Serial Killer Festival: A Spotlight on Finnish Television Production
A New Edition of the Festival
The Serial Killer Festival, known for its focus on television production from Central and Eastern Europe, is once again set to commence in Brno, Czech Republic. This year, however, the festival is stepping out of its usual geographical focus to put the spotlight on Finnish television shows. This is in line with the festival’s tradition of exploring a different European country’s television production each year. According to Kamila Zlatušková, the founder of the festival, negotiations are underway with several platforms for the purchase of all titles that will be showcased at the event.
Change of Venues
Due to unforeseen structural issues with the traditional venues of the festival – the University Cinema Scala and the Bolka Polívka Theater, this year’s festival will be held at new locations. The opening ceremony will take place at the Cabaret des Péchés. The festival screenings will be held at a nearly completed screening room at the Television Institute, the club První Patro, and the Theatre na Orlí.
Finnish Television: A Case Study for Czech Creators
This year’s focus on Finnish television provides a unique opportunity for Czech creators to learn from Finnish approaches to television production. Zlatušková appreciates Finnish creators’ knack for engaging younger audiences with high-quality content and themes of interest, instead of leaving them solely to YouTubers. She also observed that Finnish creators are not afraid of experimenting with new and untested themes and working with younger creators.
A Broad Range of Series
The festival is set to showcase almost 40 series spanning various genres. The main competition includes six series from Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Ukraine, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. The festival aims to select works that could generate interest in Western Europe. Consequently, the jury is composed of professionals from Western European television stations, television schools, and television festivals.
Overcoming Psychological Barriers
Zlatušková highlighted the need for local creators to overcome the psychological barriers that their local themes cannot appeal to a global audience. Citing the example of a series about Slobodan Milošević, which won the festival two years ago and later secured broadcasting rights worldwide, she emphasized that local themes can indeed generate international interest.
Following the festival, the organizers continue to promote the competition titles throughout Europe, in collaboration with other festivals and broadcasters. This includes collaboration with the German Berlinale, the French Serien Camp, and Scandinavian broadcasters. The festival’s success in promoting Eastern and Central European series to Western audiences has earned it the moniker of a “springboard from the East to the West”.
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