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Beta Film Unveils MipTV Lineup, Trailer for Gritty New Medical Drama ‘KRANK Berlin’ (EXCLUSIVE)


Offering a glimpse of its highly anticipated new series “KRANK Berlin,” Beta Film has bowed the first trailer for the gritty and fast-paced medical drama, revealing a bold and modern take on the genre.

The trailer drops as Beta Film unveils its MipTV line-up.

The eight-part series follows a team of young doctors who are underpaid, poorly equipped, chronically overtired and beset with an increasingly callous healthcare system. 

Created by British writer Samuel Jefferson, himself a former emergency-room doctor, “KRANK Berlin” is set in the toughest and most overcrowded hospital in the German capital. 

Haley Louise Jones (“Dear Child”) stars as Zanna Parker, the new head of the chaotic emergency room, who has her work cut out for her as she struggles with her own personal dilemmas. When she tries to implement new reform measures, she is met with resistance from the staff, particularly rebellious emergency doctor Ben, played by Slavko Popadic (“Skylines”).

“I managed to bring my experience working in the U.K. and very quickly found that the experiences of the doctors here are very similar to those of doctors in the U.K.,” Jefferson previously told Variety. “Of course some of the complexity behind how the systems works is different, but the actual day-to-day pain of being a doctor and what you have to go through is very similar. So all the human stories were very transferable.”

The series’ title is a play on the German word for “sick” but also the acronym for the fictional hospital, or Krankenhaus, serving Berlin’s southern districts of Neukölln and Kreuzberg.

Based on an idea by creative producer and co-creator Viktor Jakovleski, “KRANK Berlin” is produced by Violet Pictures and Real Film Berlin for ZDFneo and directed by Alex Schaad and Fabian Möhrke.

Schaad, who helmed the award-winning 2022 romance-fantasy feature “Skin Deep,” described the show as “unique” for German television, adding that he was particularly intrigued by  its pacing and action, the high tension, diverse characters and multiple story arcs. 

Beta’s MipTV Spread

Pushing the envelope on its realism and production values, “KRANK Berlin” joins an eclectic slate which yet says a lot about  current trends in higher end production about Europe.

Royalty sells. One of Beta Film’s hottest tickets is “Máxima,” the plush but playful true story of the romance between Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and his outgoing Argentine girlfriend Máxima Zorreguieta which has racked up sales, but looks set for far more, to be shortly announced. 

Yet if royalty sells, crime reigns, but all the better if it is based on true stories, pumping a sense of authenticity, and feature strong characters grounded in their historical context. 

The result can prescribe a broad gamut, from political thriller “Operation Sabre,” a Canneseries competition contender, which captures Serbia at a turning point in 2003, frustrated by the assassination of the Serbian prime minister, to “Soviet Jeans,” where subterfuge enterprise in Soviet Latvia builds into an act of political rebellion. 

“El Immortal – Gangs of Madrid” Season 2 is equally inspired by true events, marking a deep dive into a figure and gang which reshaped Madrid’s 1990s criminal underworld.

“Wisting,” fromCinenord,, hailed by The Guardian as “the best Nord-noir ever, recently sold to SBS Australia, Warner Bros. Discovery for Max in Latin America, AMC Spain and Portugal, and Antenna Greece, returns to MipTV with Season 3, “Homicide Hills – Fresh Force,” produced by Claussen+Putz Filmproduktion for ARD Degeto, is the reboot of the witty crime series “Homicide Hills”, a hit on U.S.-Canadian streaming service MHz Choice.

Multiple series are bilateral or multilateral co-productions: exquisite period drama “Hotel Portofino” partners the U.K.’s Eagle Eye and Beta Film; “El Immortal” is a Movistar Plus co-production with Telemundo Streaming Studios in collaboration with Banijay’s DLO Producciones.

Produced by Sweden’s Unlimited Stories for TV4/CMore “Stockholm Pride” marks Beta Film’s latest play for YA audiences, still broadcasters’ Holy Grail. Running now to 144 episodes, “The Beach” marks the latest experiment in premium soap, which has yielded such good results in Spain (think “The Vow” and now “Dreams of Freedom”). 

“Continental Europe is successfully adapting the ‘Scandinavian’ production model with very strong projects from France, Benelux, Germany, and Eastern Europe; authentic contemporary storytelling, charismatic and entertaining characters speaking their own language, which is the beauty of it, not the problem,” Beta’s Justus Riesenkampff, EVP Nordics & Benelux, told Variety.

“Our Canneseries entries ‘Maxima’ and ‘Operation Sabre’ reflect this, but also our other line-up highlights, such as ‘KRANK Berlin’, ‘Stockholm Pride’, and the Greek ‘The Beach’. All these programs are deeply rooted in their respective regions, some are inspired by true events. Even though they represent very different genres the common thread is: Be true to yourself and embrace your edges. Unique and authentic approaches resonate with audiences beyond the region they are coming from.”

A brief drill-down on three top titles: 

“Maxima,” (Lead director: Saskia Diesing The Netherlands)

World premiering at Canneseries out of competition occupying prime festival real estate on Tuesday evening, sumptuous Dutch royal family drama, drawing comparisons with “The Crown,” from Millstreet Films. The love story between then Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and the outgoing Argentinean Máxima Zorreguieta, a warm-humored chronicle made feature large chemistry between leads Delfina Chaves and Martijn Lakemeier and empathy for two twenty-year-olds’ battle to separate themselves from circumstance. 

“Operation Sabre,” (Creators/directors: Goran Stanković and Vladimir Tagić, Serbia)

Selected for Canneseries main competition, a political thriller detailed deep dive into the reasons behind the assassination of on March 12, 2003 of Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Đinđić. Battling for two years to pull Serbia into line with western Europe democracies, he enraged vested interests, often related to former president Slobodan Milošević, indicted in 1999 for war crimes. Sober, brooding and as Canneseries director Albin Lewi notes,, a meticulous reconstruction of a milestone moment when a push for democracy was halted in its tracks. The consequences still play out in Serbia today. Produced by This and That Productions, in co-production with Martichka Bozhilova (Agitprop) for Radio Television of Serbia. 

“Soviet Jeans,” (“Soviet Jeans,” (Stanislavs Tokalovs, Juris Kursietis, Latvia)

An Audience Award and best actor (Karlis Arnolds Avots) winner, a high-energy take on 1979 Riga, in Latvia as rock fan Renars is interned in a psychiatric ward for an amusing ditty on a KGB agent, but turns the tables, using its tailor’s workshop to launch a counterfeit U.S. jeans production operation as his political rebelliousness blooms. An indictment of repression, yes, but framed as a love story with winning turns from Arnolds Avots and Aamu Milonoff (“Girl Picture”) and political comedy as the very corruption of Soviet rulers feeds cultural rebellion.