea of Mauricio Molinari, Direction: Amir Chamdin
Cast: Fares Fares, Johan Rheborg
Production: Warner Bros. ITVP Sverige AB, Johanna Wennerberg
Broadcaster: Viaplay
Sales: Federation Entertainment 

The Grave (Israel)
Creator: Omri Givon
Cast: Nadav Nates, Michal Kalman, Tzahi Halevi, Shalom Michaelshvili, Liana Ayun
Production: Drama Team, Federation Entertainment
Broadcaster: Keshet Broadcasting
Sales: Federation Entertainment  

Top Dog (Sweden)
Creators: Veronica Zacco, Jens Lapidus
Cast: Josefine Asplund, Alexej Manvelov, Joel Spira, Christian Hillborg, Peter Gardiner
Production: Filmlance, TV4/C MORE, ZDF and ZDF Enterprises GmbH
Broadcaster: ZDFneo, TV4 Sweden
Sales: ZDF Enterprises 

Trying (UK)
Creator: Andy Wolton
Cast: Rafe Spall, Esther Smith, Imelda Staunton, Ophilia Lovibond, Oliver Chris
Production: BBC Studios
Original Content: Apple TV+