The Croatian series project AFTERPARTY wins the HBO Europe Award at MIDPOINT TV Launch
After six months of training, the TV Launch program peaked with the Season Finale pitching presentation held on Thursday, November 26, 2020. Nine series projects in development coming from Croatia, Greece, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Serbia and Ukraine were presented online to a pool of industry professionals.
The HBO Europe Award of 5.000 USD for the best project went to the drama series AFTERPARTY by writer Dora Sustic and producer Maja Pek-Bruenjes.
In the words of Steve Matthews, who handed over the award on behalf of HBO Europe:
“The difficulties of running the MIDPOINT programme online this year have certainly not resulted in any loss of quality: the participants all rose to the challenge with professionalism and innovation. As always this was a very difficult decision: several of the projects displayed extremely high levels of craft and attainment from teams who were collaborative and determined always to keep pushing themselves. But one stood out for having achieved those craft objectives but which also displayed an additional spark of personal passion and the courage to explore difficult and controversial modern topics with great honesty. A writer’s job is to explore an issue, not to preach about it – and for that reason the winner of this years’ HBO Europe prize is AFTERPARTY.“
Synopsis of the project
AFTERPARTY is a contemporary drama series that explores the world of Lucija and her best friends, Ruža, Maja and Iva, as they navigate through their late twenties while the political aspirations of the ultra-conservative movement threaten their sexual freedom, health and self-esteem. In desperate need of money, Lucija begins working for a warmhearted pro-life activist Anđela, which puts Lucija’s relationship with her best friend and lover Maja to the test. When Iva gets pregnant and reluctantly decides to have an abortion, the gap between the girls widens and the time comes to take responsibility; to reassess their beliefs and values, to give up jobs or boyfriends, and as in Ruža’s case, to face their buried traumas. Challenged to sustain their lifestyle, they fear not only the loss of ownership of their body, but even more so the loss of each other.
All presented projects underwent complex training consisting of group sessions, individual consultations, lectures and intensive work on the script as well as producing, financing, or pitching strategies. They collaborated closely with three group leaders, namely Gabor Krigler, Ben Morris and Cyril Tysz. Furthermore, the training was enriched by the presence of several tutors such as Marike Muselaers, Michaela Sabo, Ben Harris, Christopher Mack, Steve Matthews, Maggie Murphy, Rumle Hammerich, Fabian Haslob or Nebojsa Taraba.
The 2021 call for applications will be open in few days, with the deadline set for January 31, 2021.