2019 EastSeries Pitching Awards: Dmytro Hrypun’s ‘Happy Nation’ from Ukraine, Olga Chajdas, Marta Konarzewska’s ‘The Gift’ from Poland

Odesa International Film Festival

The third edition of EastSeries took place in Odesa, Ukraine on July 18-19, 2019. The winners of the most recent installment of the drama series pitching competition are “Happy Nation” by Dmytro Hrypun from Ukraine and “The Gift” by Olga Chajdas and Marta Konarzewska from Poland.

In partnership with Series Mania, a unique event entirely dedicated to series, the 2019 EastSeries Pitching Awards was organized by the Odesa International Film Festival film industry office team. It was powered by ScripTeast, a master training program for the best Eastern European scriptwriters, and supported by Star Media, the biggest international film company in Ukraine.

Including “Happy Nation” and “The Gift,” six drama series projects from Eastern Europe with international potential were selected for participation. The others were “Carpathia” by Marysia Nіkіtiuk, Maryna Stepanska and Nariman Aliev from Ukraine, “Dead and Married” by Kristina Jilly from Hungary, “Disstaf” by Nenad Antonovic from Croatia and “Salvia” by Stefan Peca from Romania.

Following a pitching training by the renowned tutor and producer Agathe Berman, the participating writers, directors and producers pitched their projects to a jury and public audience that included broadcasters, distributors and potential co-producers. The jury consisted of ARTE drama department commissioning editor Adrienne Frejacques from France, ZDF Enterprises director Mirela Nastase from Germany, Series Mania Forum head Francesco Capurro from France, ScripTeast and Independent Film Foundation president Dariusz Jablonski from Poland and Star Media general producer Vlad Ryashin from Ukraine.

After due deliberation, the jury awarded Chajdas and Konarzewska for their project “The Gift” with the invitation to UGC Writers Campus by Series Mania 2020. The jury wrote, “We believe in the high potential of this project. It’s a character driven story with a strong female lead upon transgenerational trauma which goes beyond the border of Poland and can reach an international audience”.

The Star Media Award, a post-production service package in the amount of US$20,000, went to “Happy Nation” by Hrypun.  Giving the award, the jury commented, “One of the projects took us to a coming of age journey from childhood friendship to organised crime in post soviet Kyiv in the ’90s. It was efficient, colourful and promising.”

UGC Writers Campus by Series Mania (
A week-long writing workshop open to 20 European writers. It will take place in Lille in March 20. The 20 selected writers will have the chance to be trained and mentored by experienced A-List writers and to meet the key industry decision-makers during the Series Mania professional Forum. A unique opportunity to develop project and a network!

Star Media (
Star Media is one of the leaders in the production of television movies in Ukraine and abroad.  The company produces about 30 projects annually, being TV series and wide-screen theatrical features. Star Media’s library of rights comprises over 5,000 hours of finished content in various genres produced by the company.

Odesa International Film Festival (
Support and development of Ukrainian cinematography inside the country and on the international stage, popularization of high-level intellectual films. Main professional platform that gather Ukrainian and foreign filmmakers. Exclusive film premieres, workshops of leading world filmmakers and unique festive atmosphere – all of this is brought together in the 9 days of the Odesa International Film Festival!

ScripTeast (
ScripTeast is a European master training program for the best Eastern European scriptwriters, organized by the Independent Film Foundation of Poland. Since 2006 altogether 149 scripts have been developed within the program and as of today 50 of them are in production or have already been produced and distributed, many to commercial success and critical acclaim.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.