Production companies from Ireland, Romania, Spain, Bulgaria, Germany and Ukraine are the winners of the first series submission contest, the results of which were announced at the Venice Film Festival by Netflix and the European Producers Club (EPC) on Friday.
The submission contest, organized by EPC and Netflix with the support of the Netflix Creative Equity Fund, aims to create new opportunities for underrepresented communities within the entertainment industry.
First prize, which comes with $50,000 (€50,000) in development funds, went to producer Anna Mannion of Ireland’s Tri Moon Films. Second prize, and $20,000 in funding, went to Ada Solomon of Microfilm in Romania. Netflix and the EPC also chose four third-place winners: Mariela Besuievsky from Spain’s Tornasol Media, Martichka Bozhilova from Agitprop in Bulgaria, Gabriele M. Walther from German production company Caligari, and Olena Yershova from Ukrainian/Turkish company Tato Film. All four will receive $5,000 to help develop their idea into a series.
“As part of the launch of the EPC Gender Charter, we established this dedicated scheme for female producers with the Netflix Creative Equity Fund,” said Gudny Hummelvoll, President of the European Producers Club. “Women producers are rarer in the big picture. We feel the need to open new opportunities and improve their accessibility to the market. We are excited that the outcome of the scheme will bring great visibility to women producers from a wide range of countries, from Romania and Bulgaria to Ireland, Germany and Spain, among many others.”
Netflix and the EPC launched the series submission initiative at the Series Mania television festival in March. The contest was open to EPC producers working for women-owned businesses. Following a selection process by an independent jury, made up of Cia Edstrom, Francine Raveney and Olivier Kohn, the contest finalists met at Netflix’s European headquarters in Amsterdam to present their projects to the Netflix content team.
“Congratulations to the winners!” said Chris Mack, director of Grow Creative at Netflix. “It was exciting to see releases from women producers across Europe and it’s been fantastic to partner with the European Producers Club to empower women. We know how important behind-the-camera representation is to on-screen representation, which is why we support initiatives like this with the Netflix Creative Equity Fund.”