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News in brief

07 April 2022 à 14:31

Combining police investigation and time travel: "Vortex" meets the challenge

A blend of romantic drama, fantasy thriller, and police procedural, this cross-genre series is also innovative in its form, combining real and virtual images. Julia Schulte, director of international sales at France TV Distribution, Iris Bucher and Roman Turlure, producers of the series at Quad Drama, talk to us about the potential of the series, ready to captivate a large audience, and about the first leads for international distribution.

Unifrance: Can you tell us about the genesis of the project?

Iris BucherIris BucherIris Bucher: Franck Thilliez came to me with a first version of Vortex seven years ago.The concept (in the form of a crime series with looped episodes) was not retained by various broadcasters, so I put this project on hold. When Roman [Turlure] came to Quad Drama, I had him read Vortex, a project I still believed in. Together we decided to give it a second chance. Franck was no longer available at that time, so we entrusted the writing to Sarah Farkas and Camille Couasse. We asked them to take the concept and turn it into a episodic mini-series, and they brought two major elements to it: the love triangle and virtual reality. This time, France 2 committed to the development.

Could you sum up the series' pitch, in a few sentences?

Roman TurlureRoman TurlureRoman Turlure: 2025. Ludovic, a police captain in Brest, lost the love of his life, Melanie, twenty-seven years ago. His daughter Juliette's mother died in what seemed to be an accident... But suddenly, thanks to a temporal rift that opens inside a crime scene reconstructed in virtual reality, they can communicate between 1998 and 2025! Ludovic warns Melanie: she will die in 11 days... But saving her from certain death means that Ludovic risks losing his life in the present, the one he took so long to rebuild: his wife Parvana and their son Sam.

What makes this series unique?

IB & RT: Vortex is special thanks to its triple genre: romantic drama, fantasy thriller, and police procedural. This investigation progresses in two eras (1998 and 2025), thanks to a temporal rift. The part produced virtually lends it a modernity never seen before in France.

What are its strengths that will appeal to an international audience?

IB & RT: Vortex tells a universal story, both breathtaking and emotional, capable of attracting an audience from all walks of life—fronted by an internationally recognized Tomer Sisley in the lead role.

What are your ambitions for the program internationally?

Julia SchulteJulia SchulteJulia Schulte: Vortex has the potential to interest linear broadcasters in Europe and around the world, as well as their free digital services, but also SVOD platforms. I think that's its strength: a series that appeals to a wide audience, fans of crime series, action, and investigation, that we can bring to a story that is moving, and imbued with deep sensitivity. And at the same time, it will appeal to the curious and to lovers of innovative series, thanks to its ambitious writing and its original elements of suspense and science fiction.

You presented the series exclusively at the Coming Next from France pitching session, which took place during the Series Mania Forum. What are your impressions after this session? Do you already have contacts or leads for exporting the series?

JS: The feedback from the pitching session has been extremely positive. Buyers are very receptive to Vortex's story and its production ambitions, and there have been many exchanges since Séries Mania. We have begun discussions that we will continue at MIPTV.

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Latest update : 07 April 2022 à 14:31 CEST

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Quad Drama

Activities :  Executive Producer

Recent filmography : The Best of Us, Women at War