Canneseries wrap-up: Winners from around the world
The closing ceremony bestowed awards to series from Israel, Norway, South Korea and Spain, plus honorary awards for two Hollywood TV legends.
Wednesday was a star-studded evening on the now iconic Canneseries pink carpet. Stars from all the in-competition series were present, including the cast of “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, whose lead actress, Rachel Brosnahan, stopped to press her hands into the cement for the Croisette’s walk of fame.
It was the Norwegian political satire “Power Play” that proved unbeatable at Canneseries, just like its headstrong protagonist, picking up awards for best series and music. While the show delves into local politics, its youthful “punk” attitude and humour, which already drew early comparisons to the works of Armando Iannucci, seems to have paid off, seducing jurors Lior Raz, Zabou Breitman, Shirine Boutella, Stewart Copeland and Daryl McCormack.
Korean horror series “Bargain” won Best Screenplay at Canneseries by co-writers Woo-Sung Jeon, Byeong-Yun Choi and Jae-Min Kwak. The series involving an underground organ auction, a disastrous earthquake and a fight to the death, is carried on TVING and Paramount+ in Korea and is sold by Paramount Global Content Distribution worldwide. Full of surprises, bouts of violence and black humour, with one of its characters narrowly escaping death in nothing but his underwear and a pair of stolen rubber boots, it could become another hit from the country that still seems unstoppable.
Israel also made its presence known with “Carthago” bringing home the special interpretation award for the key cast, who filled the stage with excited actors. The neon palmier for best performance went to Dar Zuzovsky, an Israeli actress in “Corduroy” cast in this ‘anti-love’ story as a young, modern woman dealing with sex, drugs and the horror of being blocked on a dating app in Tel Aviv, all the while sporting glittery makeup worthy of “Euphoria.” Produced by Banijay’s Movieplus Productions, the series is being sold by HOT.
In the category of stranger than fiction, “Cathargo” is a wild historic drama/comedy/thriller, based on real events, following Elijah Levi, a Jewish comedian sent to a British prison camp in Carthago, Africa in the early 1940s. Shocking and insane antics ensue with his fellow inmates including Italian fascists, Nazi spies and Jewish terrorists. Produced by 24 Drafts Studios, Yoav Gross and Reshef Levi for KAN 11 in Israel, the series is being sold worldwide by Ehud Bleiberg and UTA Agents.
“Draw for Change!” a six-part documentary series about female cartoonists in Mexico, the USA, Russia, India, Syria and Egypt, took the prize for best documentary series. A jury of journalists introduced the award by speaking of the importance of documentaries to expose corruption, tell emotional stories and protect democracy. It was therefore, “Draw for Change!” that took their pick, highlighting the importance of political cartoonists in times of political turmoil. In the acceptance speech, the producer highlighted that each episode was directed by a different director - all women - something rare to say in the industry.
Sarah Michelle Gellar won this year’s Canal+ Icon Award, spending nearly her entire life in television, the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” star started working in TV at the age of 4. “I love television and we are experiencing a renaissance right now. It’s what made me want to come back and work again,” Gellar said. Currently, she stars in the Paramount+ supernatural teen drama “Wolf Pack.” But for the audience waiting in line for an hour, she still is, and always will be, Buffy Summers.
“The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” Actress Morfydd Clark was honoured with the Canneseries’ rising star award.
But it was up to another honoree, the 2023 Konbini Commitment Award winner Joey Soloway, to deliver the laughs during the Closing Ceremony. “I am in total shock, still. Mostly because I thought I was being invited to a film festival. But since I have been here, I realized I don’t care about film festivals. Fuck movies! People go to movies to escape and they watch television to feel at home. Furthermore, If I were invited to the Cannes Film Festival, there would be a problem, because I am non-binary and women have to wear heels on the red carpet there and men have to wear flats. They would probably have to make a small, non-binary red rug for me.”
After the awards ceremony, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Daniel Palladino, Caroline Aaron, Alex Borstein, Rachel Brosnahan, Marin Hinkle, Kevin Pollak, Tony Shalhoub, Michael Zegen and Luke Kirby all invited the audience to enjoy the first episode of the fifth season of “The Marvelous Mrs Maisel.” Speaking for the cast, Tony Shalhoub revealed: “There is a phrase commonly invoked in our show: ‘Tits up!’ I never thought I would actually say those words in front of 2500 people… It has now become a mantra on a global scale, our creator’s way of delivering the message of finding your voice and going after your dreams. And while you are at it, try to break every single rule there is.”