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European Script Awards 2019

The European Script Awards (ESA) honour the most original series and film scripts of aired productions, written by up and coming writers, and are open to all national broadcasters and production companies based in Europe.

The winners for 2019 are: 

MOST INNOVATIVE SCRIPT OF THE YEAR BY A NEWCOMER FOR A FILM: System Crasher (Systemsprenger) - ZDF (Germany), written and directed by Nora Fingscheidt

MOST INNOVATIVE SCRIPT OF THE YEAR BY A NEWCOMER FOR A SERIES: The Break - Season 2 (La Trêve - Saison 2) - RTBF (Belgium), co-written by Stéphane Bergmans, Benjamin d'Aoust and Matthieu Donck.

An international jury consisting of TV professionals and drama experts from EBU Members in Belgium, Finland, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands evaluated 23 submissions over three months and decided on the winners in the two categories:

  • Wim Janssen, VRT (Belgium)
  • Anne Nissinen, YLE (Finland)
  • Milena Seyberth, ZDF (Germany)
  • Carole Thévenaz, RTS (Switzerland)
  • Matthijs van der Veer, NTR (The Netherlands)

Anne Nissinen, Head of Jury, gave the following statements on the winning entries:

"'System Crasher' is a captivating drama where the main character is unlikeable, furious and angry. The society around her tries its best to help her but it fails badly. The fight goes on both sides and gets worse all the time. But the film holds the viewer fixedly in its grip. This story screams to be told. From the writer, it requires furious courage, skills and understanding how to write a sensitive but raw story."

System Crasher is also the German candidate for the International Feature Film Award at the 92nd Academy Awards Ceremony in 2020.

"'The Break - Season 2.' In this drama, the tone is black and gloomy, with lots of lies and abuse of power. The spectator is drawn into this story of murder, family secrets and the story of a case that was too quickly closed years ago. It is a show that smartly contrasts its different characters and storylines, both thematically and tonally. The balance between the main case and the personal lives of the characters is deftly maintained. Meanwhile, it addresses the problematic way in which mental illness is addressed in the context of criminal prosecution."

The winning scriptwriters will each be awarded a 5,000 euro prize, provided by the European Alliance for Television and Culture (EATC), during the ESA Awards Ceremony which will take place during Helsinki Script on Friday 6 September 2019.


The ESA (formerly known as PRIX GENEVE) was created by the EATC in 1987 to motivate new writers towards careers in television.

Entries to this category are adjudicated by a traditional jury of TV drama experts appointed by the EATC.


The one-day event focuses on creating and commissioning international TV/VOD drama series. It’s been arranged and sold out three times. In its inauguration year 2016, Emmy winner James Manos Jr (Dexter, Sopranos) talked about creating compelling anti-heroes. Since then top creators and producers from Nordic Skam, Mammon, The Bridge and Rides upon the Storm to European Line of Duty, The Medici, In Therapy and Young Pope have shared their thoughts, methods and experiences on stage. Themes deepen in a special way as speakers and delegates stay in the same room the whole day. In connection to the main event held the first Friday in September, Helsinki Script offers workshops for both professionals and students. The fourth event will take place on 6 September 2019. Welcome !



European Script Awards 2019 - Regulations (.PDF)


Helsinki (Savoy Theatre), Finland