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Chess Drama ‘Rematch’ Wins Top Series Mania Prize, Annette Bening Takes Best Actress

The Series Mania Festival’s top prize for best series went to Rematch, a French-Hungarian drama about the historic match between chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov and IBM’s Deep Blue computer.

The best actress prize went to Annette Bening for her role in Apples Never Fall, the first major TV role up from the five-time Oscar nominee. Kamel El Basha won best actor for the Australian drama House of Gods, in which he played the charismatic head cleric of a Sydney mosque.

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In the Apples Never Fall adaptation, based on the novel by Big Little Lies author Liane Moriarty, Bening plays Joy Delaney, family matriarch and patient wife to the irascible former tennis pro, Stan (Sam Neill). When Joy disappears, the four adult Delaney children are forced to reassess everything they thought they knew about their parents and their family history. Bening was also a best actress Oscar contender this year for Nyad but lost out to Poor Things star Emma Stone.

Thomas Wendrich won best screenwriter for his script for the German Cold War drama Herrhausen – The Banker and the Bomb featuring Dark star Oliver Masucci

In Series Mania’s international panorama section, Norwegian drama Dates in Real Life took best series; Kārlis Arnolds Avots won best actress for the Latvian dramedy Soviet Jeans, about a rock-and-roll fan who sets up an underground jeans factory; and Robyn Malcolm received the best actor prize for the dark New Zealand drama After the Party. Soviet Jeans also took the audience award for the panorama section.

Series Mania wrapped up March 22, with organizers recording nearly 100,000 attendees — a 15 percent jump on last year.

See the full list of 2024 Series Mania winners below.

Grand Prize for Best Series

Rematch
Producers Unite, Arte France, Federation Studios, Proton
Broadcaster Arte (France/Germany)
International Sales Federation Studios

Best Actress

Annette Bening for Apples Never Fall
Productions Heyday Films
Broadcaster Peacock (US)
International Sales NBCUniversal Global TV Distribution

Best Actor

Kamel El Basha for House of Gods
Production: Matchbox Pictures
Broadcaster: ABC TV (Australia)
International Sales: NBCUniversal Global TV Distribution

Best Writing

Thomas Wendrich for Herrhausen – The Banker and the Bomb
Commissioner/Broadcaster ARD (Germany)
International Sales Fremantle

International Panorama

Best Series

Dates in Real Life
Producers Maipo Film
Broadcaster NRK (Norway)
International Sales Dynamic Television

Best Directing

Javier Ambrossi and Javier Calvo for La Mesías
Production Movistar Plus+, Suma Content
Broadcaster Movistar Plus+, HBO Max Latam
International Sales Movistar Plus+

Best Actress

Robyn Malcolm in After the Party
Production Lingo Pictures, Luminous Beast
Broadcaster TVNZ, ABC (New Zealand, Australia)
International Sales ITV Studios

Best Actor

Kārlis Arnolds Avots in Soviet Jeans
Production Tasse Films
Broadcaster GO3 (Latvia)
International Sales Beta Film

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