Screenwriting Contest – Announcing Winners

by | Jul 1, 2021 | News |

Screenwriting Contest – Announcing Winners

by | Jul 1, 2021 | News |

The Contest

MAGERDO by Ewa Stec (Poland), RED PLANET BLUES by Harry Ayiotis (Cyprus) and SILVER GHOST by Carsten Jaeger (Germany) are the crime TV series projects that won the DETECt Crime Series Contest organised by DETECt and Serial Eyes.
The award ceremony for the finalists of the screenplay competition organised by DETECt and Serial Eyes wrapped up the three-day conference “Detecting Europe in Contemporary Crime Narratives: Print Fiction, Film, and Television” (21-23 June, Link Campus University Rome). The event was part of an international research project which, over the course of three years, analysed the transnational circulation of cultural and creative products in the crime genre in relation to the creation of a shared European identity.

International experts Karen Hassan (Cattleya), Steve Matthews (HBO Europe), Giacomo Poletti (Mediaset Group), Eva Van Leeuwen (Netflix), and Maurizio de Giovanni (novelist and President of the Jury), were called upon to judge the 250 participating projects, among which they picked the five semi-finalists: Red Planet Blues by Harry Ayiotis (Cyprus), Silver Ghost by Carsten Jaeger (Germany), Wasteland by Francesco Meneghini and Leonora Sartori (Italy), Magerdo by Ewa Stec (Poland) and Sun City by Benedek Totth (Hungary).

Magerdo by Ewa Stec (Poland) won the Jury Prize with the following motivation:

Magerdo promises to push the crime genre into new territory by taking the audience inside Poland’s much-discussed but actually little-known Roma community. By exploring the internal rules and conflicts that animate this fascinating but complex world, the project addresses social and cultural tensions that may be of interest to viewers across Europe. At the same time, the story presents us with a suspenseful cat-and-mouse game between its main characters, which is the key to an excellent crime story and forces us to formulate hypotheses until the last frame.”

Two further mentions were awarded to two series projects. Silver Ghost by Carsten Jaeger (Germany) won the Special Mention for Best Character awarded by the students of Link Campus University, with the following motivation:

“The main characters, Peff, a lesbian grease monkey, and Solo, a half-Asian producer of print silhouettes, do not conform to gender stereotypes and have the right characteristics to attract even a young audience that can identify with them. They act as a complementary duo and drive the story forward by supporting each other. Both have complicated pasts and clearly know the goal they want and need to achieve to save the ones they love.

The protagonists are well-developed and show a complex and somehow contradictory psychology that is well suited to the noir genre without falling into clichés. Their less virtuous sides as well as their humanity bring them closer to the viewer and help create empathy.”

Finally, a Special Mention was awarded by the DETECt researchers to Red Planet Blues by Harry Ayiotis (Cyprus), for the following reasons:

“A crime story set on Mars? A homicide detective who has never worked on a murder case? A cop named ‘Frank Kafka’?! Red Planet Blues is based on these weird premises. And more. Mixing crime and science fiction, Red Planet Blues addresses existential and political questions about contemporary lifestyles, asking whether the creation of a Martian colony could be an opportunity for humankind or just another form of escapism. A humorous, original take on crime narratives, this project promises to become an entertaining but at the same time enlightening reflection on the detective genre and why everybody loves it.”

Wrapping up the award ceremony, de Giovanni recommended the participants to allow their creativity to run free, “maintaining an extraordinary peculiarity and an appreciable singularity. I do not think they need suggestions, but on the contrary, they should be strongly encouraged to maintain such a bold, precise creative individuality.”

Award-winning projects logline

Magerdo: Set in a Roma community in southern Poland, Magerdo tells the dark story of a 17-year-old girl, Roza, a gifted student and bride-to-be, who breaks all the rules of her people and tricks Stefan, an unassuming police detective, into searching for her long-lost mother, Anna.

Silver Ghost: Two small-time crooks, engaged in classic car scams, find themselves in a situation bigger than themselves when they stumble upon a 1920 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost made of pure gold.

Red Planet Blues: A police detective on humanity’s first Martian colony is bored and tired of simply stating that obvious suicides are, well, suicides. Imagine his excitement when a real murder takes place on Mars… and his incompetence and lack of experience in trying to solve it.