Fiery Political Drama ‘Our People’ Wins Series Mania Co-Pro Pitch Sessions as Filmmakers Call For Truth Against Power

An explosive political drama retracing the 2018 murders of investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová, “Our People” claimed the best project award at this year’s Series Mania Forum.

Winning €50,000 ($54,318) in prize money and earning an enhanced international stature, the unflinching miniseries should now see an easier path forward – particularly given the chilly reception it found with funding authorities in native Slovakia.

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“We thought it impossible,” said director Tereza Nvotova as she claimed the Series Mania prize. “We thought it was dead, because the government in Slovakia really doesn’t want this story told. And we think this story is so important not just because of what is happening in Slovakia, and not just because Jan and Martina were murdered.”

“We just want to tell the truth,” Nvotova continued. “The world is turning very dark, and I think we all can feel it. We are all scared and we are — in all our countries — really trying hard to fight for democracy, for freedom of speech and for truth.”

Drawing on over 50,000 pages of case files and personal interviews with those close to the victims, the eight-episode series will track tragedy with vein of dark humor the filmmakers liken to that of Adam McKay and the Coen Brothers. Nutprodukcia’s Jakub Viktorín and Tomáš Hrubý will produce, while Miro Šifra writes.

“Journalists in particular have become easy targets,” writer Miro Šifra previously told Variety. “Whether it’s Ján Kuciak in Slovakia, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi or Jeff German in the U.S. [killed in 2018 and 2022 respectively], this is a story of a worldwide epidemic.”

This year’s co-pro pitch session jury was led by Nina Lederman (Sony Pictures Television) and also included Marco Chimenz (Federation Studios), Jennifer Ebell (Fifth Season), Marianne Furevold-Bolan (NKR), and Karin Marelle (Starz).

While political unease and unrest courses through the veins of many projects presented at Series Mania this year — and as Palestinian solidarity activists protested outside of Series Mania Forum’s main venue on Tuesday — the co-pro pitch prize has often spotlight and boosted socially conscious offerings.

In recent years, co-pro prizewinners have included the Ukraine/Poland war thriller “Unspoken,” the South African Apartheid-scarred police thriller “Paradys,” and the Russian gay activism drama “Red Rainbow.”

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