Berlinale Series Unveils Eight World Premieres & TV Jury

Seven premiering productions will compete for the Berlinale Series Award next month, with one further world exclusive launch screening out of competition.

The winner of the Berlinale Series Award, which was created in cooperation with Deadline, will be chosen on at a presentation ceremony taking place on Wednesday, February 22, by an international jury consisting of actor André Holland (The EddyBones and All; Moonlight); international exec Dana Stern, who founded Shtisel, and Your Honor firm Yes Studios; and screenwriter Mette Heeno, who created  Splitting Up Together and Snow Angels.

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In its ninth edition, the Berlin Film Festival TV screenings will in total present eight world and international premieres, with projects from India, China, Italy and Romania included from the likes of Disney+ and HBO Max.

Among those fronting these shows are Silver Bear winner Zhang Dalei, who returns to Berlin after winning for his short Day is Done in 2020, and buzzy international co-productions featuring German-speaking talents Leonie Benesch and Svenja Jung.

The screenings comprise HBO Max’s Eastern Europe-shot Cold War thriller Spy/Master, about a double agent caught between systems connects to viewers’ experience of current crises; Dalei’s Why Try to Change Me Now, which recreates the “evolving city landscapes and fickleness of human nature in early ‘90s China”; and Stan’s Australian show Bad Behaviour, in which a young woman has to question her subjective memories when she is confronted with a new interpretation of her past.

Several premieres feature female protagonists. Indian series Dahaad (Roar), from Excel Media & Entertainment and Tiger Baby follows a young, emancipated policewoman, and “asks uncomfortable questions about society’s treatment of women, deviant beliefs, norms and traditions, while Disney+’s The Good Mothers explores the “long overlooked wives and daughters of the familiar mafiosi characters who bring down a patriarchal network of violence, silence and oppression.”

Also on the list is Danish comedy series Agent, a TV 2 series whose high profile cast includes Esben Smed, Ulrich Thomsen and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, while Arkitekten (The Architect) depicts a “hypergentrified future in which there are no public places or opportunities for social advancement without giving up one’s physical or psychological integrity.”

Der Schwarm (The Swarm), which Deadline picked as one to watch last year, will screen out of competition, as revealed in December.

“Blueprints for the future – realistic and gloomy, humorous or hopeful – are a guiding theme of the 2023 series selection,” comments Julia Fidel, director of Berlinale Series. “Scenarios of a world dramatically unbalanced by changes in the meteorological and social climate, pleas for social change embedded in genre narratives as well as reinterpretations of the recent past – the current productions are politically sober, committed to the present and future oriented.”

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