Seven steps further towards international TV series

Seven steps further towards international TV series

15 March 2024

How to encourage collaboration between international authors in the field of TV series?  The CNC built several bridges with European and Francophone countries to foster co-writing and coproduction with seven schemes that support projects that were designed from scratch in a transnational manner. Focus.

COCOI: International teams creating TV series

Since 2005, the Innovation TV Fund has been supporting the writing of French series, from the early stages of the authors’ work (concept, bible and pilot script). Since 2018, the CNC has opened this fund to teams spearheading ambitious international series projects. Teams are com­posed of at least two writers of different nationalities (European or Francophone) eligible through specific training experience. The project must be presented in French.

This specific grant for cowriting international co-productions (COCOI) has already supported 41 teams of authors from 30 different countries as of early 2024. It supports writers in improving their project together and prior to boarding a producer. It promotes international creations initiated by the authors themselves and which are destined for copro­duction from scratch. The €50,000 grant finances the pilot script as well as other international collaboration expenses: travel, accommodation, translation or rental of workspaces, for example.


Going European

The latest of the CNC’s initiatives, the Going European program aims to train international teams of authors to face the challenges of international series co-productions, thanks to funding from the European Commission’s Media program and in partnership with three leading events : the Series Mania festival (France), the coproduction and networking market Conecta Fiction & Entertainment (Spain) and the Sarajevo Film Festival – CineLink Industry Days (Bosnia and Herzegovina).

Going European is therefore intended to support five pairs of international authors per year (thirty people throughout the whole program, from 2023 to 2025) and provide them with the necessary skills and tools so that they can carry out their series co-writing projects on the international market. Acting coherently with the AVMS directive’s legal transposition, the goal is to better support international co-production schemes, while generating creative and industrial practices that enhance and protect these intellectual properties.

Beyond the necessary increase in competence of authors on the issues of co-writing, co-development and international co-productions, this program also aims at structuring the sector by bringing together crea- tors and decision-makers, and by participating in the establishment of a virtuous ecosystem where the best practices in this area would spread out. Going European is thus intended to be a springboard for «organic» interna- tional co-productions of series with high production value, diversified genres and audiences, and where outstanding artistic directions are asserted.

The participants will be hosted and trained for a week at each of the three partner events, and will benefit from the guidance of professio- nals recognized in their field of expertise during a series of workshops and meetings that will address the central issues of international co- productions: creative aspects (writing for the international market, collaborating in a workshop, writing a genre series), production issues (financing, organization and work sharing), the regulatory dimension (European legal context, contractual practices), issues related to pro- motion, distribution and export (how to think about them in one’s work as an author), not forgetting the environmental issues that concern all the stages of a series’ making.

Simultaneously, Going European also aims to contribute to the structuring of the industry through the emergence of a collective reflection on the conditions of creation, production, f inancing and distribution of international series, fueled by sharing some of the work accomplished by the participants during the program with a professional audience.

Three of the program’s five beneficiary pairs are selected by the CNC among the winning authors of the co-writing assistance for international co-productions (COCO-I). The other two pairs are selected by the program’s two foreign partners (Conecta Fiction & Entertainment, Cinelink Industry Days of Sarajevo Film Festival) to form a coherent and diversif ied group of authors, all currently working on international series projects.

La Fabrique – Boulevard des Séries

Villa Albertine, a new French cultural institution in the United States, the Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers (SACD), the Natio­nal Centre for Cinema and Moving Image (CNC) and the Writers Guild Foundation are renewing for a third season Boulevard des Séries – The Factory, a support program for French TV series writers in Los Angeles. A writer from Quebec will also participate in the program thanks to the support of SODEC.

The Factory is a place for learning and improving skills and know-how for experienced writers from France and Quebec looking to develop a series with high international potential. Boulevard des Séries – The Factory will take place during three weeks from October to November 2023 (dates to be confirmed) and will host six French writers and one writer from Quebec in Los Angeles. They will be offered guidance by well-known screenwriters and showrunners, script specialists, agents and production, distribution and regulation professionals through a program that is tailored to each writer and conducted in English. Cultural interaction will be encouraged with the organisation of group visits to studios and writers’ rooms as well as opportunities for networking.

With the personalised guidance of experienced showrunners, pro­ducers and professionals, The Factory’s goal is to offer participating writers the necessary tools to deliver a pilot script that meets inter­national production standards. Through the activities, the program aims to foster the sharing of American skills and know-how in series screenwriting and creating shows across a diversity of genres, formats and audiences. Moreover, the program encourages opportunities for international collaboration between writers from France, Quebec and the US.

Boulevard des Séries – The Factory is open to French-speaking appli­cants who are members of SACD or the Society of Radio, Television and Cinema Authors (SARTEC) and are the writers/creators, screenwriters and/or directors of at least three episodes in the same season of a se­ries broadcast on a TV channel or a VOD platform in France or Quebec between 2018 and 2023.

Applications will open in April 2023 (dates to be confirmed). The win­ners will be announced at the end of the selection process in July.

The Drama Series Co-Writing Residency Israel-France

This project was initiated in 2019 by the Centre national du cinema et de l’image animée (France), the Gesher Multicultural Film Fund (Israel) and the Séries Mania festival, in cooperation with the Israeli Screenwriters Guild, the Israeli Producers Association and the French Embassy in Israel.

