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European Showrunner Programme

Unique Professional Training for Showrunners at the ifs enters second round

Additional three years of EU funding for the »European Showrunner Programme«

Unique Professional Training for Showrunners at the ifs enters second round


  • Additional three years of EU funding for the »European Showrunner Programme«
  • In 2023, the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW continues as funding partner, as will Netflix as industry partner
  • Experienced series writers can apply until April 3

After a successful first year, the »European Showrunner Programme« of the ifs Internationale Filmschule Köln enters its second round. This unique initiative, which focuses on the position of the showrunner in Europe, imparts key knowledge and skills required for this role. The fact that the Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union has agreed to fund the programme for a further three years shows just how much the English-language professional training programme meets current demand.
The programme includes the »European Showrunner Training«, a six-month part-time professional training and mentoring programme for experienced series writers who want to expand their skills in core areas of showrunning, such as creative leadership, social impact, series producing, directing and editing. This is accompanied by the »European Showrunner Think Tank«, a series of public events dedicated to defining and establishing the role of the showrunner in Europe. New this year is the »European Showrunner Network«, a platform for continuous exchange between alumni and experts of the programme.
The training starts on June 11 and the application deadline ends April 3.

The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW will once again support the programme as a funding partner for the 2023 edition. As a high-profile industry partner, Netflix will also continue to support the programme both financially and in terms of experts and content. In addition to Series Mania and the Film Festival Cologne, the ifs has gained the Seriencamp and the Film Festival Göteborg as new festival partners.

The »European Showrunner Programme« is shaped by internationally renowned showrunners and series experts from across Europe. In 2023, the renowned Danish series writer and showrunner Jeppe Gjervig Gram (»Borgen«, »Follow the Money«) will once again head the programme. Among the high-profile lecturers are the showrunners Anne Björnstadt (»Lilyhammer«, »Beforeigners«) from Norway, Chris Chibnall (»Broadchurch«) from the UK, Miikko Oikkonen (»Bordertown«) from Finland, director Uta Briesewitz (»Stranger Things«, »Westworld«, »The Wire«) from the USA as well as Marianne Wendt (»Eden«, »Neumatt«), and the managing directors of  bildundtonfabrik, Philipp Käßbohrer and Matthias Murmann (»How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast)«, „King of Stonks«) from Germany.

The class of 2022 started at a high level, with top series writers as participants, some of whom were already steering their first series projects in the showrunner role, such as Lisa Ambjörn (»Young Royals«, »Sjukt/Sick«, Sweden), Sanne Nuyens (»Hotel Beau Séjour«, »The Twelve«, Belgium) or Julie Skaufel (»Home for Christmas«, »I Do«, Norway). All participants confirmed they had benefited greatly from the programme, as graduate Wiktor Piątkowski, creator and writer from Poland (»Wataha«, »War Girls«) states: “The »European Showrunner Programme« is like a great anthology series –  each module is another fascinating story with inspiring characters. And you can always discover something interesting that will not only improve your own showrunner skills.“

Nadja Radojevic, Chief Executive Director of the ifs: „The extremely positive response to the first edition of the European Showrunner Programme has confirmed how much this innovative qualification initiative meets the needs of the growing and rapidly changing European series market. I thank our funders and industry partners for their continued strong support.“

The position of the showrunner is becoming increasingly important in European series production. Showrunners ensure the artistic integrity of a series – from story development, pre-production and shooting to post-production and marketing. They must be excellent series writers with a strong artistic vision and excellent knowledge of core disciplines such as series producing, directing and editing. They bring together a highly professional team of creatives whom they continually inspire and motivate.

Founded in 2000, the ifs Internationale Filmschule Köln is one of the leading schools for film and moving image in Germany. It sees itself as a central, internationally oriented institution for education and professional training for the audiovisual media industry.
Its aim is to provide film and media professionals with a high-quality, future-oriented education that closely combines theory and practice. The fact that it is located in Cologne, a film, media, and TV hub, is particularly characteristic of its claim to be close to the industry.
The ifs’ sole principal partner is the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW.

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