Course corrections and budget recalibrations notwithstanding, the business of international drama is still vibrant and healthy, from twisty crime thrillers to uplifting family dramedies and everything in between. You’ll find an abundance of non-English-language scripted series on offer at MIPCOM, and we’ve highlighted a small selection of the best below. Clicking on each show title below will take you directly to the trailer.
ZDF Studios has been rolling out a string of high-impact, ambitious dramas as of late, including the six-part Boundless—Magellan’s and Elcano’s Journey to the Edge of the Earth. “The producers secured top-class talent on- and off-screen to do this epic story justice,” says Susanne Frank, Director Drama. “The high production value throughout makes this a premium ‘must-watch’ series that will captivate audiences around the world.” Frank also highlights the second season of the horror anthology Stories to Stay Awake, the reboot of the iconic Spanish series from the 1960s.
ORF-Enterprise is bringing a diverse slate to MIPCOM that includes a new coming-of-age drama, School of Champions, set at a ski academy. “In this intense setting, the students navigate the thin line between love and jealousy, loyalty and betrayal, ambition and frustration in eight exciting episodes,” says Armin Luttenberger, head of content sales international. It is “a creative collaboration of young filmmakers, an established Austrian production company and three public broadcasters.”
While best known for its lineup of British drama, All3Media International has been steadily expanding its international lineup and arrives in Cannes with a new series from Wales, Tree on A Hill (Pren ar y Bryn), “the latest drama from the brilliant team at Fiction Factory, whose celebrated drama Hinterland (Y Gwyll) established Welsh noir as an internationally recognized genre,” says Lauren Jackson, VP of scripted content at All3Media International. “Set against the atmospheric Brecon Beacons, this anticipated series delivers a rich mix of dark humor, unique characters and a touch of the absurd as it follows the lives of two unlikely heroes whose quiet existence is changed in an instant when they find themselves on the wrong side of the law.” The company is also offering up two Nordic thrillers: Black Sands (Svörtu Sandar) and Blinded (Fartblinda).
Crime and suspense are also on the ZDF Studios lineup, with offerings such as White Night, a 12-part drama set in two different time periods. “A family struggling to cope with an imbalance of power wielded by a person who is no longer alive, interwoven with a murder mystery, makes for a compelling series,” says Mirela Nastase, Director Drama.
Bavaria Media International is showcasing a thriller with a more comedic bent in Dead End—The Sworn Sisters of Suburbia, which has two seasons available. “Dead End blends tension, dry humor and feminist relatability in a universal manner,” says Helge Köhnen, head of content sales. “The production quality mimics and updates popular narratives known since Desperate Housewives with international grace.”
Turkish drama continues to find new fans worldwide, and Global Agency heads to MIPCOM with two buzzy new highlights. Flipping the script on traditional love stories, Another Love sees a prosecutor and an investigative journalist find each other as they search for a serial killer. Izzet Pinto, founder and CEO, also highlights a second season of One Love, calling it a “powerful drama” about two people who seek to overcome their differences and find harmony.”
Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) is looking forward to introducing clients to its new slate, which includes the youthful love story Come What May, tackling “contemporary themes such as social media addiction, family dynamics, generational clashes and parent-child relationships,” says Mustafa Ilbeyli, director of advertising and sales. My Lovely Family is set “in a harmonious yet playfully conflicted atmosphere,” Ilbeyli says. “It underlines the enduring importance of family and the comforting embrace of a shared home, whatever the circumstances.”
Another key highlight in the International Drama Screenings Festival is ZDF Studios’ sci-fi-tinged YA drama, Feelings. “The mystery and coming-of-age series is set in a fictional village in the middle of a mystical forest that shakes the boundaries of reality and tells stories about friendship, love, self-doubt and the great magic of feelings,” says Sebastian Krekeler, Director Drama.
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