Series Mania Melbourne returns online

TV festival pivots to online and opens with Total Control S2 for free -but you will need to register.

TV festival Series Mania Melbourne is returning in October, moving to a free, 4-day event online, available across Australia.

The ACMI / Film Victoria / Series Mania France event shines the spotlight on television and its creatives from 14 – 17 October. An Industry Day will also be held as an online conference.

Amongst the highlights this year are the first two episodes of Total Control S2, the premiere of ABC comedy Preppers, French drama L’Opera and South Korea’s Hellbound.

“Whether you’re a voracious consumer of television or a creator with a story idea to launch into the small-screen stratosphere, Series Mania Melbourne is the television event of the year for Victoria’s screen industry,” said Film Victoria CEO Caroline Pitcher. “We can’t wait to reveal this year’s mega line-up of talent from across the globe who will deliver a jam-packed program of talks and masterclasses for Screen Industry Day.”

“We are delighted to be partnering with Film Victoria to present this year’s Series Mania Melbourne, a festival dedicated to TV and the latest binge-worthy series,” said ACMI Director and CEO Katrina Sedgwick OAM: “With a rich and diverse program providing exclusive first access to some of the most anticipated and finest screen content from across the globe, it is wonderful to be opening this year’s festival with the premiere of highly anticipated second series of Australian political drama Total Control.”

“Victoria is the creative state, with a strong screen industry and culture, and a proud track record in TV production. All this makes us the natural home for Series Mania’s only festival outside of Europe,” said Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson. “Series Mania Melbourne is about more than exploring the latest in local and international TV, through its industry day it also develops our screen sector and our next generation of talent.”

A limited number of streams for the public screening sessions will be available for pre booking for ACMI Members from 11am Tuesday 28 September. Bookings for public screening sessions will open to the public from 11am Wednesday 29 September. All events are free. Streaming numbers are limited and bookings are essential.

The free Screen Industry Day program will be released on 1 October.

Originating and held annually in France, Series Mania Melbourne is Australia’s edition of the world-renowned premiere festival of TV, with Melbourne the only city to host the festival outside of Europe.

With a program built around what is happening next in the TV landscape, we are delighted to unveil this year’s 11 series that form the full public screenings program. The festival will kick off with the first two episodes of the highly anticipated second season of Australian political drama Total Control, starring multi award-winning actors Deborah Mailman and Rachel Griffiths which picks up where Senator Alex Irving’s (Mailman) crusade left off, as she vies to hold everyone to account. The remaining episodes are coming soon to the ABC in 2021.

Series Mania Melbourne offers Australian audiences access to free screenings and talks, premiering some of the best new drama, comedy, and web series from Australia and around the globe.

The festival also features a dedicated industry program through its Screen Industry Day on 14 October – a full day of craft focused panels, keynotes, and masterclasses with the world’s leading creators, showcasing Victoria as a global destination for screen, and Australia’s natural home of high-end TV. The Screen Industry Day program will be announced on 1 October.

ACMI and Film Victoria are proud to present the festival in Melbourne, with this year’s program going 100% online. The public screenings program will be available on ACMI’s Cinema 3, and the Screen Industry Day will be available via an online conference platform.

Highlights from the public screenings program include:

Hellbound (South Korea) – direct from its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, this is the first live-action series from director Yeon Sang-ho and marks the highly anticipated follow-up to his Cannes favourite Train to Busan (2016) and its sequel Peninsula (2020).

L’Opera (France), winner of the Best Actress Award at Series Mania France for star Ariane Labed’s (The Lobster, Trigonometry) performance in an immersive journey through Paris’ prestigious ballet company, told through the eyes of two dancers.

Preppers (Australia), a brand-new comedy series from writers/creators Nakkiah Lui and Gabriel Dowrick, which centres around a young Australian Aboriginal woman named Charlie (Nakkiah), who finds herself at the centre of a mismatched community of doomsday preppers – also starring Meyne Wyatt, Ursula Yovich and Jack Charles.

Further series screening in the program include:

The Panthers (NZ), a limited series based on the true story of the Polynesian Panthers, that is an exquisite period drama that energises, illuminates, and riles up the rabble-rouser within.
Hamlet (Turkey), an adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic tale of betrayal and revenge, that shifts to modern-day Turkey.

Furia (Norway), a new Nordic-Noir crime series that explores the darkness lurking under the surface of an idyllic town in the fjords of western Norway.

Dark Soul (Canada), a limited series which follows a family mourning the loss of their son Jérémy in a high school shooting incident, as a quietly efficient coroner begins her inquest.

Short form series screening in the program include:

Happiness (Iran), a captivating tale of a teenage girl’s journey, as she embarks on a road trip across Iran with two friends and a stranger, in a van full of contraband wine.

Family Portrait (South Korea), featuring a colour palette and staging that would make Wes Anderson proud, in a hilariously fast-paced short-form series about a family navigating the complexities of their lives.

Something Undone (Canada), a minimalistic chamber thriller, following a foley artist who while settling into her estranged mother’s estate, is consumed by a dark family secret.

Netflix Australia is a proud Supporting Partner of Series Mania Melbourne, committed to championing local talent and production.

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