Slovakian Drama ‘Our People’ Wins Series Mania Co-Pro Pitch

Slovakian drama series Our People has won the Series Mania Co-Pro Pitch and taken home a €50,000 ($55,000) development prize.

The pitch beat out competition from 14 other titles to win the Series Mania Forum Best Project Award following a day of pitching against projects from the likes of Japan, France, Germany and Eastern Europe.

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The pitching team — Jakub Viktorín, Tomáš Hrubý and Miro Sifra — drew an impromptu round of applause from the audience following their presentation, which intrigued the audience by describing their eureka moment while researching the crime drama story, saying, it “Felt like the world of Fargo.”

The six-part political drama series, from Nutprodukcia, is based on the grim true-life tale about the killing of journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée, Martina Kušnírová, in 2018. “These are stupid criminals. They were getting advice [to commit murder] from fortune tellers,” said Hrubý.

Kuciak has been investigating tax fraud among top Slovakian criminals and several people have been jailed for the deaths, though businessman Marian Kočner, who was jailed in 2020 for separate crimes, has twice been acquitted of planning the killings.

The win was announced yesterday evening by Laurence Herszberg, founder and general director of Series Mania, and professional jury president Nina Lederman, EVP Global Scripted Development & Programming at Sony Pictures Television.

Along with Lederman, the jury included Marco Chimenz, Group Co-General Manager, Federation Studios in Italy; Jennifer Ebell, EVP, EMEA Sales and Acquisitions at Fifth Season in the UK; Marianne Furevold-Boland, Head of Drama at Norway’s NKR; and Karin Marelle, VP Program Acquisitions & Co-Productions at Starz. They presented the winning team the check for €50,000 to the Our People team.

Our People is a smart, thoughtful, compelling story that enlightens and entertains while giving power to truth. We encourage the writing and producing team to pursue their goal,” said Lederman.

“The Co-Pro Pitching Sessions are one of the most anticipated parts of the Series Mania Forum and we are delighted to be giving the €50,000 prize to Our People.   We are extremely pleased that our distinguished jury chose to give the award to this explosive political drama out of Slovakia that delves into the murder of an investigative journalist and brings to the forefront the questions surrounding free speech, an issue very important today. This story also emphasizes the fact that important local stories when told strongly will resonate worldwide,” commented Herszberg.

Our People is produced by Viktorín and Hrubý. It is written by Tereza Nvotová and Sifra and directed by Tereza Nvotová.

This year, the 15 projects at the pitch were selected from 413 applications from 57 countries, including four new territories: Mexico, Cameroon, Panama and Chile.

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