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Canneseries: ‘Dead Ringers,’ ‘Fatal Attraction,’ ‘Tapie’ Join ‘Silo’ in Lineup

Variety logo Variety 3/28/2023 John Hopewell
© Provided by Variety

World premieres of Prime Video’s Rachel Weisz-starrer “Dead Ringers,” Paramount+’s “Fatal Attraction, with Lizzy Caplan, and Joshua Jackson, and Netflix’s awaited French bio “Tapie” pack out a 6th Canneseries which boasts its biggest U.S. presence yet, with titles from nearly all the major global streamers.

They join Apple TV+’s already-announced “Silo,” another world premiere. Paramount+ will also be represented by Korean smash hit “Bargain.”

In all, the main Competition features seven world premieres, Lewi said at a Paris lineup presentation on Tuesday. 

Israel and Scandinavia have a prominent presence as ever at Canneseries. The selection also takes in, however, its first South African title in Competition, “Spinners,” admired at the London Screenings. 

Adding star wattage, Sarah Michelle Gellar will pick up the Canal+ Icon Award, Joey Soloway, creator of Amazon Studios’ “Transparent” and producer of “Six Foot Under,” receives a Commitment Award. Canneseries’ Rising Star Award goes to Morfydd Clark, Galadriel in “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.”

The festival will close April 19 with an awards ceremony and gala screening of at least the opening episode of the fifth and final season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” It bows on Prime Video April 14 but will bring to Cannes its cast and creators, led by Amy Sherman-Palladino, the last time that they will all be together, said Lewi. “It will be an event,” Lewi promised in Paris.

Targeting teens and kids, Canneseries Rendez-Vous will stage the international premiere of “A Small Light,” a Disney+ miniseries, a revisiting of the Anne Frank story focusing on the Miep Gies, who risked her life to shelter Anne Frank’s family for more than two years. Also screening at the Rendez-Vous is the AMC Studios co-produced “Cannes Confidential,” a Cannes-set procedural caper starring Jamie Bamber (“Battleship Galactica”). 

Israeli actor Lior Raz (“Fauna”) will preside the Competition jury, also comprising “Lupin” star Shrine Boutella, director-actor Zabou Breitman (“The Swallows of Kabul”), musician-composer Stewart Copeland and Irish actor Daryl McCormack (“Good Luck to You, Leo Grande”).   

“Veneno” creator-producers Javier Ambrossi and Javier Calvo will preside the Short-Format jury.

Running April 14-19 in Cannes, and from April 16 parallel to the MipTV conference and trade fair, Canneseries has had notable U.S. series premieres unveiling “Killing Eve” in its first edition, parallel to its U.S. bow, for instance. But 2023 marks a big step-up for the festival. 

“We’ve never had this level and number of U.S. series,” said Albin Lewi, Canneseries artistic director.

Over the last decade, European TV festivals have had to battle to get any big title from major U.S. studios, more mindful of their commercial bow in the U.S. 

“We’ve worked hard to create relationships of trust with the studios,” Lewi told Variety

Canneseries’ main Competition also runs to just 10 titles with a clutch more playing out of competition. 

It celebrates its sixth edition as market maturity and competition between streamers has made it ever more difficult to add new paying customers and imperative to retain clients, converting marketing into one of the industry’s hot button issues.

“It’s such a jungle with so many series released every week that Canneseries selection, given the festival’s heavily curated, serves as a stamp of distinction, marking a title apart from the crowd,” Lewi added.  

In a major new move, Canneseries will also introduce a new Documentary Series Competition made up of six titles, including the Sky Studios-backed “Juan Carlos: Downfall of the King,” a portrait of the Spanish monarch, once an icon of Spain’s transition to democracy. He abdicated in 2014, however, amid scandal and allegation of corruption.     

“Many companies started off in film, went into TV and has now added a documentary arm,” said Lewi. “We’ve noticed for years the qualitative leap of doc series, in their variety and quality of story-telling, and tried to fit in documentaries into our Competition and Short Format sections, but it just didn’t work.”

Asif Kapadia, a Academy Award winner for doc feature “Amy,” heads up the Documentary Series Competition.

A breakdown of titles:  

Opening Series, Out of Competition

“Silo,” (Apple TV+, U.S.)

A great cast and strong behind-the-camera talent, starring Rebecca Ferguson (“Mission Impossible”), produced by AMC Studios and streaming on Apple TV+ from May 5. The sci-fi thriller is set in mile-deep silo housing the last 10,000 survivors of humanity in a toxic world. Graham Yost (“The Americans”) serves as showrunner; Norway’s Morten Tyldum (“The Imitation Game”) directs.


“Bargain,” (Paramount Global Content Distribution Group)

“Don’t read the synopsis. Just watch it from the beginning because you haven’t got a clue where the series is going,” said Lewi. A crime thriller which was a major hit at Busan and now set to stream on Paramount+ in the U.S. as part of Paramount’s strategic alliance with Korean giant CJ ENM. Jun Jong-seo (“Money Heist: Korea”) and Jin Seon-kyu (“Extreme Job”) star. 

