15 April 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
New Irish drama Our Father selected for Series Mania Co-Pro Pitching Sessions
23 Mar 2023 : Luke Shanahan
Our Father
Irish production Our Father has been selected as one of 15 projects for the Co-Production Pitching Sessions at this year’s Series Mania Forum.

The Co-Pro Pitching Sessions is Series Mania Forum’s founding premise and the most anticipated part of the annual Forum. TV series such as Off Season, Blackport and The Last Socialist Artefact were introduced for the first time during the Co-Pro Pitching Sessions.

The annual pitching sessions take place this week with 15 series projects seeking international financing. Producers are invited to come to Lille to pitch their series to an audience of key industry decision-makers, such as producers, broadcasters, and financiers.

One of the projects selected is Our Father, which follows a criminal who gets a shot at redemption when he flees from Belfast to a remote town in Newfoundland, where he is mistaken for their new priest.

Created by writing duo Michael McCartney and John Cairns (A Patch of Fog), Our Father is an Irish/Canadian co-production exec produced by Dominic Schreiber for Reel One, and Aaron Farrell for Shinawil.

Executive producer Dominic Schreiber says “It’s a classic fish-out-of-water story of an impostor living a lie but also slowly discovering a new-found sense of worth and belonging in a community”.

For this 2023 edition, 15 projects have been selected amongst 450 series submitted, from 66 different countries. One series will also be presented out of competition in partnership with the Berlinale Co-Production Market. A prize of 50,000 euros is given to the best project chosen by a professional jury. The pitching sessions are followed by individual meetings with broadcasters, distributors, producers, public and private funds.

Our Father is described as a “darkly comedic, character-driven drama”, with Patrick Tarr (Cardinal) and Newfoundland writer Emily Bridger (Little Orphans) attached on the writing team. Most of the filming is set to take place in Newfoundland, where Take The Shot will handle production. The pilot script was funded through an initiative by the Canadian Media Fund and Northern Ireland Film to encourage screen-based projects between producers from the two countries.

“We’re pitching it into Canadian, UK and Irish broadcasters and there could be multiple seasons potentially,” said Shinawil’s Aaron Farrell.

“Our Father hits the post-pandemic sweet spot right now, where people want escapism and a bit of fun.” added Schreiber, speaking to Television Business International. “But it isn’t just completely blue skies – it has a darker edge, but with a bit of humour”.

The full list of selected projects can be seen below:

ASMA – 8 x 52’ – France
Produced by Patricia Boutinard Rouelle for Nilaya Productions
Written by Antoine Vitkine

COOPER – 8 x 45’ – Australia, South Africa
Produced by Kylie du Fresne for Goalpost Pictures and Nimrod Geva for Quizzical Pictures
Written by James McNamara, Amy Jephta and Malla Nunn, based on Malla Nunn Books

DUST AND COAL – 8 x 52’ – Israël, France
Produced by Ronen Ben Tal for Bental Productions Ltd and Morgane Le Moine for First Love
Written by Ronen Ben Tal, Ron Ninio, Ofer Seker and Eleanor Sela

EXECUTIONERS – 6 x 60’ – Spain
Produced by Alberto Rull for Vertice 360
Written by Pedro Garcia Rios and Rodrigo Martin

FORT APACHE – 8 x 50’ – Italy
Produced by Fabrizio Donvito, Marco Cohen, Benedetto Habib, Daniel Campos Pavoncelli for Indiana Production Company
Written by Ivano Fachin, Giovanni Galassi and Tommaso Matano

HIJACKING PARADISE – 6 x 52’ – Belgium
Produced by Dimitri Verbeeck for Caviar
Created by Stijn Deconinck
Written by Stijn Deconinck & Nathalie Teirlinck

YOP – 8 x 45’ – Sweden
Produced by Moa Westeson, Cindy Hanson and Anni Faurbye Fernandez for Nevis Productions
Written by David Jassy

LETTERS TO LEONARD – 5 x 50’ – Greece
Produced by George Linardakis for Stefi Productions
Written by Fotis Dousos and John Samaras on an idea of Pierros Andrakakos

MONITOR – 6 x 60’ – Germany
Produced by Fabian Massah & Marc Malze for Endorphine Production
Created by Nikolai Müllerschön

OUR FATHER – 8 x 55’ – Ireland, Canada
Produced by Aaron Farrell for ShinAwiL and Dominic Scheiber for Reel One Entertainment
Written by John Cairns and Michael McCartney

THE BRONTE GIRLS – 6 x 60’ – United Kingdom
Developed by Parsonage Productions Ltd. with ZDF Studios
Written by Caroline Kelly Franklin

THE SALVATOR MUNDI CASE – 6 x 52’ – France
Produced by Florent Gellie for Incognita and Nathanaël La Combe for Wonder Films
Written by Angela Soupe and Antoine Vitkine

THE UNQUIET DEAD – 6 x 60’ – Canada
Produced by Shaftesbury
Written by Abdul Malik, based on the book series created by Ausma Zehanat Khan

UNSPOKEN – 6 x 30’ – Ukraine, Poland
Produced by Anna Rozalska, Dmytro Sukhanov and Natalia Liber for Match&Spark (Poland), Toy Cinema (Ukraine) and 2Brave Productions (Ukraine).
Written by Zhanna Ozirna and Filip Syczyński

VANISHED – 6 x 45’ – Germany, Iceland
Written by Mikael Torfason
Produced by Britta Hansen and Franziska Lindner for RED PONY PICTURES and
Ragnheidur Erlingsdottir for Zik Zak Filmworks

TIPPING POINT – 6 x 50’ – Finland, Norway
Produced by Markku Flink, Johanna Enäsuo for ReelMedia Oy and Synnøve Hørsdal for Maipo AS.
Concept by Markku Flink and Brendan Foley
Written by Brendan Foley
(project out of competition, in partnership with the CoPro Series of Berlinale)

IFTA Q&A Series: Kate Dolan on Directing
IFTA Q&A Series: Patricia Kelly on Directing
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