Netflix and the European Producers Club (EPC) have revealed the winners of a pitch contest for fictional series at the ongoing Venice Film Festival.

The pitch contest is a joint initiative by EPC and Netflix to help create new opportunities for European women producers. It was launched at Series Mania in March, and open to EPC producers working for women-owned companies. Following a selection process by an independent jury, composed of Cia Edstrom, Francine Raveney and Olivier Kohn, the competition finalists pitched their projects to the Netflix content team.

Anna Mannion of Tri Moon Films, Ireland, won the first prize of €50,000 ($49,762), while Ada Solomon of Microfilm, Romania, won the second prize of €20,000.

Mariela Besuievsky, Tornasol Media (Spain), Martichka Bozhilova, Agitprop (Bulgaria), Gabriele M. Walther, Caligari (Germany) and Olena Yershova, Tato Film (Ukraine/Turkey), each won the third prize of €5,000.

The initiative is funded by the Netflix Fund for Creative Equity, which aims to build opportunities for underrepresented communities within the entertainment industry.

Gudny Hummelvoll, president, European Producers Club, said: “In the framework of the launch of the EPC Gender Charter, we established this scheme dedicated to women producers with Netflix’s Fund for Creative Equity. Women producers are more scarce in the general landscape. We felt the need to open new opportunities and improve their accessibility to the market. We are excited that the outcome of the scheme gives high visibility to women producers from a broad range of countries – from Romania and Bulgaria to Ireland, Germany and Spain and many others.”

Chris Mack, director, Grow Creative at Netflix, added: “It was exciting to see pitches from women producers from across Europe and it’s been great to partner with the European Producers Club to empower women. We know how important representation behind the camera is for representation on screen, which is why we support initiatives like this one with Netflix’s Fund for Creative Equity.”

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