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'Fallout,' 'Franklin' and 'Karl Lagerfeld' Selected for Canneseries

Michael Douglas, Kyle MacLachlan, Ella Purnell and Daniel Brühl are among the high-caliber stars who will take part in the seventh edition of Canneseries. The robust lineup, unveiled today by Canneseries’ artistic director Albin Lewi at a press conference in Paris, boasts the world premiere of Apple TV+’s “Franklin,” starring Michael Douglas as one of the Founding Fathers, and Disney+’s “Becoming Karl Lagerfeld” with Daniel Brühl as the acid-tongued designer.

“Franklin,” which will also close the event, is directed by industry veteran Tim Van Patten, behind “Boardwalk Empire” and “Games of Thrones.” Douglas won an Emmy for playing Liberace in “Behind the Candelabra.”

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MacLachlan and Purnell will be on the ground to present the international premiere of “Fallout,” the much-anticipated Prime Video show that’s based on a massively popular video game. Both will be feted during the 7th edition of the event, picking up the Canal+ Icon Award and the Madame Figaro Rising Star Award respectively.

“This upcoming edition feels like the culmination of our efforts and a real achievement in a competitive and challenging market which has been impacted by a pandemic, a double strike, geo-political and economic turmoils,” Canneseries’ artistic director Albin Lewi told Variety. In spite of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, Lewi said the U.S. will have an important presence this year with highly ambitious series,” he said citing the premiere of “Fallout” and “Franklin.”

Lewi said the volume of shows submitted – 300 series, including 160 long-form series — was also on par with last year. He pointed out that China and Brazil will make their debut in competition with Congcong Teng’s “To The Wonder” and Andre Felipe Binder and Júlio Andrade’s “Living on a Razor’s Edge.”

“Our lineup is qualitative and varied, with a mix of anticipated series from platforms and networks, as well as pure discoveries,” Lewi said, adding that the fact right-holders are opting to unveil their shows at Canneseries underscores the fact that “it’s become a powerful launchpad.”

Fallout
Fallout

“We innovated with this concept of a world-class TV festival and it was not an easy bet because TV distributors don’t live off of festivals as they do when they’re handling films. But we’ve managed to create a real brand with Canneseries,” Lewi said.

He said Canneseries also has the particularity of being open to the public. The Lumiere theater, a sprawling auditorium located inside the Palais des Festivals, has been packed year after year, Lewi pointed out. The artistic director has also been focusing on selecting series that haven’t been shown elsewhere. “Most of our series are world premieres, and if they are international premieres they’ve only been shown in their local market,” Lewi said. The roster also includes “Fiasco,” a star-studded French comedy series co-created by Igor Gotesman and Pierre Niney.

In the competition, the fest will take a look at corruption and politics in Serbia’s “Operation Sabre,” based on real events and recently picked up by Beta Film, or at a life of a Jewish family in contemporary Germany – and all the baggage that comes with it – in “The Zweiflers.”

Belgium’s “Moresnet” with Leonie Benesch, fresh off Oscar-nominated “The Teacher’s Lounge,” will add some mystery, as a group of old friends tries to prevent deaths predicted decades earlier.

Among international premieres, “Idiocracy” meets “Day of the Dead” in Norway’s “Dumbsday,” where six strangers have to handle especially dim-witted zombies (aka “dumbies”) with hilarious results, while mother-daughter tensions will reach brand new highs in Danish “Dark Horse,” starring “Borgen’s” Birgitte Hjort Sørensen.

Here’s the full lineup:

Out of Competition

Opening Series

“Terminal” (Canal+, France)

World Premiere

Jamel Debbouze and Mohamed Hamidi direct this comedic show about the most incompetent aviation staff of a low-cost airline, created by Azedine Bendjilali, Giulio Callegari, Andréas Georgiou, Xavier Lacaille and Paul Mirabel. Ramzy Bedia (recently seen in miniseries “Of Money and Blood”), Bérangère McNeese, Brahim Bouhlel, Tristan Lopin and Camille Chamoux are among the cast. Prepare for turbulence.

“Becoming Karl Lagerfeld” (Disney +, France)

World Premiere

Daniel Brühl will sport the iconic ponytail – and put on some fetching sunglasses – as the late Karl Lagerfeld, one of fashion’s most recognizable and controversial tastemakers. With Agnès Jaoui as fellow designer Gaby Aghion and Arnaud Valois as Yves Saint Laurent, emotions and price tags will run high. After all, as Lagerfeld once said: “I’m very much down to earth, just not this earth.” Created by Isaure Pisani-Ferry, Jennifer Have and Raphaëlle Bacqué.

“Fallout” (Prime Video, USA)

Based on one of the most acclaimed video games of all time, it’s set 200 years after the apocalypse when one of the so-called “vault dwellers” ventures out into the wild. Only to find out that “everyone wants to save the world. They just disagree on how.” Directed by “Westworld” helmer Jonathan Nolan, Graham Wagner and Geneva Robertson-Dworet, who also created the show, it stars Ella Purnell, Walton Goggins, Aaron Moten, Kyle Maclachlan and Sarita Choudhury.

