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Besides the lingering soulless annoyance that is reality TV, the idiot box has really picked up its game over the 10ish years. Some would even say we’re in a new golden age of television thanks to series’ like The Wire, Breaking Bad, House of Cards, Westworld and of course, the much worshipped, Game of Thrones. Series Mania is a festival dedicated to high quality television programmes from around the world.
“Series Mania is to TV drama what the Cannes Film Festival is to film” – Variety
Series Mania is the world’s biggest TV festival and it’s in Melbourne right now for the first time. The esteemed four-day event is open to fans and industry heads and is made up of talks and series premiere screenings at Australian Centre for the Moving Image at Federation Square.
This is massive for Melbourne. In 2016, the Paris edition of Series Mania attracted more than 40,000 viewers to see 80 shows from 20 countries. Series Mania gives us a sneak preview of some of the best local and international series yet to be released – many of which we might’ve otherwise missed.
Most of the line-up for Series Mania falls into the “must-see” or at least “should-see” category, but since it’d be hard to see them all we’ve made a list of the festival highlights.
Opening Night: Sunshine (world premiere)
This fictional crime drama follows an aspiring South Sudanese-Australian basketball player hoping for a US College scholarship. Sunshine is a gripping look at the expectation and misfortune experienced by Melbourne’s South Sudanese community.
Freefall follows an unfortunate Sliding Doors moment involving lice, cops and the missing of an important meeting that sees Valerie’s life spiral out of control. This Canadian drama somehow makes light of everything going wrong.
The White Princess
Vikings and Game of Thrones are a testament to the popularity of kings and queens’ dramas. Set in 1485, The White Princess looks at the marriage between Princess Elizabeth of York and King Henry Tudor, and the consequent rise of the House of Tudor. Keep an eye out for Michelle Fairley, aka Caitlyn Stark.
Five years after going into a drowning-induced coma, Florian’s mind is illegally transferred into someone else’s body – now he’s on the run. This sci-fi thriller won two awards at Series Mania Paris 2017. Transfer poses questions of immortality and the ethical limits of medical advances.
ACMI Series Mania 2017 runs from July 20-24 at the ACMI, around the corner from QT Melbourne.
To celebrate, QT Melbourne will be offering a complimentary cocktail for all Series Mania ticketholders during the four-day event. Take advantage of this offer at their signature bar, Pascale, or hidden laneway bar, Hot Sauce.
words by niall roeder
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