The Killing Times preview of Série Series TV festival: New Scandinavian and European drama aplenty


rocco schiavone 1 _ © cross productions reducedWe here at The Killing Times like to keep abreast of what’s happening in the TV world and one of the best ways to do that is to have a look at some of the festivals that are happening. Despite the UK referendum result yesterday, our kinship with European crime drama is felt as strongly as ever and next week a TV festival is being held in France that hosts all kinds of things, including some up and coming crime dramas from across the continent.

Série Series is the first European event devoted exclusively to TV series and is being hosted in Fontainebleau, France. It’s not only a high-level meeting place for leading creators of TV series, but over three days there are screenings and Q&As, too, featuring actors, directors and producers. Have a look at the site (here) for all the details, but in the meantime here are the new crime dramas on show, which may or may not come to these shores at some point.

Rocco Schiavone (Italy)
Rocco Schiavone is the main character of the crime novels written by the Italian writer Antonio Manzini. Schiavone is a policeman who is very proud of his hometown, Rome. That’s the reason why, for disciplinary reasons, he has been moved to Aosta, a little city in the middle of the Alps. But let’s move slowly. Rocco Schiavone, 49 years old, is arrogant, sarcastic, rude, cynical and he hates his job. Most of all he hates Aosta. But he’s talented and has very peculiar ethics; very different from the ethics of a common policeman. He speaks a vulgar language. He is violent and his actions often go beyond the limits of the law. A man with an obscure background and several skeletons in his closet… But he’s smart and extremely charming with women.

Monster (Norway)
A shocking murder is committed at the northernmost edge of the world. Local detective Hedda Gilbert and special investigator Joel Dreyer are brought together to work the case. In this character driven thriller drama we visit remote societies with dark secrets. The fear of being exposed is stronger than the fear in doing something wrong. At the edge of the world, it’s hard to stay in control.

Farang (Sweden)
Rickard is a former criminal who lives in Thailand under witness protection after testifying against his cronies. Ten years earlier, he had to give up his name, his homeland and his family. Now he lives a half-sedated poor excuse of a life in a sunny paradise. When his fifteen year-old daughter, Thyra, finds him, Rickard’s past catches up with him.

Tomorrow I Quit (Germany)
The Lehmanns are an average family with an average problem: they have run out of money. Jochen’s print shop is short on orders, his marriage is in jeopardy and the kids are even worse. When Jochen’s last attempt to get another loan from his bank is denied, he starts printing his own 50€ bills. They are so well made that they draw the Mafia’s attention – and now Jochen is desperately seeking a way out.

Unit 42 (Belgium)
Unit 42 carries us through the twists and turns of the Internet and emerging technologies. Modern technology allows criminals to act in the real world, all the while shielded by their computer screens. The police’s Digital Unit therefore combines field investigations and virtual expeditions using a unique duo: Sam, a cop newly transferred from the homicide bureau (and not particularly tech-savvy), and Billie, a young, feisty policewoman and IT expert. They will need to collaborate, not without difficulty at first, before being able to learn from each other. For behind each case of cyber criminality, first and foremost, lies a human story to be told.

Shield 5 (UK)
London. Present day. Security driver John Swift is arrested for his involvement in a diamond heist and subsequent death of a colleague. Determined to prove his innocence, he finds himself on the the run from both the police and those he believes have framed him. Shield 5 is a thriller exclusively created for Instagram, using 15-second videos and stills.

Before We Die (Sweden)
Hanna is forced into early retirement from the department of Financial Crime. She is divorced and her only child, Christian, has turned his back on her. The fact that she got him arrested for selling drugs does not make any reconciliation likely. But at least she has Sven, her friend, colleague and lover. But one morning Sven suddenly disappears on his way to work. Hanna soon discovers that Sven was on his way to meet an infiltrator named Inez, but never showed up. Hanna and a small secret group within the police start a parallel investigation. This leads them to an unknown criminal family on the rise. Hanna understands that Inez might be the only person that can help her find Sven and bring down the family – but can she be trusted?


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