Séries Mania offers the big public annually a wide range of international series. Team Chocolate has a chance at winning three awards in the category International Panorama: the A.C.S. Award by French TV-professionals, the Audience Award chosen by the audience of the festival, and the Bloggers Award. Séries Mania displays the first two episodes of Team Chocolate in world premier on the 16thof April. You can find a little foretaste here:
The series follows Jasper Vloemans, a young man with Down syndrome who starts his first job in a family-run chocolate factory. He soon falls in love with one of his colleagues, Tina, a girl from Kosovo. When Tina is suddenly deported to her home country, Jasper and his friends set out on a road trip across Europe to find her.
The main cast is played by the actors from STAP Theatre, a theatre company that works with a fixed ensemble of professional actors with a mental handicap. Jelle Palmaerts portrays the lovesick Japser Vloemans. Other roles are filled by Jan Goris, Jason van Laere, Gert Wellens, Peter Janssens, Wim Opbrouck, Marc Van Eeghem, Els Dottermans, Frank Focketyn, Mieke De Groote, Mira Bryssinck, Jan Decleir and Flor Decleir. The series was written and directed by Filip Lenaerts and Marc Bryssinck, artistic director of STAP Theatre.
Pieter Van Huyck, Head scripted De Mensen: “We’re very proud of this selection, because Séries Mania stands for quality. We never saw Team Chocolate as a ‘social project’. We’ve always had the ambition to produce a credible fiction series, because we believed in the acting talent of the STAP actors. And those actors remain standing next to great performers like Wim Opbrouck and Els Dottermans. They had to work just as hard as other actors.”
Team Chocolate is a production of De Mensen in collaboration with Proximus, Gardner and Domm, for Eén. The series was funded for scriptwriting and development by VAF/Mediafonds from Flemish Minister of Media Sven Gatz. The international sale for Team Chocolat is done by French sales agent Wild Bunch since last year.
Television festival Séries Mania is running its 8thedition now. Last years several Flemish series had come up in the spotlights at the festival. Series like Hotel Beau Sejour, Brothers United, Cordon, De Ridders and Clan have appeared in Paris in the past. In 2016 Hotel Beau Sejour, also from Production Company De Mensen, brought the coveted Audience Award home.