Bargain © Tving Bargain

“Carthago,” (Ehud Bleiberg, UTA Agents, Israel)

A big swing for Israel, a WWII historical thriller set in a 1942 concentration camp in North Africa, to which a Palestine comedian is deported to live alongside Jewish freedom fighters and German Nazis. Co-created by Reshef Levi, who won best performance at Canneseries in 2019 for “Nehama,” and backed by Levi’s 24 Drafts Studio and KAN: Israeli Public Broadcasting (“Valley of Tears”). Yannets Levi and Regev Levy (“Hunting for Elephants”) co-create.  

“Childhood Dreams,” (Banijay Rights, Netherlands)

“A kind of ‘Years and Years’ without the dystopia, a family drama spanning 50 years from May 1968 onwards,” said Lewi, noting in Paris that it is “incredibly well acted.”A first series from leading Dutch film production house Topkapi Films, behind “Close,” “Another Round,” “Benedetta” and “Girl,” which is recommendation indeed.

“Corduroy,” (HOT, Israel) 

From Banijay’s MoviePlus Productions, headed by David Mandil, continuing Hadas Ben Aroya’s study of self-possessed, liberated young Israelis – think her Berlin Panorama title “All Eyes Off Me” – backed by HOT in Israel. The tale of Danielle, young, uninhibited but anti-relationships, who falls in love with a married man. “A series about female empowerment. It surprised us,” said Lewi.  

“Dead Ringers,” (Prime Video, U.S.)

One of the big Canneseries titles, starring Rachel Weisz in a modern take on David Cronenberg’s cult classic as identical twins “who share everything: drugs, lovers, and an unapologetic desire to do whatever it takes in an effort to challenge antiquated practices and bring women’s health care to the forefront,” the description runs. Amazon Studios, Annapurna Television and Morgan Creek produce. Alice Birch (“Lady Macbeth”), co-writer of the raved-about “Normal People,” lead writes. 

“Good Morning Chuck (Or the Art of Harm Reduction),” (Cineflix Rights, Canada)

Produced by Saint Laurent TV and directed by Jean-Francois Rivard and Mathieu Cyr, a dark satire of fame and PR narcissism which tracks a disgraced talk show host who checks into rehab more for the good press than to actually kick his drug habit. Turning heads at a Seriesmania Next from Quebec showcase pitch on the strength of its stark black and white visuals.

“Power Play,” (Reinvent International Sales, Norway)

From Norway’s NRK, the last series to air in competition, and maybe the lightest title in competition, a comedy in the line of “In the Loop,” said Lewi. It is inspired by Gro Brundtland, telling the unexpected rise and rise of a pro-abortion ecologist female politician to the station of Norwegian prime minister, as she outshines the clodhopping male politicians around her. Employing to-the-camera faux testimony and produced by Joachim Trier backer Motlys and Novemberfilm. 

“Prisoner,” (DR Sales, Denmark)

Starring “The Killing’s” inimitable Sofie Gråbøl and packing production pedigree, the latest from DR Drama, producers of “The Killing,” “Borgen” and more latterly, “Cry Wolf” and “When the Dust Settles.” A penitentiary thriller from the POV of its management and guards, under pressure to break prisoner power and get their jail in order, or face closure. Kim Fupz Aakeson (“Welcome to Utmark) serves as creator-writer. “Classic, toxic and dark,” commentedLewi.

“Spinners,” (Studiocanal, France, South Africa) 

Set in Cape Town’s hard-scrabble Southside, Ethan, 17, seeks a way out of interminable gang violence via spinning, a South African extreme motor-sport. Moved by Studiocanal at the London Screenings, produced by Federation Studios’ Empreinte Digitale and co-produced by pan-African SVOD service Showmax and Canal+ as all these French companies lean into premium African drama series.

Spinners © Provided by Variety Spinners

“Tapie,” (Netflix, France)

Netflix’s biggest and most awaited production of 2022, a bio starring the highly respected Laurent Lafitte as the charismatic, flamboyant businessman, saviour of Adidas, owner of Olympique Marseilles soccer club and a team that twice won the Tour de France, and embroiled in a decades-long battle withFrance’s establishment. Unité’s Bruno Mahon produces. A must-watch for France and potential break-out beyond. 

Out of Competition

“The Brigade,” (Studiocanal, France)

A new Canal Plus Création Originale with Sofian Khammes (“Kepler”) playing Said, the new head of a young elite cop squad, as Paris is threatened by gang warfare. Created by Jérémie Guez (“Brothers by Blood”) and Erwan Augoyard (“Spiral”). Paris-based Cheyenne Federation, backed by Federation Studios, produces. 

“Fatal Attraction,” (Paramount Global Content Distribution Group, U.S.)

