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Jan 17, 2019

Berlinale Series 2019: Innovative Formats and Long-Awaited Highlights in the Programme’s Fifth Year

The fifth year of the Berlinale Series programme will see seven drama series from Denmark, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Israel, Austria and Sweden celebrating their premieres at the Zoo Palast. The rapid development of episodic content in Europe is reflected in this year’s Berlinale Series programme. Blockbusters and film classics have been re-interpreted and bestselling books brought vividly to the big screen, while well-known series are back at the Berlinale with exciting new stories.
In addition to the classic motifs of love and relationships, crime and terror, and wealth and power, the subject of flight runs like a thread through the line-up. Flight from reality, the past, or the future. Flight from love, from the known, and from the unknown. And flight from our own actions – whether already taken or yet to play out.

Berlinale Series will show the first two episodes of each series, and repeat screenings will provide audiences with a chance to see them at the Zoo Palast venue. The festival will show all four episodes of the French miniseries Il était une seconde fois (Twice Upon a Time) starring Gaspard Ulliel. And once again this year, a series will be screened at a venue in a local Berlin neighbourhood. M – Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder (M - A City Hunts a Murderer) will be shown at the Blauer Stern cinema in Pankow as part of the Berlinale Goes Kiez programme. Episodic fans can look forward to the reunion of Joel Kinnaman and Mireille Enos, who will be on hand to present Hanna alongside young talent Esmé Creed-Miles.

Meanwhile, two tried and true series return as anthologies to Berlinale Series, with Bedrag III (Follow the Money III) and False Flag 2.

Berlinale Series programme 2019:

Hanna – United Kingdom
Director: Sarah Adina Smith (Legion, Room 104, Buster's Mal Heart)
Cast: Esmé Creed-Miles, Joel Kinnaman, Mireille Enos
Broadcaster: Amazon Prime Video

In this long-awaited British series, a 14-year-old girl goes out into the world after years of isolation. Trained by her father to be a highly-skilled assassin, she has never learned how to interact with other people. She embarks on a journey across Europe and, in the process, becomes both the hunter and the hunted.

M – Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder (M - A City Hunts a Murderer) - Austria
Director: David Schalko (Braunschlag, Old Money)
Cast: Sarah Viktoria Frick, Verena Altenberger, Christian Dolezal, Gerhard Liebmann, Lars Eidinger, Sophie Rois, Moritz Bleibtreu, Bela B Felsenheimer, Udo Kier
Broadcaster: ORF, TV NOW

In David Schalko’s interpretation of the classic film M, the hunt is on again, this time in snow-covered Vienna. As more and more children disappear, opportunistic politicians shift blame back and forth and in the end everyone becomes a suspect. A mysterious clown whistles a haunting melody that draws everyone in – including the audience.

Il était une seconde fois (Twice Upon A Time) - France
Director: Guillaume Nicloux (The Nun, The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq)
Cast: Gaspard Ulliel, Freya Mavor
Broadcaster: ARTE

Vincent is unable to get out from under the spell of a simple, square box that allows him to travel back to an alternative past. He will risk everything to try to save his lost love.

Störst av allt (Quicksand) - Sweden
Directors: Per-Olav Sørensen (Nobel)
Cast: Hanna Ardéhn, Felix Sandman, William Spetz, David Dencik, Reuben Sallmander
Broadcaster: Netflix

This first Swedish original series for Netflix is a tale of how far a person will go for somebody else. Based on the book of the same name, the series is the story of a mass shooting at an elite prep school and the accused perpetrator Maja. At trial, attempts to understand her motives and to identify the guilty pull the audience deeper into Maja’s world and reveal that she is hiding not only from reality, but also from her family and friends.

8 Tage (8 Days) - Germany
Creators: Rafael Parente (Welcome to Hindafing, Blockbustaz), Peter Kocyla (Die Chefin, Cold Shadows)
Directors: Stefan Ruzowitzky (Anatomy, The Counterfeiters), Michael Krummenacher (Sibylle, Wonderland)
Cast: Christiane Paul, Mark Waschke, Lena Klenke, Fabian Hinrichs, Nora Waldstätten, Devid Striesow, Henry Hübchen, Murathan Muslu, David Schütter, Luisa-Céline Gaffron, Claude Heinrich
Broadcaster: Sky Deutschland

The German entry in the programme is about flight from reality. As an asteroid hurtles towards the Earth, a family in Berlin tries to reach safety. The enthralling narrative confronts audiences with the question –what would I do?

False Flag 2 - Israel
Creators: Maria Feldman (Fauda, Absentia) & Leora Kamenetzky (Fauda, Reds)
Director: Oded Ruskin (The Baker and the Beauty, Absentia)
Cast: Miki Leon, Hanna Azoulay Hasfari, Neta Riskin, Yiftach Klein, Yousef (Joe) Sweid, Lihi Kornowski, Moran Rosenblatt, Hani Furstenberg, Angel Bonanni
Broadcaster: Keshet Broadcasting

The Israeli series starts with a bang, with an explosion catapulting the audience into the lives of three suspects believed to have blown up an Israeli-Turkish oil pipeline on the day it opened. The attack has consequences at the highest political levels, but it also sends the lives of the series’ protagonists and their families into a tailspin.

Bedrag III (Follow the Money III) - Denmark
Creator: Jeppe Gjervig Gram (Borgen)
Director: Søren Balle (Norskov, Ride Upon the Storm)
Cast: Thomas Hwan, Esben Smed, Maria Rich
Broadcaster: DR1

A Nordic Noir story of corruption, money laundering, and identity theft. While a detective on the verge of burnout and a control freak criminal play a game of cat and mouse, we meet a bank employee who has been passed over for promotion so often that she makes a spur of the moment decision to use her skills in a more productive manner.

“Drama Series Days” 2019:
Alongside Berlinale Series, the festival will also host the “Drama Series Days” for the fifth time this year from February 11 – 13, a joint initiative of the European Film Market, Berlinale Co-Production Market, and Berlinale Talents. The industry conference focuses on current issues and trends in the global streaming and TV sector and will be presented as part of the European Film Market. Among the highlights of the “Drama Series Days” this year are expert panel discussions, showcases of brand-new series from Germany, Denmark, Norway, Turkey, and Spain as well as a roundtable with Netflix' international content team. Invited industry representatives and/or potential co-production partners can discover new episodic projects by Michael Krummenacher (8 Days) and David Schalko (M – Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder) at the “Co-Pro Series” event on February 12. Series creators, buyers, sellers, producers, commissioning editors, and financers will be invited to the Zoo Palast for discussions and networking. The official partner of the “Drama Series Days” 2019 at the European Film Market is the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. The platform is supported by the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, and backed by the Norwegian Film Institute (NFI), German Films, and the law offices of UNVERZAGT VON HAVE.
Please find the detailed programme of the 2019 Drama Series Days on

Press Office
January 17, 2019