Despite the ratings successes of U.S. and Aussie imports like Dawson’s Creek, Heartbreak High and Beverly Hills, 90210, Europe’s production industry has been slow to react to the boom in demand for teen programming. Hoping to jumpstart development of homegrown drama and live-action series for European teens, the EBU is hosting a two-day seminar and pitch session called Pygmalion from March 13 to 14 in Paris.
European prodcos are invited to send series proposals to the event’s co-organizers, Schreibschule Köln in Germany and France’s Conservatoire Européen d’Ecriture Audiovisuelle (CEEA), by the end of this month. Between 10 to 15 of these concepts will be selected to participate in Pygmalion’s three-day training session, during which the prodcos will work closely with an industry writer from Australia to get their pitches up to snuff. The next day, Banff Film Festival director Pat Ferns will present the much-improved proposals to a committee of youth network heads and writers, who will narrow down the field to four or five winners. Awarded with a benefit grant of 10,000 Euros (5,000 from the CEEA and 5,000 from a major European channel), the winning projects will be developed for a MIP-TV debut. So far, France’s TF1 and Germany’s ZDF have agreed to participate in the event.