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Annette Bening Wins Best Actress At Series Mania Awards; French-Hungarian Chess Drama ‘Rematch’ Scoops Grand Prize

Annette Bening’s first major TV series role has won the five-time Oscar nominee the Best Actress prize at this year’s Series Mania.

Bening was awarded in the past few minutes at the prestigious Lille event for her leading role in Peacock series Apples Never Fall, an adaptation of a novel by Big Little Lies scribe Liane Moriarty.

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The coveted grand prize was given to French-Hungarian chess drama Rematch about the historic 1997 chess battle between Garry Kasparov and an IBM computer. It beat off competition from the likes of Apples Never Fall, MGM+’s Hotel Cocaine and Leonard Cohen show So Long, Marianne.

Apples Never Fall stars Bening as Joy Delaney, a matriarch former tennis coach married to the irritable Stan (Neill), who suddenly goes missing, leaving her four children to piece together everything they thought they knew about their parents.

Speaking to Deadline prior to Series Mania, showrunner Melanie Marnich said the performance of Bening – her first major series role on the small screen – gave her “goosebumps” and asked “deep, relevant questions.”

Bening is a five-time Oscar nominee who was nominated this year for Nyad, losing out to Emma Stone.

Elsewhere, Kamel El Basha, lead in Australia’s House of Gods, won Best Actor for his performance, described by the show’s creatives to Deadline as The Sopranos and Succession in a mosque.

Best writer went to Thomas Wendrich, who penned Germany’s Herrhausen – The Banker and the Bomb.

In the International Panorama competition, Norway’s Dates in Real Life won Best Series and the acting awards went to Soviet Jeans’ Kārlis Arnolds Avots and After the Party’s Robyn Malcolm. Soviet Jeans, about an ardent rock and roll fan who sets up a successful and illegal underground jeans factory in a Latvian psychiatric hospital, had a strong night, also winning the Audience Award.

Series Mania was well attended this year, with organizers saying there was a 15% rise on 2023 to nearly 100,000 spectators, including 4,200 people at the forum from 72 countries. Keynotes included from Patricia Arquette, Narcos creator Chris Brancato and top execs at Netflix, Disney and HBO.

The awards in full

  INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION

  Grand Prize: “REMATCH” (France/Hungary)
PRODUCTION: UNITÉ, ARTE FRANCE, FEDERATION STUDIOS, PROTON
BROADCASTER: ARTE (FRANCE – GERMANY)
INTERNATIONAL SALES: FEDERATION STUDIOS

Best Writing:  Thomas Wendrich forHERRHAUSEN – THE BANKER AND THE BOMB”(Germany)
PRODUCERS & COMMISSIONERS: MARC GREWE, GLADY BROOKFIELD-HAMSON (LINE PRODUCER) CHRISTER VON LINDQUIST (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER) TILL DERENBACH (CO-PRODUCER) GABRIELA SPERL (PRODUCTRICE/PRODUCER), CLAUDIA LUZIUS, CHRISTOPH PELLANDER, THOMAS SCHREIBER (COMMISSIONERS ARD)
BROADCASTER: ARD

Best Actress: Annette Bening in “APPLES NEVER FALL”(Australia,USA)
PRODUCTION: HEYDAY FILMS (UK), A DIVISION OF UNIVERSAL INTERNATIONAL STUDIOS (UK), A DIVISION OF UNIVERSAL STUDIO GROUP (US)
BROADCASTER: PEACOCK

Best Actor: Kamel El Basha in “HOUSE OF GODS” (Australia)
PRODUCTION: MATCHBOX PICTURES
BROADCASTER:ABC TV (AUSTRALIA)
INTERNATIONAL SALES: NBCUNIVERSAL GLOBAL TV DISTRIBUTION

  INTERNATIONAL PANORAMA

Best Series: “DATES IN REAL LIFE” (Norway)
PRODUCTION: MAIPO FILM
BROADCASTER: NRK
INTERNATIONAL SALES: DYNAMIC TELEVISION

Best DirectingJavier Ambrossi and Javier Calvo  for  “LA MESÍAS” (Spain) PRODUCTION : MOVISTAR PLUS+, SUMA CONTENT BROADCASTER : MOVISTAR PLUS+, HBO MAX LATAM
INTERNATIONAL SALES : MOVISTAR PLUS+

Best Actress: Robyn Malcolm in “AFTER THE PARTY” (Australia, New -Zealand)
PRODUCTION: LINGO PICTURES, LUMINOUS BEAST
BROADCASTER:TVNZ, ABC
INTERNATIONAL SALES: ITV STUDIOS

Best Actor: Kārlis Arnolds Avots in “SOVIET JEANS” (Latvia)
PRODUCTION: TASSE FILMS
BROADCASTER: GO3
INTERNATIONAL SALES: BETA FILM

A student jury also awarded its prize:  “LA MESÍAS” (Spain)

  FRENCH COMPETITION

Best Series​ : “MACHINE” 
PRODUCTION : 687, FIT PRODUCTION, WHITE LION FILMS, MAKWA, ARTE FRANCE
BROADCASTER : ARTE (FRANCE-GERMANY)
INTERNATIONAL SALES : MEDIAWAN RIGHTS

Best Actress: Tiphaine Daviot in “MURDER CLUB”
PRODUCTION: ATLANTIQUE PRODUCTIONS
BROADCASTER: M6
INTERNATIONAL SALES: MEDIAWAN RIGHTS

Best Actor : Jérémy Gillet in “UNE AMITIÉ DANGEREUSE”
PRODUCTION : FIT PRODUCTION, STORIA TELEVISION
BROADCASTER : FRANCE 2
INTERNATIONAL SALES : MEDIAWAN RIGHTS

Best Original Score : Julie Roué for “LE MONDE N’EXISTE PAS”
PRODUCTION : IMAGE ET COMPAGNIE, ARTE FRANCE
BROADCASTER : ARTE ( FRANCE – GERMANY)
INTERNATIONAL SALES: MEDIAWAN RIGHTS

  COMEDY COMPETITION

  Best Series awarded by a high school Jury from Hauts-de-France:  “VIDEOLAND” (Australia).
PRODUCTION: PIKELET PICTURES PTY LTD

  SHORT FORMS COMPETITION

Best Series : “CEUX QUI ROUGISSENT” (France, Switzerland)
PRODUCTION : ARTE FRANCE, MELOCOTON FILMS, BOX PRODUCTIONS
BROADCASTER: ARTE.TV (FRANCE – GERMANY)
OTHER BROADCASTER: RTS – RADIO TÉLÉVISION SUISSE

  AUDIENCE AWARD

Best Series:  “SOVIET JEANS” (Latvia)

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