SA’s Paradys wins Series Mania award
South African drama Paradys has won the Best Project Award at this week’s Series Mania Forum in Lille, France.
The drama was selected out of 15 projects that were pitched during the event’s Co-pro Pitching Sessions. The jury comprised Noel Hedges, exec VP of acquisitions at transatlantic producer/distributor Entertainment One; Yaël Fogiel, producer, co-founder and co-director at Films du Poisson, France; Daniele Cesarano, head of drama at RTI Mediaset Group in Italy; and Susanne Frank, director of drama at ZDF Enterprises, Germany.
Paradys producer Nimrod Geva of Quizzical Pictures and creator/writer Darrel Bristow-Bovey were presented with a cheque for €50,000 (US$55,000) for winning the competition.
Paradys follows two black police officers called to investigate a murder in Paradys, the last whites-only enclave in South Africa. They must work together to navigate an upside-down world of shifting allegiances, apocalyptic cults and covert interference from the American alt-right to finally uncover a truth that is neither black nor white.
The show’s win was announced by Laurence Herszberg, the founder and general director of Series Mania, and Antony Root, exec VP and head of original production at WarnerMedia EMEA.
Root said: “The jurors were impressed by the wide range and high quality of the 15 pitches they watched from 56 countries. There were some comedies, some dramas, some crime series, some horror series and some futuristic fantasy. Each project was considered for its own intrinsic qualities, for its originality for audiences, and for its potential to travel outside its country of origin.
“The jury’s final decision was unanimous that the award should be given to Paradys from South Africa. The project was presented with passion and precision, and we hope the Series Mania award will allow it to be developed further and start the journey towards production.
“Although the setting is local, we believe the story, its themes and its characters will also resonate for audiences outside South Africa. The country is well known for the high quality of the international productions that shoot there. To see the same standards applied to a distinctive and ambitious local project will be very exciting.”
Paradys was created by Bristow-Bovey and Anton Visser, written by Bristow-Bovey, and produced by Geva for Quizzical Pictures. Avi Nir is the exec producer for Keshet International, which is distributing the series globally.