The first Festival of the TV series, or rather, the first edition of the FeST, was held in Milan from October 11th to 14th inside the Santeria Social Club. A program full of meetings, panels and premieres that made Milan a reference point for all the TV series lovers.
From the debates about the role of women in TV series to the panels dedicated to the most different aspects of the serial entertainment, going through the previews of “The Romanoffs,” “Killing Eve” and “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” and the meetings with Bradley James (“The Medici”), Jaime Lorente (“The Paper House”) and Mattia Torre (“Boris”), The FeST highlighted Italian and international realities, giving life to an engaging and full of inspirations edition.
Here is the recap of the first edition of the FeST!
The diversity in all its facets, the importance of representing them and the responsibility in doing it, have been the common theme of the whole first edition of the FeST. There have been many panels about this issue, such as the one in which “Will and Grace,” one of the most innovative and pioneering TV series regarding this subject, has been explained and analyzed, but probably the most representative was the one about “Butterfly.”
FeST and Diversity Lab present: “Butterfly.” Meeting with the showrunner Tony Marchant and the premiere of the first episode
“Butterfly” is a mini-series of three episodes that represents the delicacy and the respect with which you have to face issues such as the one of sexual transition, especially when there are children involved. “Butterfly” in fact follows the family life of a girl in transition, in a drama that is much closer to “This Is Us” than to “Transparent.” The showrunner Tony Marchant, three-times winner of a Bafta TV Award, spoke about how he had and wanted to carry out numerous researches and interviews, also thanks to associations like “Mermaids” or the “Gender Identity Clinic,” thanks to which he understood the fluidity of this kind of topics, where you often think that there is only a binary choice. The TV series, therefore, assumes an enormous responsibility, not only for the theme, but also for the target, presenting itself to a universal and generalist public, and for this reason, it will be aired in the UK from October 14th immediately after X-Factor.
“Writing and playing women: ‘Gomorra -The Series’ and ‘Il Miracolo’,” with Elena Lietti, Ivana Lotito and Cristina Donadio
The three actresses, who play respectively Sole in “Il Miracolo,” and Azzurra and Scianel in “Gomorra-The Series,” talked about their experiences on the set and the role of women in the TV industry. Coming from different paths, the three women have in common the will (even if it is vulnerable sometimes) and the great awareness of themselves that keep them afloat in a world dominated by injustices. As Cristina Donadio said, “An actor must ‘be’ and not ‘do’ as we hear many times. A character must be felt.” And that’s what the three of them did while filming, balancing their similarities and differences with their characters. Regarding this, do you know what any of them would recommend to their characters? To escape from a reality that keeps them prisoners and to set free their femininity. And also, and above all, to “Don’t worry about a thing!”
“BABY:” The meeting with directors Andrea de Sica and Anna Negri, the Collettivo GRAMS and the producer Nicola de Angelis
Prepare yourself for “BABY,” a series that could be defined almost entirely feminine for the main role of the young protagonists and for the themes, above all the one of friendship. Inspired by a true story, the series follows a group of Roman teenagers who, between excesses and mistakes, defy social conventions in search of independence and of their own identity, and the spectator in this perspective will join them in the search for a meaning in life. The producer and the filmmakers said, “This is a never-seen-before product, characterized by authorial images that go along with the psychology of the characters.” The final result is a mix of romance and darkness through which they want to speak about the lives and problems of a young group of people and creating a strong and unique impact on those who watch it. “BABY” will be available on Netflix from November 30th.
Meeting with Bradley James and Aurora Ruffino from “The Medici-The Magnificent”
Created in 2016 and broadcasted on Rai1 in Italy and on Netflix in almost all the rest of the world, the TV series “The Medici” came to the second season. With a gap of two generations, the history of the Medici continues with the story of Lorenzo the Magnificent, played by Stuart Martin. In this second season, Lorenzo and his brothers Guglielmo and Bianca will have more prominence; the brothers are respectively played by Bradley James (“Merlin”) and Aurora Ruffino (“Red Bracelets”) and they spoke about this TV series during the FeST. Aurora Ruffino praised the modernity of her character who stands up to a man and especially to her older brother. Love stories, palace’s intrigues and action (the famous Pazzi conspiracy is approaching…), “The Medici” seems to offer it all. It should be available on Netflix after the end of the season, around November 13th.
“ÉLITE”: The meeting with the protagonists Ester Expòsito and Jaime Lorente
After the great success of “The Paper House,” Netflix and Spain continue to produce choral and social TV series, such as “Élite,” the new original Netflix series of 8 episodes available from October 5th. Between teen drama and thriller, “Élite” addresses several important issues, from different sexual orientations to drug addiction, from HIV to social class clash and everything that creates prejudices among people. The cast is young and it rides the wave of “The Paper House” with the presence of three actors from the Spanish series: María Pedraza, Miguel Herrán and Jaime Lorente. The latter presented the series at the FeST with one of his young colleagues, Ester Expósito. Both the actors praised the courage of the series and the strength of the female figures within the events: the hope is to be able to give voice to many people through the “family” that they created on the set.
From “Boris” to “La Linea Verticale:” Meeting with the Master of Comedy, Mattia Torre
From 2007 to 2010 “Boris,” one of the best Italian TV series, has been on the air on Fox: the TV show is written by Giacomo Ciarrapico, Luca Vendruscolo and Mattia Torre. The latter held a panel at the FeST to speak about his career, both on television and on stage, starting precisely from “Boris,” going through the “456” show, also on television, until his latest TV production “La Linea Verticale,” that talks about a very sensitive topic such as the fight against cancer, experienced by Torre himself.
“La Compagnia del Cigno:” Meeting with Ivan Cotroneo
To present his new TV series for the Rai, “La Compagnia del Cigno,” Ivan Cotroneo, one of the few real Italian showrunners, held a panel together with the great director of photography Luca Bigazzi, one of the main collaborators of Sorrentino. Ivan Cotroneo during his career has often faced the difficulty of speaking about diversity to a generalist public, giving voice to all types of family and also trying to understand the meaning of family today. Bigazzi instead, wanted to underline the beauty of the collective vision, and on how much the cinema amplifies the emotions of every single spectator.
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“The Chilling Adventures di Sabrina”
To end this first edition of the FeST under the diversity’s theme and the importance of giving a face to the outsiders of the society, there couldn’t have been a better choice than to present the supreme outsiders, the most feared and persecuted in history, the witches, with the international preview of one of the most awaited original Netflix series of this fall, “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” which will be available on the streaming platform from October 26th. Here’s our review.
The first edition of the FeST- The Festival of the TV series was an excellent debut for an almost unpublished reality in Italy, brave for the themes and transversal in the debates. It will be interesting to see how it will grow and how it will definitely become a must-go appointment.
Photo credits: Nicola Bernardi Photography