Taiwan will be out in force at Series Mania with its first drama in the festival’s international competition, a new workshop for Asian writers and producers and a diverse pitching session.

'Three Tears in Borneo'

Source: PTS Taiwan

‘Three Tears in Borneo’

Taiwan is set to make its debut in the International Panorama Competition of this year’s Series Mania, Europe’s largest festival for series and scripted TV.

Three Tears In Borneo is a historical war drama that follows three brothers from Taiwan who are enlisted in the Imperial Japanese Army to guard its prisoners of war in the tropical forest in Borneo, Malaysia. It is a poignant story about the horrors of military conflict and loss of innocence, providing a new perspective on the fighting in Southeast Asia during the Second World War.

After its world premiere at Series Mania, which runs March 15-22 in Lille, France, the five-episode series will be broadcast in August by Taiwan’s Public Television Service (PTS Taiwan). The Taiwanese public broadcaster also handles international sales.

The cast is led by Wu Han, Huang Guan-Zhi and Jhu Yu-Cheng. It is directed by Sun Chieh-heng and co-produced by Unseen Film Studio and Sweet Tongue Production Ltd. Producers are Inch Lin, Phil Tang and Sun. Tang, who is known for Net­flix’s The Victims’ Game and Copycat Killer as well as PTS Taiwan’s Gold Leaf, will also attend the festival as a panel speaker for the session ‘Series for Global Platform: Understanding the Stake of Owning the IPs’, which forms part of the Forum programme.

Building bridges

A further highlight for Taiwan this year is the inaugural Serial Bridges Workshop, a new initiative between Series Mania and Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA) that aims to strengthen the dramaturgical skills of Asian scriptwriters and producers and enhance their understanding of international financing and their ability to source co-­production opportunities for their projects.

It was announced by Series Mania general director Laurence Herszberg at Taiwan Creative Content Fest (TCCF), an audiovisual event organised by TAICCA last year. She said at the launch: “We’re delighted to be able to put our school’s expertise at the service of the development of international co-productions, which is a real recognition of our know-how.”

The workshop will take place at the Series Mania Institute, which was established in 2021 as the first school entirely dedicated to training around TV series. The workshop will take place over several sessions, with the last at the next TCCF in Taipei this November.

The Serial Bridges Workshop includes four Taiwanese projects: All Right, produced by Cheng Yi-Ping and written by Cari Chang; Till You Do Us Apart, produced by Michelle Kuo and written by Peggy Chiu; Millennium Town, produced by Patrick Mao Huang and written by Francois Chang; and Asphyxia, produced by Li Yu-Pei and written by Yu-Heng Vivienne Li.

The selection also includes Taiwan-Japan­-Philippines co-­production The Last Children Of Tokyo, produced by Ivy Yu-Hua Shen and written by Malaysia- and Japan-based Edmund Yeo, and Indonesian production Toilet Tales, produced by Dimitri Hariastuti and written by Devina Sofiyanti.

Shining a spotlight

Following a successful launch last year, the Taiwan Spotlight Pitching Session will once again be held at Series Mania. Scheduled for March 19, five diverse series projects developed by Taiwanese producers will be presented on stage to French and international buyers, co-financiers and co-­producers, who are also able to learn more about co-­production opportunities with Taiwan. This programme will close with a networking cocktail reception.

Projects include Maid Of Vengeance, winner of the Series Mania Award at last year’s TCCF, a revenge thriller developed by producers Michelle Yeh and Lyn Fang; and Ages Of Flora, a healing story about different female roles in life directed by Teng I-Han whose Fragrance Of The First Flower screened at Series Mania in 2021.

Further pitching projects include Seven Sins: Greed Kills, adapted from a real department store explosion case in Taiwan; Our Quiet Days, about a pregnant female forensic doctor with a complex life experience; and No Heroes, set under the Japanese colonisation era during the Second World War where Taiwanese soldiers impersonate a Japanese officer to rescue prisoners of war.

The Series Mania Forum programme will also feature San Lin as a speaker on the panel Spot the New Voices for Adaptation: Cartoons, First Roman, Manga, Non-Fiction, Digital New Romance. Lin, who is head of film and TV and senior film agent at The Grayhawk Agency, will provide insight on the dynamic market for book adaptations in Taiwan.


Find out more: pavilion.taicca.tw/2024-seriesmania