Netflix's Reed Hastings, Endemol Shine's Sophie Turner Laing Set for Series Mania

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Reed Hastings

The TV festival will launch its first Transatlantic Dialogues program with a slew of senior execs.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and Endemol Shine Group CEO Sophie Turner Laing are among the A-list execs set for Series Mania.

The nine-year-old television festival unveiled plans for its first Transatlantic Dialogues conference following its move from Paris to Lille, France. The ambitious new event aims to create a series of talks with political, corporate and creative minds for an exchange of ideas from the U.S. to the E.U.

A handful of French executives are set to join, including Orange CEO Stephane Richard, France Televisions CEO Delphine Ernotte Cunci and TF1 Group CEO Gilles Pelisson, along with Belgian VRT CEO Paul Lembrechts.

French Minister of Culture Francoise Nyssen and European Commission vice president Andrus Ansip will close the discussions.

BBC director of policy Claire Sumner, HBO Europe vp of programming and production Antony Root and SVT head of drama Anna Croneman are among the other execs on board, while The Killing showrunner Veena Sud, The Affair showrunner Sarah Treem and The Oligarchs producer Alex Berger are among the creative minds set to take part in the talks.

“Our goal with the Lille Transatlantic Dialogues is to create a club for media and policymakers, a regular high-level rendezvous inspired by the Sun Valley Conference, which has brought together political and economic leaders along with philanthropists every year since 1983,” said festival founder Laurence Herszberg.

The Dialogues conference will be held with the support of France’s National Cinema Center (CNC) and the E.U.’s Europe Creative Media program.

The festival’s focus on creating a power-player conference comes as it is set to hold its first edition in the northern city of Lille, and just after Cannes held its first CanneSeries festival on the French Riviera to mixed reviews. The two cities were in competition for the festival, with Lille ultimately being given the support of the government, while Cannes pursued its own event alongside industry market MIPTV.

The launch of the conference with such prestigious names indicates that the festival may move away from the splashy red-carpet events it became known for in Paris and focus more on industry influencers.

The festival will still hold its competition event, with Narcos creator Chris Brancato sitting as head of the jury, alongside False Flag producer Maria Feldman, Deutschland 83 and The City and The City actress Maria Schrader, Vikings actor Clovis Cornillac and French Goncourt prize-winning author Pierre Lemaitre. Lost creator Carlton Cuse is set to be one of the guests of honor.

It may be a short trip to France for Hastings, who has abandoned plans to attend the Cannes Film Festival (which starts the following Tuesday) after withdrawing the streamer’s films from consideration due to disagreements with French regulators. Nyssen is working on developing policies to update the country's strict exhibition regulations.

The Transatlantic Dialogues are set for May 3. Series Mania runs from April 27-May 5 in Lille.