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Weiterbildung »European Showrunner Programme«
© iStock/akinbostanci

Unique showrunner training programme at the ifs enters its 3rd round

•    EU funding for the »European Showrunner Programme«
•    Behind Closed Doors Think Tank on March 18 to define the showrunner position
•    Series writers can apply until April 14

After a successful second year, the »European Showrunner Programme« of the ifs Internationale Filmschule Köln enters its 3rd round. The unique programme for the showrunner position in Europe imparts key knowledge and skills required for this role. The fact that Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union is already supporting the programme for the third year shows that the English-language professional training programme meets the current demand. The festival partners include Series Mania, the Film Festival Cologne, the Series Camp and the Gothenburg Film Festival.

The »European Showrunner 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, as well as knowledge in 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. In addition, the »European Showrunner Network« format enables a continuous exchange between alumni and experts of the programme.
The training starts on June 2, the application deadline is April 14.

For the first time, the ifs is initiating a »Behind Closed Doors Think Tank« with experienced European showrunners from eight European countries on March 18 as part of the Series Mania festival. Further Behind Closed Doors Think Tanks will follow. The aim of these exclusive exchange events among experts is to collect cornerstones for a joint paper on the topic of showrunning in Europe. Relevant topics to be discussed are tasks and responsibilities, rights, remuneration and credits of showrunners in Europe. The paper that will emerge from these discussions should contribute to a clearer definition of the showrunner model and emphasize its efficiency, flexibility and potential for creative collaboration on an equal footing.

The »European Showrunner Programme« is shaped by internationally renowned showrunner personalities and series experts. The renowned Danish series writer and showrunner Jeppe Gjervig Gram (»Borgen«, »Follow the Money«) will once again be Head of Programme in 2024. The high-profile lecturers include, among others showrunners Anne Björnstadt (»Lilyhammer«, »Beforeigners«) from Norway, Chris Chibnall (»Broadchurch«) from the UK, director Uta Briesewitz (»Stranger Things«, »Westworld«, »The Wire«) from Germany and the USA, Francesca Gardiner, Executive Producer (»Succession«, »Killing Eve«) from France, Matt Hastings, showrunner, executive producer and director (»Fallen«, »The Handmaid’s Tale«) from the USA, Maja Jul Larsen, screenwriter and showrunner (»Cry Wolf«) from Denmark, Jeff Melvoin screenwriter and showrunner (»Northern Exposure«, »Designated Survivor«) from the USA and Marianne Wendt (»Eden«, »Neumatt«) from Germany.

Among the participants in the first two years were experienced and established series writers, some of whom were already responsible for 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) and Pedro Lopes, creator and showrunner (»Glória«, »O Códex 632«, Portugal). They all said they had benefited greatly from the programme, as did graduate Mona Masri, writer (»Easy Money« / »Snabba Cash«, »Copenhagen Cowboy«, Sweden): »It was incredible to learn from some of the best creators who were very generous in sharing their experiences and knowledge. I am very grateful for this opportunity. It has already helped me to develop my own shows.«

In European series production, the showrunner position continues to grow in importance. Showrunners ensure the artistic integrity of a series – from story development, pre-production and filming 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 today one of the leading study and professional training institutions for audiovisual media in Germany. Its aim is to provide film and media professionals with a high-quality, future-oriented education that closely combines theory and practice. Its location in the film and media hub of Cologne 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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