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‘The Art Forger’ named Best Format at 10th Eurovision Creative Forum

15 September 2015
‘The Art Forger’ named Best Format at 10th Eurovision Creative Forum
Winners responsible for the EUROVISION Creative Forum's 3 Best Formats (L to R): CT's Zora Cejnkova, SRF's Susanne Läng and NRK's Cathrine Irgens Nilsen

A TV show in which well-known art forger Wolfgang Beltracchi paints portraits of celebrities in the style of various famous artists has been chosen by the EBU Community as Best Format at the 10th Eurovision Creative Forum in Berlin.

‘The Art Forger’ from Swiss EBU Member SRF was declared the winner following a vote by programme makers from 40 EBU Active and Associate Members in 27 countries. They judged 22 factual and entertainment public service media (PSM) formats shortlisted by the Eurovision Formats Core Group.

After spending 6 years in jail, Wolfgang Beltracchi is commissioned to paint celebrities and royalty in the style of the old masters. In each episode, the audience is invited to sit with the celebrity and the painter as he creates each masterpiece.

“We are so thrilled to be recognised by the EBU Community for The Art Forger,” said Susanne Läng, Programme Developer at SRF. “With this format we are pleased to be bringing the subject of art to a wider audience in an educative and entertaining way.”

For the first time 2 other formats shared 2nd prize; Czech Television’s reality show ‘Holiday in the Protectorate’ and NRK Norway’s musical entertainment series ‘When The Orchestra Came to Town’.

The first show sees three generations of a Czech family living for two months in an isolated farmhouse during the period of the WWII Protectorate. In the second, NRK’s Radio Symphony Orchestra visits five small towns where talented amateur musicians are given the opportunity to perform with the professionals.

Eurovision Head of TV Bettina Brinkmann devised the Creative Forum in 2006, in collaboration with the Format Group run by SVT’s Marcus Sterky, as the first annual format screening event with only Public Service Media content. She said the three successful formats were worthy winners in the event’s 10th year:

“For a decade now the Eurovision Creative Forum has celebrated and shared outstanding formats in the factual and entertainment genres which are shining examples of innovative public service programme-making,” said Ms Brinkmann. “It’s a unique event and this year’s winners of Best Format show the exceptional creativity that we have amongst our Members.”

The two-day Forum also saw Comedy, Digital and Fiction formats showcased as well as projects aimed at Youth audiences. These included Mission Arctic from NRK Norway which follows the youngest polar expedition in history on a research mission to discover the effects of climate change on our lives and Heute+, German broadcaster ZDF's new social media driven newscast which allows audiences to connect with the editorial team and ask questions related to the news of the day.

Other formats presented included ‘City Reverse’ from France 4 a “slow tv” show which follows a man walking backwards across Tokyo for 9 hours, Dutch broadcaster VPRO’s ‘Oldtopia’ where 2 young filmmakers experience life in a home for the elderly for 5 weeks and ‘The Unemployables’ from RTE Ireland where two young unemployed people are trained, mentored and helped to become employable in just a month. The full list of formats can be found here.

The EBU also shared trailers for the 22 formats on its Facebook page in the three weeks leading up to the Eurovision Creative Forum. The most viewed shows were VPRO’s ‘Oldtopia’, VRT’s ‘Channel vs Channel’ and eventual Winner of Best Format SRF’s ‘The Art Forger’.

The Eurovision Creative Forum is open to all EBU Active Members but also public service media from outside Europe, including Asia, Canada and the USA and is organized by the EBU in cooperation with EBU Member ZDF in Germany.

For the first time in 2015 a separate Industry Forum is also being held in Berlin to allow participants to discover the latest trends and meet the major commercial players in the entertainment format business including Endemol, ITV Studios and Banijay International.

Relevant links and documents


Dave Goodman

Digital and Communications Manager - Eurovision Song Contest and Junior Eurovision Song Contest