The residency allows writers of French and Israeli nationalities to meet, exchange their practices and know-how in the field of series and, together, generate proposals for series concepts with an interna­tional scope.

In 2023, 5 projects have been selected to participate in this 4th edition of the residency. Each project is led by a team of at least two writers, one Israeli and one French.

The 10 selected participants take part in 3 workshops: The first works­hop is organised in Israel by the Haifa International Film Festival, the second workshop is an intensive online follow-up, and the last one is organised in France at Séries Mania in Lille. The teams have about 4 months to co-write the complete bible of a fiction series. Seasoned tutors Rama Burshtein-Shai, Thomas Mansuy and Arnaud Louvet supervise the different stages of development.

The projects will finally be presented to potential international finan­cial partners (producers, broadcasters, distributors...) at Series Mania’s Forum between 19th and 21st March 2024.

The Fonds pour la jeune création francophone

The Fonds pour la Jeune Création Francophone was launched in 2017 to support the emergence of new talents in sub-Saharan French-spea­king African countries, the Indian Ocean and Haiti. Authors, directors and producers of cinema and audiovisual based in the 24 eligible countries can benefit from selective grants managed by the Burkinabe collective Generation Films.

The commission is open to different formats (feature-length fiction and documentary films, short films, TV series, web content, etc.) aimed at national or international audiences. It supports authors and producers at the following stages:

  • development through grants covering participation to writing resi­dencies or workshops, including the Résidence des écritures franco­phones de la Rochelle for series. The grants cover all costs including travel, accommodation and participation fee.
  • production for projects written, produced and directed by residents of French-speaking sub-Saharan Africa. The support is limited to 80 000 € for fiction, 50 000 € for documentaries and 52 000 € for series. It can be coupled with a broadcast commitment by partner channels, including TV5MONDE.
  • post-production for feature-length fiction and documentary projects intended for initial theatrical release.


The DEENTAL-ACP program

The DEENTAL-ACP program was launched in 2020 by the CNC with the financial collaboration of the European Union and the support of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States organization. Through this scheme, series, short and feature film projects from ACP countries, winners of the Fonds pour la jeune création francophone, can benefit, under certain conditions, from a DEENTAL-ACP bonus of up to 100 % of the Fonds pour la jeune création francophone grant.

Bonus eligibility criteria:

  • The project director must be a national of an ACP country.
  • The project must be a co-production involving at least 3 companies, established in at least 2 ACP countries.
  • If more countries are participating, the number of ACP countries must always be equal to or greater than the number of non-ACP countries.

The above eligibility conditions come in addition to the eligibility condi­tions set by the support funds to which the bonuses are applied.

In addition, the DEENTAL-ACP program also offers tailor-made schemes in conjunction with festivals in Europe (Cannes Film Festival, Séries Mania, Annecy, etc.) and ACP countries (Durban FilmMart, FESPACO, Dakar Court, RFC, Madagascar, etc.) to enable ACP professionals to work on their projects with experienced mentors, deepen their knowledge of the sector and build up a truly international network.

Thus, since 2021, the «DEENTAL Series Workshop» has enabled writer-producer duos to take part in a dedicated program during the Séries Mania festival. Selected following a call for projects, the pairs first take part in a training workshop where they attend workshops, masterclasses and individual sessions to develop their series project with their mentors. They then take part in the «Séries Mania Forum», where they meet accredited professionals (broadcasters, producers, distributors, etc.).

In 2024, the program evolves: a complete and more ambitious program for 5 pairs, with the addition of online follow-up and a second workshop at Dakar Séries, the pan-African series festival.

The DEENTAL Series Workshops are launched jointly by the Series Mania and Dakar Series festivals, and the CNC as part of the DEENTAL-ACP program (with the financial backing of the European Union and the support of the Organization of ACP States), in partnership with FESPACO, and with the support of the Institut Français and the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs.


Canada France Series Lab

Created in 2022, the Canada-France Séries Lab is a joint initiative between the CNC, Series Mania Forum and Telefilm Canada, in partnership with the >French Embassy in Canada and the >Canada Media Fund. Its main objective is to encourage and facilitate co-productions of audiovisual fiction series between French and Canadian producers. The Canada-France Séries Lab offers them new opportunities to meet and encourage the development of projects with strong international potential in a highly competitive environment.

The program is divided into two phases:

  • Preliminary phase: february – March 2024, online and at Séries Mania Forum.

    Co-production information session and meetings between French and Canadian producers, with the aim of forming pairs of co-producers around an audiovisual fiction series project in co-development between Canada and France.  
  • Main phase: september 2024 – march 2025, online and at Séries Mania Forum.

    4 to 5 pairs of French and Canadian co-producers will be selected to take part in a series of workshops and mentoring sessions (legal and f inancial structuring, international co-writing, market positioning). They will then be invited to pitch their projects at Séries Mania 2025. A call for applications will be launched in May 2024 to participate in this main phase

Co-producer pairs will be selected according to the following criteria: organic co-production potential of the project submitted, compliance with the terms of the new CanadaFrance co-production treaty, originality and creativity of the project, feasibility and viability of the project, relevance of the creative team carrying the co-production project (coherent distribution of key positions, etc.), and linguistic diversity.