Female producers from Ireland, Romania, Spain, Bulgaria, Germany and Ukraine are the winners of the first-ever series pitch contest, the results of which were announced at the Venice Film Festival by Netflix and the European Producers Club (EPC) on Friday.
The pitch contest, set up by the EPC and Netflix with backing from Netflix’s Fund for Creative Equity, aims to build new opportunities for underrepresented communities within the entertainment industry.
The first prize, which comes with $50,000 (€50,000) in development funding, went to producer Anna Mannion of Ireland’s Tri Moon Films. Second prize, and $20,000 in funding, was awarded to Ada Solomon of Romania’s Microfilm. Netflix and the EPC also picked four third place winners: Mariela Besuievsky of Spain’s Tornasol Media, Martichka Bozhilova from Agitprop in Bulgaria, Gabriele M. Walther of German production company Caligari and Olena Yershova from the Ukraine/Turkish company Tato Film. All four will receive $5,000 to help them develop their idea into a series.
“In the framework of the launch of the EPC Gender Charter, we established this scheme dedicated to women producers with Netflix’s Fund for Creative Equity,” said Gudny Hummelvoll, president of the European Producers Club. “Women producers are more scarce in the general landscape. We felt the need to open new opportunities and improve their accessibility to the market. We are excited that the outcome of the scheme gives high visibility to women producers from a broad range of countries — from Romania and Bulgaria to Ireland, Germany and Spain and many others.”
Netflix and the EPC launched the series pitch initiative at the TV festival Series Mania in March. The contest was open to EPC producers working for women-owned companies. Following a selection process by an independent jury, composed of Cia Edstrom, Francine Raveney and Olivier Kohn, the finalists of the competition came together at Netflix’s European headquarters in Amsterdam to pitch their projects to Netflix’s Content Team.
“Congratulations to the winners!” said Chris Mack, director of Grow Creative at Netflix. “It was exciting to see pitches from women producers from across Europe and it’s been great to partner with the European Producers Club to empower women. We know how important representation behind the camera is for representation on screen, which is why we support initiatives like this one with Netflix’s Fund for Creative Equity.”