“Fiasco” (Netflix, France)

World Premiere

This upcoming comedy created by Igor Gotesman and acclaimed actor Pierre Niney – César winner for “Yves Saint Laurent” – will see Niney as a debuting director Raphaël Valande who is about to realize his biggest dream and experience his biggest nightmare at the same time, as his first set slowly turns into mayhem. Géraldine Nakache, Pascal Demolon, Leslie Medina and Vincent Cassel round up the cast.

Closing Series

“Franklin” (Apple TV+, USA)

World Premiere

Emmy winner Tim Van Patten – behind “Boardwalk Empire” or “Game of Thrones” – will now bring his expertise to this biographical miniseries, which will see Oscar winner Michael Douglas as Benjamin Franklin himself. Focusing on the eight years he spent in France and based on Stacy Schiff’s book “A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America,” it was written by Kirk Ellis and Howard Korder.

Competition

“Dark Horse” (Denmark)

Directors Karoline Lyngbye – behind IFFR premiere “Superposition” – and Katrine Brocks (“The Great Silence”) turn their attention to “Dark Horse,” in which a teen moves with her mother from China to a small town in Denmark. Feeling lost, the girl is desperate to fit in. Created by Sara Isabella Jønsson Vedde, it features “Borgen” star Birgitte Hjort Sørensen. Sold by REinvent International Sales.

“Dumbsday” (Norway)

Get ready for some dark humor as creators Marit Støre Valeur, Erlend Westnes and Christopher Pahle show six strangers who couldn’t be more different, yet are forced to work together in order to – no pressure – save the world from a deadly virus that makes people stupid. Really, really stupid. In this Seefood TV production, directed by Erlend Westnes, “Idiocracy” meets a zombie apocalypse and no one is safe.

“Living on a Razor’s Edge” (Brazil)

This Globoplay’s show – led by showrunner José Junior, Alex Medeiros and Daniela Busoli – focuses on the life of sociologist and activist Herbert de Souza, also known as “Betinho,” who dedicated his life to combating hunger and economic injustice. He passed away in 1997, following complications after contracting HIV and Hepatitis C. With Júlio Andrade, Leandra Leal and Ravel Andrade.

“Moresnet” (Belgium)

World Premiere

After the death of his father, a man returns to his hometown. Together with his childhood friends, he finds a time capsule they buried ages ago. But there is a surprise waiting for them: an old diary with a list of names – and exact dates of their upcoming deaths. Created by Frank Van Passel, Jef Hoogmartens and Jonas Van Geel, it’s sold by Newen Connect. Leonie Benesch, seen in “Babylon Berlin” and Oscar-nominated “The Teacher’s Lounge,” Boris Van Severen and Pierre Bokma star.

“Operation Sabre” (Serbia)

World Premiere

Inspired by true events, creators Vladimir Tagić and Goran Stanković dive right into the 2003 assassination of Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Đinđić, showing the chaos that followed. A young reporter and police inspector are trying to get to the truth, but, as always, there will be a price to pay. Produced by This and That Productions and co-produced by Agitprop for Radio Television of Serbia. Beta Film handles distribution.

“This is Not Sweden” (Spain, Sweden)

Created by Aina Clotet (who also stars), Valentina Viso and Dani González, this winner of Prix Europa sees a couple that moves to a mountain neighbourhood in Barcelona, hoping to raise their children in a more authentic place. Soon, tragedy strikes. “It turns on the deep fears of parenting, and parents’ firm will to give our children the maximum guarantees for the future. A high level of demand that, of course, lead us to enormous frustration,” Clotet told Variety. Also backed by a groundbreaking and exemplary Spain-Catalonia-Sweden-Finland-Germany public broadcaster alliance.

This Is Not Sweden
This Is Not Sweden

“To the Wonder” (China)

World Premiere

Yu Gong and Xiaohui Wang are behind this upcoming miniseries featuring Yili Ma (“Miss S,” Take Us Home”), Yiran Zhou and Shi Yu. Congcong Teng directs. Li Wenxiu, a Han girl who grew up in a small town in Altay, is determined to pursue her literary dream in a big city. However, she repeatedly faces obstacles and is forced to return to her hometown, where she relies on her mother’s provision store for a living. After getting acquainted with a Kazakh boy Batay, Wenxiu gradually discovers the beauty of the local area and follows a nomadic Kazakh family into the pastoral area.

“The Zweiflers” (Germany)

World Premiere

ZDF Studios is selling the series, produced by Turbokultur for ARD Degeto Film and Hessischer Rundfunk and created by David Hadda, taking a closer and pioneering look at a Jewish family in contemporary Germany. It stars Aaron Altaras (“Unorthodox”), Saffron Coomber or Sunnyi Melles. “I drew on family traditions and cultural nuances into the story which not only add depth, but also provides viewers with a glimpse into the characters’ lives beyond the surface level,” said Hadda.

