TV Festival ‘Series Mania’ Founder Laurence Herszberg to Relocate the Parisian Festival to Lille, France

PARIS & LILLE, FRANCE – July 6, 2017 – Laurence Herszberg, founder of Series Mania, and Xavier Bertrand, President of the Hauts-de-France region, announced today that they have joined forces and will be launching Series Mania in Lille, France in April 2018. Series Mania, set for April 20 – 28, will take on a new dimension with an increased budget, more screening rooms, as well as The European Project and Talent Market, a new business initiative.  The industry arm of the Series Mania Festival, the Co-Production Forum, is set for April 23 – 25.

Ms. Herszberg will be stepping down from her position as General Director of Forum des Images to assume the helm of Series Mania in Lille. The decision taken follows a nationwide competition to establish the city that would host a new, global series festival in France. The new edition of Series Mania will be backed by France’s government via the CNC (Centre National du Cinéma), the Hauts-de-France region, and the city of Lille. In addition to Ms. Herszberg, Frederic Lavigne, Artistic Director of Series Mania, Francesco Capurro, Head of the Co-Production Forum, and the Head of Production Jeff Bledsoe, will now oversee Series Mania in Lille.

“Less than an hour from Paris, Lille’s central location and proximity to Belgium, the UK, Germany, and the Scandinavian countries makes it an ideal host for Series Mania,” commented Mr. Bertrand.

“Lille is a city where we are currently witnessing enormous creativity and strength in business development. Thanks to the funding from the government, as well as the support of the CNC and the Hauts-de-France region, Lille will give Series Mania the opportunity to flourish and take this must-attend event to new levels,” stated Ms. Herszberg.

“On the Co-Production Forum front, we will be introducing ‘The European Project and Talent Market’ in Lille,” added Ms. Herszberg.  “Since 2013 the Series Mania European Co-Production Forum has proven to be the preeminent meeting place in Europe to co-finance TV series projects in development. ‘The European Project and Talent Market’ will now go a step further to create a unique marketplace not only to find projects in development but also to meet original talent and gifted scriptwriters, to discover new series available for the international market, to network with the best European enterprises, to offer an intense program of pitching sessions, training programs, Film & TV School presentations, conferences... all in one exceptional hubidentifying the best content yet to come.”

Ms. Herszberg is credited with starting the Series Mania Festival in 2009 in collaboration with artistic director Frederic Lavigne while both at Forum des Images. The event, along with the Co-Production Forum which began in 2013 as part of the festival, has grown from 5,000 to more than 50,000 spectators, including over 1600 industry executives as recorded this past April. Series Mania has become one of the very few essential events on the worldwide calendar for producers, distributors and the drama industry.

Series Mania in Lille will maintain the basics and the spirit of the festival that helped to make it so successful, including the presence of key talent from the United States and around the world (Matthew Weiner, Vince Gilligan, Julianna Margulies, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Damon Lindelof, David Chase, Adam Price, Gideon Raff, Clyde Phillips). Series Mania will expand the international competition presenting world premiere screenings from over 15 countries, the latest in web and digital series, and the unique Co-Production Forum with its €50,000 prize.