The new initiatives include the first annual Women in Series Award, which will be given to Christina Sulebakk, GM of HBO Max EMEA; and Series’ Women, the first career enhancement program for female producers in the European drama series industry.

With Series Mania set to start Thursday, Laurence Herszberg, founder and general director of Series Mania (August 26 – September 2), and Francesco Capurro, director of Series Mania Forum (August 30 – September 1), today announced two new initiatives targeted specifically for women which will be implemented for the first time at this year’s event.

Leading the two initiatives is the first annual Woman in Series Award, in association with European Women’s Audiovisual Network (EWA Network) and Pour Les Femmes Dans Les Médias (PFDM), which will be given to a remarkable woman from the audiovisual industry to honor her vision and leadership.

The recipient this year will be Christina Sulebakk, GM of HBO Max EMEA.

Sulebakk was appointed GM, HBO Max EMEA in January 2021 and is responsible for existing HBO streaming services in Europe (HBO Nordic, HBO España, HBO Portugal and HBO Go in Central Eastern Europe) and for the launch of HBO Max in the region in 2021 and its future expansion. Sulebakk has been at WarnerMedia for almost ten years, after joining in 2012 to launch and establish HBO Nordic, HBO’s first streaming service outside of the US. During her time at the company, Christina has played a transformational role, pivoting its Central European business into streaming, launching HBO España in 2016, HBO Portugal in 2019 and most recently developing the go-to market strategy for HBO Max in Latin America.

Next up is Series’ Women, the first career enhancement program for female producers in the European drama series industry. Initiated by the Erich Pommer Institut (EPI), one of the leading providers of professional training for the German and European media industry, it strives to increase the visibility of female producers and female-driven projects and tackle underrepresentation in the industry.

In the initial edition of Series’ Women, the program offers its 20 participants training in visibility and leadership, fosters access to industry markets and supports the building of professional networks. In addition to live online workshops and access to EPI’s innovative online courses, the program stands out by providing curated mentoring, individual pitching training as well as exclusive pitching and networking opportunities at Series Mania Forum 2021.

Additionally, the Women in the Industry Photo Shoot, which was implemented in 2018 for all female participants, will once again take place this year at 5:30pm on Monday, August 30th on the steps of the Lille Grand Palais.

“Creating, developing and implementing these initiatives in order to highlight and value the work of women within our industry is something that is incredibly close to my heart,” commented Herszberg. “I could not be prouder than to present Christina with our first Woman in Series Award as she epitomizes that of a remarkable leader with true vision. And I have no doubt that the Series’ Women program will be a first-class event aimed to increase the visibility of female producers and projects.”