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Mona Masri / PHOTO: Courtesy of Salomonsson Agency P

Zentropa/SVT’s The Building among 6 projects part of European Writers Club Boosting concept

Zentropa/SVT’s The Building among 6 projects part of European Writers Club Boosting concept

In Göteborg, writer Mona Masri (Snabba Cash) whose project went from idea to concept at the EWC praised the programme, together with SVT’s Head of Drama Anna Croneman.

Launched in June, the pilot EU writers training programme European Writers Club (EWC) headed by Thomas Gammeltoft, has already secured peer approval among top audiovisual players in Europe and high visibility.

This week at Göteborg’s TV Drama Vision, Swedish writing talent Mona Masri (Snabba Cash, Copenhagen Cowboy) and SVT’s Anna Croneman shared inspiring feedback from their recent experience as participants of EWC Boosting Ideas, the first of three training sessions set up to stimulate cross-border collaboration between creators, writers, broadcasters and producers of European series.

Masri was among 12 writers selected for the EWC’s two-one week Boosting Ideas labs, backed by Le Groupe Ouest, which took place last October in Copenhagen and December in Tallinn.

The writing graduate from the prestigious Alma Löv Script Academy attended the EWC with the seed of an idea for The Building to be produced by Zentropa with development support from SVT. “I wanted to make a series about people living in high-rises in a ghetto in Sweden,” said the writer who grew up in that familiar environment.

Masri said the lab felt “almost like a sitcom or Big Brother. It was super intense-from 9.00 to 23.00 but truly fantastic.” She enjoyed notably the out-of-the-boxes exercises with her tutors, such as word associations with her eyes covered, or 45-minute psycho-analytical sessions with her, getting into the skin of her main characters .

Expanding on her project, the writer said The Building is about a family living in a building threatened by demolition, with the local immigrant community victim of urban gentrification. “It will be about love, home, and intimacy. I hope to have eccentric fun characters that people can relate to, even if you don’t live there,” said Masri who has a bible for the pilot.
"This training in a professional non-judgmental and non-competitive competitive environment where you could have playful collaborations was just what I needed," she added.

Croneman who suggested the writer to the EWC selection committee, also mentioned the unusual exercises she herself as participant had to do, such as drawing pictures of the other broadcasters. “This was a liberating and a fun process. As a commissioner I evaluate things immediately. But here, I had to practice not to judge things. It was super hard but very helpful,” she said.


Zentropa/SVT’s The Building among 6 projects part of European Writers Club Boosting concept

Anna Croneman / PHOTO: Svt H

Masri’s The Building will now attend the EWC’s ‘Boosting Concept’ sessions along with five selected projects. The next training sessions led by TorinoFilmLab’s SeriesLab programme, will take place in Cork April 11-16, 2023 then May 30-June 5 in Galicia, Spain,

The goal is for the projects to end up with new international partners and to be ready for script commissioning.

The five other series concepts selected are the following:

  • The Umbrella Murderer (Denmark)
    Created by Molly Malene Stensgaard (long-time Lars von Trier editor) for Miso Film and TV2 Denmark. A more or less true spy drama, set in a Europe that never left the Cold War.
  • Holmlia Love (Norway)
    Created by Mikael Diseth (producer of Countrymen), for Monster and NRK.
    Declaration of love to the community which emerged in Holmlia, Oslo after the real-life racist murder of 15-year-old Benjamin Hermansen that took place January 26, 2001.
  • Alpha (France)
    Created by Louis Aubert and Matthieu Bernard for Les films du Cygne/Storia TV and France Télévision. On the eve of a major Economic Forum organised by the four most polluting companies in Europe, young European activists, the Alphas, kidnap the sons and daughters of the bosses of these firms to force them to change their environmental policies.
  • Groningen HIV Case (Netherlands)
    Created by Manju Reijmer for Lemming Film, Videoland. About the controversial Dutch sexual abuse case where three men purposefully injected queer victims with HIV.
  • Frontward (Czech Republic)
    Created by Lukas Sigmund for KFS Production and Czech TV. A homicide detective starts finding the body of the same person over and over again and discovers connections between the cases and her own family.

The third training session Boosting Broadcasters will be held in Cork, April 14-16.

EWC is backed by the European Union, Screen Ireland, AGADIC/Spain, Estonian Film Institute, The National Film School of Denmark, The Danish Film Institute, Nordic Writers Associations, Nordisk Film & TV Fond and TV2/Denmark.​

For more information about EWC: CLICK HERE.