Cologne Conference selects TopTen

'Glee,' 'United States of Tara' featured at TV festival

COLOGNE, Germany -- Strong women, broken families and the mysteries hidden in a classic painting are among the highlights of this year's Cologne Conference, the TV festival and media confab that runs Sept. 30 through Oct. 9.

The festival's TopTen section of the year's best international television is again heavy on Anglo-Saxon productions, with half of programs coming from the U.S. and the U.K.

British TV is represented by the BBC's three-part miniseries "The Children," about a mysterious tragedy that befalls a patchwork family, and ITV's "Above Suspicion," a new crime drama from "Prime Suspect" creator Lynda La Plante.

"Glee," 20th Century Fox's "High School Musical" satire, made this year's TopTen list, as did two Showtime dramas: "United States of Tara," which stars Toni Collette as a mother with multiple personality disorder, and "Nurse Jackie," the drama featuring Edie Falco as a dedicated, drug-addicted ER nurse.

European small screen drama is represented by the German TV movie "Der verlorene Vater" (The Lost Father) from WDR/ARTE, which looks at a family breakup through the eyes of "the other woman" having the affair with the cheating husband.

An impressive four documentaries complete the lineup: the Dutch aliens-are-out-there doc "Calling E.T."; the intimate portrait of break-out artist Michel Vaujour in "My Greatest Escape," from French producers Le Bureau; "Nollywood Babylon," a Canadian doc looking at the phenomenal Nigerian film boom and "Rembrant's J"Accuse," a filmed essay from auteur Peter Greenaway which uses a forensic analysis of Rembrandt's painting "Nightwatch" as a starting point for a broad social critique.
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