Josh Hartnett Starrer ‘The Fear Index,’ ‘False Flag’ S3 to Screen at Berlinale Series Market Selects
“The Fear Index,” starring Josh Hartnett, and the third season of iconic Israeli series “False Flag” will both screen at the Berlinale Series Market Selects, whose lineup was unveiled Tuesday.
The latest from “The Crown” producers Left Bank Pictures, Sky Original “The Fear Index” is billed as a fast-paced, gripping Frankenstein-style parable on the dangers of AI. Based on the Robert Harris novel of the same title, its international sales will be handled by NBCUniversal Global Distribution.
Sold by Keshet International, “False Flag” is one of milestone titles that turned Israel’s series into a global brand, with Fox International taking the world on season one at 2015’s Mipcom in its first global acquisition of a foreign-language series.
Season three marks the return of both original series creators, Maria Feldman (“Fauda,” “No Man’s Land”) and Amit Cohen (“No Man’s Land, “Valley of Tears”), in a tale which looks set to weave the same web of distrust, deception and sudden twists as the first two seasons.
The Berlin Series Market conference program will open with a session, Mission Europe: How Local Markets Muscle Up, co-hosted by the Film-und Medienstiftung NRW, which will drill down on varying perspectives of streamers, local TV stations as well as producers regarding European streaming business strategies.
Panels include a conversation with The Mediapro Studio’s Daniel Burman, a showrunner on buzzed-up Argentine espionage thriller “Yosi, the Regretful Spy,” which opens this year’s Berlinale Series, part of the Festival lineup.
Denmark’s Lone Scherfig (“An Education,” “Their Finest”), whose maternity ward-set “The Shift” plays in Berlinale Series, will be the subject of a second Film to Series conversation looking at her career path from film director to series-maker.
Praised by EFM director Dennis Ruh for its “very international, varied selection this year,” 2022’s Berlinale Series Market Selects strand does nothing to disprove claims that, beyond the ever reliable Scandinavia, some of the most intriguing upscale drama in Europe these days is now being made on its far edges, whether Eastern Europe or Portugal, as leading local companies – Firefly, Drugi Plan, SPi – battle to fire up international premium series production in their territories.
2022 Berlinale Market Series Selects Lineup:
“Black Wedding,” (“Crna Svadba,” Serbia)
Creators: Nemanja Ćipranić, Strahinja Madžarević
Showrunner: Ivana Mikovic
Director: Nemanja Ćipranić
Cast: Uliks Fehmiu, Jelena Djokic, Nikola Kojo
Production company: Firefly Productions
Broadcasters: Superstar TV, Radio Television of Serbia
World Sales: Firefly International
Investigating a bloody massacre in Eastern Serbia, intelligence agency operative Petar becomes entangled in the ancient conflict between forces of good and evil. Reportedly insane, very brutal and most certainly a series to track.
“Diana Boss,” (France)
Creator: Marion Seclin
Showrunners: Marion Seclin, Niels Rahou
Director: Niels Rahou
Cast: Moon A, Tokou, Ilan Bergala
Production company: La Belle Télé
Broadcaster: France TV Slash
World Sales: France TV Distribution
The latest from actress-director Seclin and a fun TV Slash highlight turning on Malika, a law firm intern by day and rapper Diana Boss by night, in both roles battling injustice,
“Divided We Stand,” (“ZERV,” Germany)
Producers: Gabriela Sperl, Quirin Berg, Max Wiedemann, Miriam Klein (EP)
Writers: Jens Köster, Kim Zimmermann, Gabriela Sperl, Michael Klette
Director: Dustin Loose with Nadja Uhl, Fabian Hinrichs, Max Hubacher
Production companies: Gabriela Sperl Produktion for W&B Television in collaboration with Wilma Film for ARD, MDR and ARD Degeto for Das Erste
Broadcaster: ARD, MDR, Das Erste
World Sales: Beta Film
From acclaimed German producer Sperl (“Flight,” “Wirecard – The Billion Euro Lie”) and German heavyweight W&B (“The Lives of Others”), a crime thriller set in 1991 about two agents from Germany’s Central Investigative Agency, one from the East, another the West, investigating cross-border criminal conspiracy.
“False Flag,” Season 3 (“Kfulim,” Season 3, Israel)
Creators: Maria Feldman, Leora Kamenetzky, Amit Cohen
Director: Oded Raz
Cast: Miki Leon, Tali Sharon, Lena Fraifeld
Production company: Spiro Films
Broadcaster: Keshet 12
World Sales: Keshet International
Following a suspected chemical attack at a party for an Israeli high-tech company in Cyprus, Eitan Koppel flies there to investigate. Sophisticated software quickly identifies three suspects who all have something to hide, but can the data be trusted?
“The Fear Index,” (U.K.)
Writers: Paul Andrew Williams, Caroline Bartleet
Director: David Caffrey
Cast: Josh Hartnett, Arsher Ali, Leila Farzad
Production companies: Left Bank Pictures in association with Sky Studios
Broadcaster: Sky World
Sales: NBCUniversal Global Distribution
One of the biggest commercial plays in the whole selection, with “Penny Dreadful” actor Josh Hartnett starring in Sky original thriller series and anti-AI parable “The Fear Index,” based on the bestselling novel by Robert Harris (“Fatherland”).
Creators: Malthe Jagd Miehe-Renard, Babak Vakili
Director: Laurits Flensted-Jensen
Cast: Besir Zeciri, Maria Cordsen, Afshin Firouzi
Production companies: Strong Productions, Splay One
World Sales: DR Sales
Mohammed’s life goes into a downward spiral after he’s remanded in custody for armed robbery. From Fremantle’s Strong Productions, with a reportedly tremendous performance by lead Zeciri.
