Experienced Series Writers Selected for European Showrunner Training

  • Kick-off in Cologne on June 1, 2022, with Head of Programme Jeppe Gjervig Gram (»Borgen« writer and »Follow the Money« showrunner) and the experienced showrunners Jeff Melvoin (»Killing Eve«, »Designated Survivor«), Marianne Wendt (»Neumatt / New Heights«, »Eden«), as well as Philipp Käßbohrer and Matthias Murmann (»How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast)«)
  • 12 series writers from 10 different European countries
  • NRW and EU-funded as well as high-profile industry partners Netflix and Series Mania

Auftakt des European Showrunner Training an der ifs köln
Participants of the first European Showrunner Training (from left to right): Margrét Örnólfsdóttir, Tijs van Marle, Katri Manninen, Sanne Nuyens, Julie Skaufel, Jóhann Ævar Grímsson, Lisa Ambjörn, Adrian Spring, Tarja Kylmä, Wiktor Piątkowski, Sanja Kovačević and Markus Stromiedel

Today, the »European Showrunner Training« at ifs internationale filmschule köln, a unique advanced training and mentoring programme for aspiring showrunners in the European market, was launched in Cologne. Experienced series writers expand their expertise in areas such as creative leadership and creative producing in preparation of their future work as showrunners.
The advanced training is part of the ifs’ international »European Showrunner Programme«, which is co-funded by the Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union and the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. With the world’s leading streaming entertainment service Netflix, which supports the programme both financially and by providing contacts to renowned experts, as well as the international series festival Series Mania in Lille, the ifs was able to win top-class industry partners.

The overwhelming response to the programme shows that the new advanced training programme is hitting a nerve in the industry. About 100 experienced series writers applied, of which twelve outstandingly qualified aspiring showrunners have been selected:

Lisa Ambjörn, Sweden | »Young Royals« (creator), »Sjukt /Sick« (creator)
Jóhann Ævar Grímsson, Iceland | »Sisterhood« (creator & head writer),
»Stella Blomkvist« (head writer)
Sanja Kovačević, Croatia | »Good Intentions« (head writer & creative producer),
»Ours & Yours« (co-writer & head editor)
Tarja Kylmä, Finland | »Invisible Heroes« (head writer)
Katri Manninen, Finland | »Shadow Lines« (creator & head writer), »Secret of the Borderwoods« (creator)
Sanne Nuyens, Belgium | »Hotel Beau Séjour« (co-creator, co-writer),
»The Twelve« (co-creator, co-writer)
Margrét Örnólfsdóttir, Iceland | »Flateyjargátan / The Flatey Enigma« (head writer), »Fangar / Prisoners« (head writer)
Wiktor Piątkowski, Poland | »Wataha« (creator & writer), »War Girls« (writer)
Julie Skaufel, Norway | »Home for Christmas« (writer), »I Do« (head writer)
Adrian Spring, Switzerland | »Nr. 47« (creator & showrunner)
Markus Stromiedel, Germany | »Das Geheimnis meines Vaters / My Father‘s Secret« (creator & head writer), »Der Staatsanwalt / The Prosecutor« (creator)
Tijs van Marle, The Netherlands | »Dirty Lines« (writer), »Mister Twister« (head writer)

For further information on the participants see here.

The participants will be supported by the renowned Danish series writer Jeppe Gjervig Gram (»Borgen« writer and »Follow the Money« showrunner, et al.) throughout the programme as Head of Programme.
In the first attendance session, which will take place in Cologne from June 1 to 3, 2022, Jeff Melvoin (»Killing Eve«, »Designated Survivor«), co-founder of the Writers Guild of America’s »Showrunner Training«, will give an introduction to the showrunner approach – from its US-American origins to current concepts in Europe.
In doing so, he highlights the different aspects of creative leadership that are relevant to the showrunner position. In case studies on successful series, top-level European writer/producers will present showrunning models that are currently in use in Europe. These range from Head of Programme Jeppe Gjervig Gram, who will present the Danish »DR« showrunner model and showrunner Marianne Wendt with her Swiss series »Neumatt (New Heights)«, to showrunners and creative producers Philipp Käßbohrer and Matthias Murmann with their Netflix success series »How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast)«.

The »European Showrunner Training« will run for six months in a blended learning format both online and in person in Cologne.
The second component of the »European Showrunner Programme« is the »European Showrunner Think Tank«, a series of panel discussions taking place online and at various international industry events. Here the aim is to discuss the current situation for showrunners in Europe. In exchange with series professionals and representatives of broadcasters, streaming services and production companies, these think tanks explore how the showrunner position in Europe can be implemented in a meaningful and sustainable way.
Information on any upcoming events as well as recordings of previous think tanks can be found here.

Now that the »Writers’ Room« has become an established work method in many European series productions, the position of the showrunner is becoming more and more important. Showrunners are responsible for the artistic integrity of a series – from story development through pre-production and shooting to post-production. As excellent series writers, they need to have a strong artistic vision as well as detailed insights into core disciplines such as series production, directing, and editing.

Founded in 2000, the ifs internationale filmschule köln is now one of the leading training institutions for film and moving image in Germany. It is a key internationally oriented educational and professional training institution for the audiovisual media industry. Its aim is to offer film and media professionals high-quality, future-oriented training with a focus on combining theory and practice. Its location in the film and media hub Cologne is particularly characteristic of the ifs’s closeness to the industry. The sole principal partner of ifs is the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW.
With the MA Serial Storytelling, the ifs has been offering the first master’s programme with a focus on cooperative writing for series in Europe since 2013.

Further information at www.showrunners.eu

A group photo can be downloaded here. Please note the photo credit: photographer Guido Schiefer. Photo caption: Participants of the first European Showrunner Training (from left to right): Margrét Örnólfsdóttir, Tijs van Marle, Katri Manninen, Sanne Nuyens, Julie Skaufel, Jóhann Ævar Grímsson, Lisa Ambjörn, Adrian Spring, Tarja Kylmä, Wiktor Piątkowski, Sanja Kovačević and Markus Stromiedel