Paramount+’s series reboot of Adrian Lyne’s 1987 movie classic, this time round starring Joshua Jackson and Lizzy Caplan, and billed as a “deep-dive reimagining through the lens of modern attitudes toward strong women, personality disorders and coercive control.” Alexandra Cunningham (“Dirty John”) serves as writer and showrunner. 

Fatal Attraction © Provided by Variety Fatal Attraction

Short Format Competition

“Appetite,” (Karen Radzyner, Australia)

Mohini Herse, Taika Waititi’s assistant on “Thor: Love and Thunder,” created this show, which centers on the death of a food delivery rider. A trio of fellow riders seeks to uncover the truth, but are entangled in a mystery involving a food delivery behemoth.

“Easy Peasy,” (Viafilm, Norway)

A comedy in which actor-writer Fridtjof Stensæth Josefsen follows six ordinary men who wrestle with themselves and their surroundings when confronted with everyday dilemmas. 

“Groundbreaking,” (Kiyo Films, U.S.)

Patrick William Smith’s comedy mockumentary, described as “The Office” meets “Indiana Jones,” follows a team of bumbling archaeologists in Ireland who discover an ancient Celtic secret that upends the beloved history of village. 

“The Left-Handed Son,” (Movistar+ International, Spain)

Created by “The Plague” screenwriter Rafael Cobos in his debut as a series director, a mother-son drama set in Cobos’ native Seville with Lola, a well-heeled divorced mother of two, reacting to her teen son join a local neo-Nazi gang.

“Missing,” (Posta, Argentina)

In this anthology series from Mariano Pozzi – best known for “Migrant Stories” – each episode portrays a story, inspired by real cases, about the search for and restitution of the identity of those people abducted as children by the military junta in Argentina. 

“Out of Touch,” (REinvent International Sales, Sweden)

Mikael Ljung’s romantic comedy follows Ava, a respected couple’s therapist with a hidden talent: She sees a person’s future love life simply by putting her hand on their chest. Then she meets John and accidentally sees a vision of herself marrying him. 

“Roomies,” (Wild Bunch TV, Belgium)

Created by Kato De Boeck and Flo Van Deuren, the show follows Bibi and Ama, two lesbian friends in their early twenties. Despite their opposite personalities and backgrounds, the quirky duo believe they are ready for their grown-up lives as roomies.

“Streams Flow From a River,” (Fae Pictures, Canada)

A character-driven drama from Christopher Yip about the struggles immigrant families face while trying to make a home in the West. A dysfunctional Chinese Canadian family are forced to confront events from a decade ago that tore them apart. 

“Terrain Sensible,” (Mediawan Rights, France)

Aurélie Meimon at Frenchkiss Pictures, best known for Netflix’s “Caïd,” delivers a youth drama set during the summer in a housing project in Marseille, where a group of friends quarrel and fall in love.

“Thin Air,” (Encore Television-Division, Canada)

Poet and novelist Jean-Christophe Réhel delivers a story about four friends, all of whom have cystic fibrosis, who rediscover a fierce desire to live life to the full when they learn that one of them could die before autumn’s end.

Documentary Series Competition

“Chevaline,” (Studiocanal, France)

An investigation into the still unresolved French Alps killing of of a family and a cyclist near Annecy in 2012. Created by Brendan Kemmet, and produced by Upside Television.

“Draw for Change,” (Autlook Filmsales, Belgium)

A portrait of female cartoonists in different countries who draw to engender gender equality. Backed by Arte and Belgium public broadcaster RTBF, showrun by Vincent Coen and Guillaume Vandenberghe and counting among producers on Femke Wolting at Submarine and Heino Deckert at

“Juan Carlos: Downfall of the King,” (NBCUniversal, Germany)

How Juan Carlos 1, who helped shepherd Spain from dictatorship to democracy over 1975-77, fell into disgrace, abdicating in 2014. A four-part doc series backed by Sky Studios and Sky Deutschland from Emmy-nominated Christian Beetz, producer Gebrüder Beetz Filmproduktion and author Pedro Barbadillo.

Juan Carlos: Downfall of the King © Provided by Variety Juan Carlos: Downfall of the King

“Lac-Mégantic: Ceci n’est pas un accident,” (Trio Orange International, Canada)

From distinguished Canadian writer-director Philippe Falardeau (“Last Summers of the Raspberries”), an analysis of the causes of  a 2013 rail accident that devastated a small French-Canadian town not far from the Maine border, arguing that the disaster could well happen again.

“Miracle, No. 71,” (Newen, Belgium)

From Nathalie Basteyns, a film director and MS patient, who travels to Lourdes to seek a miracle cure – or acceptance –  for her illness. Produced by Flemish company De Mensen, behind the Canneseries Competition player “Undercover,” backed by Netflix, and iconic Belgian Noir title “Beau Séjour.”

“Reading Again Mafalda,” (Disney Media & Entertainment, Distribution Latin America , Argentina) 

A consideration of the creative process and contemporary relevance of Argentine Quino’s comic strip, which ran 1964-73. Produced by Disney+ Original Productions and Non Stop and set to air on Disney+.

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