‘Mister 8,’ ‘The Allegation’ Win Big at Canneseries

LONG AND SHORT FORM COMPETITION AWARDS
Malik Gervais-Aubourg (“Wipe Me Away”)
The prizes are obvious recognition for the two series creators, Finland’s Teemu Nikki and Jani Pösö and Germany’s Ferdinand von Schirach, and underscore the spirit of innovation at major TV companies across Europe.
“Awake,” ( Jelena Gavrilović, Uroš Tomić, Serbia)
The case provoked massive media fury, though the accusations were finally dismissed by a judge as totally unfounded. Conceived by German criminal law attorney turned best-selling writer Ferdinand von Schirach in his first full original series as a writer, “The Allegation” is inspired by the 1994-97 Worm Trails which saw 25 people accused of collective child abuse.
Dior Grand Prize
Nader Khademi, Ayaz Hussain, Jonas Strand Gravli, Arben Bala, Erika Strand Mamelund, Syeda Hina Zaidi, Kristin Grue (“Countrymen”)
Best Short Form Series
“Mister 8” is backed by Finnish SVOD operator Elisa Viihde, “The Allegation” by Germany’s RTL Group, which is currently in the throes of a high-end scripted drama revolution as it preps its lineup for its relaunched SVOD service, now called RTL Plus, which goes live on Nov. 4.
Audience Award
“About Saturday,” (Liv Mari Ulla Mortensen, Norway)
You can’t anticipate that a black-and-white, very funny and cynical Finnish comedy would beat out all contenders,” said Albin Lewi, Canneseries artistic director, noting that this was the second time in four years that a comedy had topped Canneseries. “Scripted drama is really a model where great talent can come from anywhere and the codes change all the time.
Best Performance
“The Allegation,” (Daniel Geronimo Prochaska, Ferdinand von Shirach, Germany)
Best Music
Doubt, as Kurth’s character comments later in the series, is a far more intelligent attitude. “The Allegation’s” elegant screenplay constantly challenges viewers to believe unequivocally that something is true, only to pull the carpet from beneath their feet.
Special Interpretation Prize
“It takes a sensitive subject, creating a mockumentary with a warm heart,” Lewi said. The latest from top Norwegian production house Rubicon (“Beforeigners”), the culture clash comedy has four muslims moving to a farm and ending up becoming Halal cheesemakers, whether they want to or not. Of other top winners in Cannes on Wednesday night, Banijay-Rights-sold “Countrymen,” from Norwegian pubcaster NRK in co-production with Arte, took two awards, for the performance of its ensemble key cast, and a High-School Best Series Prize, voted by students at local lycées.
Dior Revelation Prize
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“Countrymen,” (Izer Aliu, Anne Bjørnstad, Norway)
High School Prize for Best Series
Sold by France’s Federation Entertainment and co-written by director Nikki and producer Pösö, Canneseries best series winner “Mister 8” was described to Variety by Nikki as “a thriller with a comedy plot.”
“Mister 8,” (Teemu Nikki, Jani Pösö, Finland)
Directed by Uroš Tomić and Jelena Gavrilović, gritty crime drama “Awake,” the first Serbian series to be in the official selection at Canneseries, also became Serbia’s first winner, taking the festival’s coveted Audience Award.
Best Series
Ferdinand von Schirach (“The Allegation”)
Giorgio Giampà (“Christian”)
Student Prize for Best Short Form Series
Pekka Strang (“Mister 8”)
Two half-hour gems, Finland’s “Mister 8” and Germany’s “The Allegation,” took top-honors on Wednesday night at this year’s Canneseries, now fully consolidated as one of Europe’s major TV festivals.
A Dior Grand Prize winner at Canneseries, it is brought towards the modern day, the case sparking knee-jerk-reactions on social media, almost all assuming the accused are guilty. Produced by Moovie for Constantin Television, the series is another half-hour – more unusual for drama. “I’ve never seen such a character in a series,” said Lewi. The series packs widely praised performances by “Babylon Berlin’s” Peter Kurth as the accused defense lawyer and “Gangs of London’s” Narges Rashidi as a strikingly badass but compassionate mob debt collector.
Best Screenplay
Peeka Strang, star of “Tom of Finland,” won Canneseries best performance for his turn as Juho, a seeming ordinary Joe who leverages the weaknesses f Maria’s other lovers to progressively eliminate them as rivals. A control freak with father issues, Maria has one lover for every day of the week. Shot in black and white, it kicks off with Juno and Maria, the daughter of a rich industrialist, having a one-night stand, and then Juno being chosen as Maria’s Monday man.
“Lockdown,” (Gilles Coulier, Maarten Moerkerke, Belgium)

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