This was Seriencamp Conference 2023

Over 700 visitors from the German and European TV-series industry came to Cologne for the Seriencamp Conference 2023 to network, discover new projects and get inspired - by the extensive conference program and our guests. Here are our six takeaways.

Over 700 visitors from the German and European TV-series industry came to Cologne for the Seriencamp Conference 2023 to network, discover new projects and get inspired - by the extensive conference program and our amazing speakers and guests. Here are our six takeaways.

Audio and Fiction

From the Masterclass with Emmy winner Marc Smerling ("The Jinx" and "Crimetown") to Work in Progress: podcasts were on everyone's lips. Davide Bortot, Matthias Leitner and Viola Funk explained in our Special: Audio and Fiction - why it is worthwhile for storytellers to also think about audio. Podcasts can deepen the series experience by stimulating discussion and taking fans further into the series world. But they can also serve as a relatively inexpensive proof of concept that can be used to test potential with viewers. Podcast IPs like Marc Smerling's "Crimetown" are in demand: the best example is the upcoming Paramount+ series "Zeit Verbrechen" (AT), which uses the IP and research of one of the best-known, German true crime podcasts. 

Learning: According to Marc Smerling's golden rule, for a good podcast dramaturgy you should master the chronology of events and then play with it to surprise the listeners.


Almost every country comes into question as a co-production partner - provided the story is right. This is how exciting projects like "This is not Sweden," a Swedish-Spanish-German co-production, and "Country Queen" (Arte/ZDF/Netflix) from Kenya with German support come about. While in the case of "This is not Sweden" certain cultural and aesthetic commonalities formed the basis for the international collaboration, "Country Queen" was also intended to help build up the creative market in Kenya in the long term.

Learning: To avoid the dreaded European pudding, the co-production partners are exercising restraint, according to Sebastian Lückel (ARD Degeto): "We don't have to steer the car, we can ride in the back seat."

Series and AI

We need positive stories about artificial intelligence.
For those who fear that AI will soon take over creative work completely, Johanna Koljonen (Nostradamus Report) gave at least a small "all-clear" signal: The world is full of stories about malicious AI, which AIs already reflect back to us again and again. But AI can't invent stories that don't yet exist, which is why it needs more diverse voices right now whose stories haven't been heard yet.
Just because AI is already being used in production companies in many ways (from pitch decks to editing and VFX, as a role-playing partner in the Writers Room or fast sounding board for target group checks), Max Wiedemann (Leonine) would like to see clear company rules for employees in dealing with AI.

Learning: Whether we use AI to achieve the best and most beautiful result, or simply mediocrity in the cheapest way, is up to us. Everyone should try it out, says Hannes Jakobsen (Drive.beta).

Finally Genre made in Germany

The Griffin, Plan B, Arcadia: genre productions are slowly picking up speed - also in Germany. Compared to Austria, Poland and the Czech Republic, Germany has no genre tradition or culture to build on, says producer Benjamin Munz ("Blood Red Sky"). Filmmakers have to find their own way. Since public broadcasters want to reach younger audiences genre material now has a chance here as evidenced by FUNK's horror and mystery series "Feelings" and "Was wir fürchten" (ZDFneo). ARD is also venturing into genre with the dystopian science fiction drama "Arcadia" - as an international co-production of VRT, NPO and WDR/SWR. The second season has already been commissioned before the start of the series.

Learning: Not every material is suitable for a genre conversion. To assess the potential of a material Benjamin Munz asks himself, "Will there be someone who wants to wear a T-shirt with the name of the series?" 

Teamwork makes the dream work

Working in the entertainment industry is still a black box for underrepresented groups - especially when it comes to their own rights and payment. Especially the lively exchange at the workshop of "Girls get shit done" and the panel "Your Crew is your Capital" shows: transparency and cohesion empower.

Learning: Who knows more can negotiate better - about budgets, fees and working hours.

Work in Progress

Thomas Lückerath once again moderated our popular format Work in Progress and met the creators of seven new series in different stages of work, who introduced themselves live on stage with us. This year on our Work in Progress format were:

  • HELGOLAND 513 (UFA GmbH // Sky/Wow)
  • FREEDOM IS THE ONLY THING THAT COUNTS (AT) (bildundtonfabrik // ZDFneo)
  • LOVED CHILD (Netflix)
  • MAXTON HALL (UFA Fiction / Amazon Prime Video)
  • ZEIT VERBRECHEN (X-Filme / Paramount)
  • PLAN B (Gaumont / ZDF)

Hard facts Seriencamp Conference 2023

  • over 700 visitors
  • over 120 speakers 
  • 20 panels, 13 workshops
  • 41 pitches 

Our Story Exchange winning projects, awards and participants can be found in our News.

The first Seriencamp Conference in Cologne was a great success. We are grateful, overjoyed and full of new energy for next year. Thank you to everyone who was there. It was wonderful with you. See you in 2024!