Bronte sisters drama among Series Mania co-pro pitch finalists

Caroline Franklin and Darcia MArtinA coming-of-age drama about the Bronte sisters from The Fall exec Patrick Irwin is among the series selected for the co-pro pitch competition at Series Mania.   

Six-parter The Bronte Girls is based on the play of the same name by Caroline Kelly Franklin, pictured, left hand side of photo (Last Night at the Carmine) and centres on a fictionalised account of the final summer the novelist sisters Anne, Charlotte and Emily spent together as teenagers.   

Set in the Yorkshire village of Haworth, the series foreshadows the experiences of the various books the sisters went on to write, exploring rebelliousness, passion, sexual tension, gender politics in stark contrast with the expectations for strait-laced Victorian society.   

The project has been developed from Irwin’s Parsonage Productions in association with Germany’s ZDF Studios, with Patty Lenahan Ishimoto, Irwin and Harvey Myman (Miss Scarlet and the Duke) exec producing. Franklin is co-writing with writer-director Darcia Martin, pictured, right hand side of photo (Riches).   

The Bronte Girls sits alongside 14 other international dramas selected from 450 projects spanning 66 countries, in competition to secure €50,000 (£44,510) to help develop the winning series and attract financial partners. A sixteenth project will also be presented out of competition in partnership with the ongoing Berlinale co-production market.   

Other projects include Australian-South African crime drama Cooper, produced by Goalpost Pictures and Quizzical Pictures, Irish-Canadian comedy Our Father from ShinAwil and Reel One Entertainment, and war thriller Unspoken from Ukraine and Poland, produced by Match&Spark, Toy Cinema and 2Brave Productions, which is based on multiple true stories from the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.   

An international jury of industry professionals led by Channel 4 drama chief Caroline Hollick will decide the winner. The remaining jurors feature Rai commissioning editor Michele Zatta, StudioCanal executive managing director of TV series Françoise Guyonnet, YLE head of drama Jarmo Lampela and Lindsey Martin, vice-president of development and co-productions, CBS Studios International.   

Laurence Herszberg, founder and general director of Series Mania, championed the “record number of submissions” with “increasing interest from African countries”.   

“Genres that dominated the selection process this year included thrillers and detective stories followed closely by historical dramas with a strong appeal to the 90s,” she added. “We also received many women-themed stories based on real life events.”    

Selected projects for co-pro pitch competition 

Asma – 8 x 52’ – France 
Genre: Biopic 
Produced by Patricia Boutinard Rouelle for Nilaya Productions 
Written by Antoine Vitkine 

Cooper – 8 x 45’ – Australia, South Africa 
Genre: Crime drama 
Produced by Kylie du Fresne for Goalpost Pictures and Nimrod Geva for Quizzical Pictures  
Written by James McNamara, Amy Jephta and Malla Nunn, based on Malla Nunn Books 

Dust and Coal – 8 x 52’ – Israël, France 
Genre: Psychological thriller 
Produced by Ronen Ben Tal for Bental Productions Ltd and Morgane Le Moine for First Love 
Written by Ronen Ben Tal, Ron Ninio, Ofer Seker and Eleanor Sela 

Executioners – 6 x 60’ – Spain 
Genre : Coming of age, Thriller 
Produced by Alberto Rull for Vertice 360 
Written by Pedro Garcia Rios and Rodrigo Martin 

Fort Apache – 8 x 50’ – Italy 
Genre: Action, Crime 
Produced by Fabrizio Donvito, Marco Cohen, Benedetto Habib, Daniel Campos Pavoncelli for Indiana Production Company 
Executive Producer: Kim Gualino 
Written by Ivano Fachin, Giovanni Galassi and Tommaso Matano 

Hijacking Paradise – 6 x 52’ – Belgium 
Genre: Geopolitical hostage thriller 
Produced by Dimitri Verbeeck for Caviar  
Created by Stijn Deconinck 
Written by Stijn Deconinck & Nathalie Teirlinck 

Yop – 8 x 45’ – Sweden 
Genre: Drama 
Produced by Moa Westeson, Cindy Hanson and Anni Faurbye Fernandez for Nevis Productions 
Written by David Jassy 

Letters to Leonard – 5 x 50’ – Greece 
Genre: Drama, LGBTQIA+ 
Produced by George Linardakis for Stefi Productions 
Written by Fotis Dousos and John Samaras on an idea of Pierros Andrakakos 

Monitor – 6 x 60’ – Germany 
Genre: High-Tech Thriller 
Produced by Fabian Massah & Marc Malze for Endorphine Production  
Created by Nikolai Müllerschön 

Our Father – 8 x 55’ – Ireland, Canada 
Genre : Comedy 
Produced by Aaron Farrell for ShinAwiL and Dominic Scheiber for Reel One Entertainment 
Written by John Cairns and Michael McCartney 

The Bronte Girls – 6 x 60’ – United Kingdom 
Genre: Historical, Coming of age 
Developed by Parsonage Productions Ltd. with ZDF Studios 
Written by Caroline Kelly Franklin 

The Salvatore Mundi Case – 6 x 52’ – France 
Genre: Thriller 
Produced by Florent Gellie for Incognita and Nathanaël La Combe for Wonder Films 
Written by Angela Soupe and Antoine Vitkine 

The Unquiet Dead – 6 x 60’ – Canada 
Genre: Serialized Crime drama 
Produced by Shaftesbury 
Written by Abdul Malik, based on the book series created by Ausma Zehanat Khan 

Unspoken – 6 x 30’ – Ukraine, Poland 
Genre: War thriller 
Produced by Anna Rozalska, Dmytro Sukhanov and Natalia Liber for Match&Spark (Poland), Toy Cinema (Ukraine) and 2Brave Productions (Ukraine). 
Written by Zhanna Ozirna and Filip Syczy?ski 

Vanished – 6 x 45’ – Germany, Iceland 
Genre: Crime, Historical 
Written by Mikael Torfason  
Produced by Britta Hansen and Franziska Lindner for Red Pony Pictures and Ragnheidur Erlingsdottir for Zik Zak Filmworks 
Exec. Producers: Sven Sund (RPP), Thor S. Sigurjónsson (ZZ) and Wolfgang Feindt (ZDF)  

This article first appeared on our sister site, Broadcast.   

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