“Identification,” (“Identifikaciya,” Russia
Creators: Vladlena Sandu, Nikita Ikonnikov
Showrunners: Valeriy Fedorovich, Evgeniy Nikishov
Director: Vladlena Sandu
Cast: Lena Tronina, Polina Kutepova, Roman Vasilev
Production company: 1-2-3 Production
World Sales: 1-2-3 Production
Valeria, an orphaned girl who has converted to Islam and lives in a local immigrant community, becomes the main suspect in a murder at her own wedding.
Creators: Josephine Bornebusch, Jonas Karlsson
Cast: Bornebusch, Karlsson, Eric Ericson
Production company: Warner Bros. International Television Production Sweden
World Sales: Nordic Entertainment Group
A buzzed-up title from high-flying Warner Bros. in Sweden and Bornebush, creator of Viaplay smash hit “Love Me.” “Harmonica” tracks Bornesbush and Karlsson as a once huge “Abba”-ish act and couple which played huge stadiums. 16 years later, their marriage on the rocks, they’re forced to make a comeback nostalgia tour.
“Oh Hell,” (Germany)
Creator: Johannes Boss
Showrunner: Simon Ostermann
Directors: Simon Ostermann, Lisa Miller
Cast: Mala Emde, Edin Hasanovic, Salka Weber
Production company: Good Friends Filmproduktions GmbH
Broadcaster: Magenta TV, Warner TV Comedy
World Sales: Warner TV International
Emde (“My Daughter, Anne Frank”) plays Helene, 24, a soulful dreamer whose real life is a bathetic mess, until she meets a man who seems to understand her. Made for Deutsche Telekom’s Magenta TV and Warner TV Comedy, a quirky comedy from Beta Film’s Good Friends Filmproduktion, which scored with groundbreaking TNT series“Arthur’s Law.”
“Recipes for Love and Murder,” (South Africa)
Creators: Karen Jeynes, based on a novel by Sally Andrew
Showrunner: Thierry Cassuto
Directors: Christiaan Olwagen, Karen Jeynes
Cast: Maria Doyle Kennedy, Tony Kgoroge, Kylie Fisher
Production company: Both Worlds Pictures
Broadcaster: MNET, Acorn TV
World Sales: Global Screen
A serial murder mystery set in a small town in South Africa Karoo region, from South African network M-Net, AMC-owned streamer Acorn TV, Cape Town’s Both Worlds Pictures and German sales company Global Screen
“The Silence,” (“Šutnja,” Croatia, Ukraine)
Creators: Marjan Alcevski, Miodrag Sila, Nebojsa Taraba, Dalibor Matanić
Showrunners: Miodrag Sila, Nebojsa Taraba
Director: Dalibor Matanić
Cast: Seniya Mishina, Goran Bogdan, Darko Milas
Production companies: Drugi Plan and HRT in co-production with Beta Film, Star Media, OLL.TV and ZDF/ARTE
Broadcaster: HRT, OLL.TV
World Sales: Beta Film
Lead produced by Croatia’s Drugi Plan, behind HBO Europe’s hit first HBO Adria original “Success,” a slice of Eastern European Noir with a detective and a reporter uncovering an underage human trafficking network.
Creator: Daan Gielis
Director: Kadir Ferati Balci
Cast: Ella Leyers, Wouter Hendrickx, Anemone Valcke
Production company: A Private View
Broadcaster: Streamz World
Sales: Keshet International
Radio presenter Lara is caught in a game of cat-and-mouse with a caller ton her program who threatens to commit suicide. Created by Gielis whose debut feature “La Holandesa” screened at the Toronto Festival.
“Trom,” (Denmark, Faroe Islands)
Creator: Torfinnur Jákupsson
Showrunner: Torfinnur Jákupsson
Director: Kasper Barfoed, Davið Óskar Ólafsson, Peter Ahlén (co-director)
Cast: Ulrich Thomsen, Maria Rich, Olaf Johannessen
Production companies: REinvent Studios, KYK Pictures
Broadcaster: Viaplay, DR
World Sales: REinvent International Sales
One of the most anticipated Scandinavian plays of the year, a crime series set on the spectacular volcanic Faroe Islands, starring Ulrich Thomsen (“The New Pope”), backed by Viaplay, ZDF and Arte, and produced and sold by REinvent Studios.
Creator: Patricia Müller
Writers: Patricia Müller, Carmen Jimenez
Director: Simão Cayatte
with Gabriela Barros, João Baptista, Joana de Verona
Production companies: SPi, S.A.; Legendary Television; La Panda Productions
Broadcaster: OPTO SIC (Portugal)
World Sales: Legendary Television
Produced by go-ahead Portuguese outfit SPi, behind Netflix’s first Portuguese original series “Gloria,” and co-producer on “Dry Water,” and made in co-production with Legendary Pictures. Based on the true story of a woman who, alone, broke and with two children, takes to robbing banks with a blonde wig and toy gun.
“A Woman’s Fate,” (Brazil)
Creators: Adriana Falcão, Jô Abdu, Martha Mendonça, Nelito Fernandes
Director: Leonardo Nogueira
Cast: Renata Sorrah, Giovanna Antonelli, Vanessa Giácomo
Production company: Globo
World Sales: Globo
Tracing a clear through line with banner Globo titles from “Aruanas” to “A Mother’s Love,” a 12-episode series featuring three women who finally take control over their lives.