The Zweiflers
The Zweiflers

Competition – Short Form

“How to Fail as a Popstar” (Canada)

This coming-of-age show – based on Vivek Shraya’s hit play and subsequent book – focuses on a journey of a queer boy, growing up in Edmonton and trying to achieve pop stardom. Adrian Pavone (“Star Trek: Discovery”), Chris D’Silva (“The Handmaid’s Tale”), Ayesha Mansur Gonsalves and Vivek Shraya star in this CBC Gem original series, directed by Vanessa Matsui. It’s produced by Sphere Media.

“La Terre Appelle Mathilde” (Canada)

World Premiere

Another Canadian proposition, created and directed by Anthony Coveney, features Éléonore Delvaux-Beaudoin, Emma Bao Linh, Émilie Dufour, David-Emmanuel Jauniaux and Lélia Nevert. They star in the story about Mathilde, a 17-year-old with a passion for astronautics, who suffers an accident while trying to tinker with a homemade rocket prototype. Although she had her sights on becoming the next Valentina Terechkova, known as the first woman in space, she now finds herself missing an arm.

“Money Shot” (Finland)

World Premiere

Jemina Jokisalo created this story about ex-porn star (Pihla Viitala, seen in Netflix’s “Deadwind”) teaming up with a wannabe director to create female-friendly erotica. Produced by Solar Republic, it’s sold by Federation Studios and Nordisk Film. “This is a sweet and daring series, quite bold and different for a Finnish show and I’m really happy [Finnish broadcaster] Elisa Viihde had the courage to commission it,” said Jokisalo.

“Painkiller” (Sweden)

World Premiere

With REinvent on board, over the course of six episodes Gabriela Pichler focuses on a mother, suffering from chronic pain, and her artist daughter trying to help her (Snežana Spasenoska, Dodona Imeri), as well as the gentrification of Göteborg. “Working in the half-hour format was liberating. Additionally, the two main characters demanded an entire TV series dedicated to their story. I had no choice!,” Pichler told Variety. Produced by Garagefilm International.

“Rather Burn” (Argentina)

World Premiere

Laura Grandinetti (who also directs) and Sebastiàn Tornamira are behind this show from Argentina, starring Tornamira himself, Dana Crosa, Julieta Zapiola and Donna Tefa. After Cata’s passing, her friends, Luciana, Bruno and Paula, receive an urn with her ashes and an unusual list of to-do tasks. As they resolve the latter, they avoid connecting with the pain Cata’s passing away proposes: they laugh, fight, escape, dance, kiss and, finally, say goodbye. “A biting and impertinent writing, a daring and creative directing, ‘Rather Burn’ is like a fire full of freshness,” said the festival’s artistic director.

“Saint-Jean-du-Lac” (Canada)

Alexandre Pelletier and Emma-Jeanne Robitaille deliver a humorous story of two ambitious (or rather, desperate) municipal employees who decide to attract tourists – also by inventing a story about a monster living nearby their sleepy village. Predictably, things – and lies – quickly get out of hand. Guenièvre Sandré, Anthony Montreuil, Vincent Kim and Isabeau Blanche are in the cast.

“Swift Street” (Australia)

World Premiere

This crime drama, sold by Fifth Season and produced by Magpie Pictures for SBS, is set in Melbourne, where twentysomething Elsie (Tanzyn Crawford) has to join forces with her hustler father Robert (“Fear the Walking Dead’s” Cliff Curtis) in order to save him. From debt, obviously, but also from the dangerous criminals who are out to get him. Created by Tig Terera, who co-directs with Nicholas Verso.

“Tarot” (South Korea)

World Premiere

This Korean horror drama, created by DJ Lee, tells seven spooky stories – all revolving around mysterious tarot cards, cursing everyone who comes in their possession. Features “Parasite” star Yeo-Jung Cho, Eun-Sol Jo and Seung-Hoon Kim. Directed by Byung-Gil Choi, who already collaborated with Yeo-Jung Cho on the 2021 show “High Class.” Stories about urban legends that could happen to anyone, anywhere, in the backdrop of Seoul, 2024. As families, neighbors and strangers go on with their daily lives, mysterious incidents that are hard to tell if they are dreams or reality start to occur.

Documentary Series Competition

“Dale Undercover” (France)

World Premiere

“DJ Mehdi: Made in France” (France)

World Premiere

“Hard to Swallow” (USA, Nigeria)

World Premiere

“Hidden” (the Netherlands)

“Teenagers” (Canada)

Rendez-vous Cannois

“Brocéliande” (France)

World Premiere

“Camping Paradise” (France)

“Champion(s)” (France)

“Handball, Story of Families” (France)

“Madame Est Servie” (France)

“Public Defenders Marseille” (France)

“Those who Blush” (France)

“Wild Cards” (Canada)

South Korean Fiction

“Black Out”

World Premiere

“Pleasant Outcast”

World Premiere

“Rinza Noodle House”

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