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MIA 2019

The 2019 edition of the MIA unveils its Drama Series Pitching Forum

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- The fifth edition of the ANICA-run Italian industry event is set to unspool in Rome from 16-20 October

The 2019 edition of the MIA unveils its Drama Series Pitching Forum
Creative duo Fabio Guaglione and Fabio Resinaro, the writers of The System

The Italian Audiovisual Market (MIA), founded and organised by ANICA (and set to unspool from 16-20 October 2019 in Rome), has presented the selection of its Drama Series Pitching Forum. It features 16 shows from the UK, Australia, France, Poland, Italy, the Netherlands and Germany, and reflects a vast array of genres currently in great demand by broadcasters and digital platforms, from political thrillers to horror, from teen dramas to period dramas, and from crime shows to black comedies. In addition to representing a wide range of genres, the selected projects all have something in common: the strong impact of the topics they deal with, which are often hugely urgent and relevant, including environmentalism, adolescent distress, the dangers of virtual reality, the issue of migrants, the growth of populist movements, female empowerment and the impact of social media.

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Brandenburg (BlackBox Multimedia and Open Book Productions) is a “political spy story” based on the bestseller of the same name by Henry Potter. Alex in Wonderland (Psychonaut) is a dark comedy about freedom and rebellion in 1980s London. In Australia’s Perception (Essential Media Group), the creator of the series, Drew Macdonald, breathes life into a complex and highly stratified dramaturgical structure. Lullaby (Black Sheep Films and Bahama Films) is a coming-of-age mystery-drama series co-produced by France and Poland. The System (Colorado Film) is a teen thriller-drama, written by creative duo Fabio Guaglione and Fabio Resinaro. Cagliostro (Cinétévé) is a character-driven French series that tells of the incredible deeds of Giuseppe Balsamo, the Count of Cagliostro. Transparensea (Alauda Films 2 and Makever Madiawan) is an “ocean drama-adventure series” made in collaboration with Jean-Michel Cousteau. Echoes (2CFILM) combines the established structure of a police crime-drama with the story of inexplicable phenomena halfway between mythology and the folklore of Old Europe. Laurene (Les Films du Cygne), written by Richard Bean (an English author and playwright working in France), is a character-driven series that tells the story of a young Romanian woman of Gypsy descent. The Seer of Berlin (eitelsonnenschein GmbH), set in Germany in 1932, is a period drama that mixes the genres of mystery, fantasy, romance, thriller and even a smattering of comedy. Her Horror (RubyRock Pictures and Clipper Media) is a "feminist" anthology series that examines the entire spectrum of the female experience through the prism of horror. The Island (Blackbox Multimedia), created by Lucio Pellegrini, is a gothic series teetering between reality and mystery, with some supernatural elements. Neustart (Clipper Media) tells the incredible story of a German girl who is a hedonist always on the lookout for experiences that push the limits. Radix (Cristaldi Pics), a series set in Italy and Tunisia, homes in on immigration issues through the political noir-thriller genre. Adapted from the novel of the same name by Gilda Piersanti, an Italian author of fiction and TV series currently working in France, Le Saut de Tibere (Urania Pictures) is set in the world of the Camorra. Lastly, Le case del malcontento (Jean Vigo Italia Srl) is a thriller-gothic-horror story, based on the novel by Sacha Naspini, who also wrote the series.

This year’s MIA Doc Pitching Forum segment is particularly well stocked. It will feature 15 projects from seven different countries, with a strong presence of fully Italian-produced or co-produced projects. The Italian titles are: Alla Corte dell'Aga Khan by Lisa Camillo, about the incredible story of the prince’s stay in Sardinia in 1962; Contractors by Antonio Palumbo, reporting on the kidnapping and imprisonment of a group of Italian contractors in Iraq; CINE LIBRE Cinema and Graphic in the Cuban Revolution by Adolfo Conti and Elia Romanelli, about how the movie posters of the Cuban Revolution era influenced graphic design; Alida by Mimmo Verdesca, a portrait of Italian diva Alida Valli, who acts as the narrator of her own story; 2020: Space Beyond by Francesco Cannavà, telling the tale of the space mission undertaken by astronaut Luca Parmitano, selected in collaboration with MEDIA Talents on Tour; Il Posto by Mattia Colombo and Gianluca Matarrese, the story of the open competition for nurses in Northern Italy; and The Secret Archives of the Vatican of the World War II, about the opening of the Vatican Secret Archives, which give scholars access to documents dated before 1939.

Among the co-productions, we find Escaping History by Vittorio Moroni and Cécile Khindria, about the fateful political decisions that can alter the course of history; Hyper Places by Hendrick Dussolier, shot using an immersive 3D technique; and The Foreigner by Matteo Delbo, the coming-of-age story of a university medical student who is to be the first exchange student in Gaza.

Foreign projects include Sweden’s Into the Bank by Eva Hillström and Oscar Hedin, showing the challenges deriving from the conflict between modern capitalism and environmental conscience; the UK’s The Mystery of DB Cooper by John Dower, the extraordinary tale of the only unsolved aeroplane hijacking in US history; France’s The Chavista Revolution in the Land of Oil by Laurence Debray, about life in Venezuela after Chavez’s accession in 1999; and the Finnish-Norwegian title Gold Miners by Inka Achté, telling the story of a family that repatriates, leaving Finland for Somaliland.

Among the selected titles, a particularly strong spotlight will be shone on the Chinese docu-series The Sound of Camel Bell by Liu Yingzhi, stemming from the new partnership between the MIA and GZ DOC, the most prestigious documentary festival in China, chaired by Jun Liu.

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