International drama specialists Point Prod and Oble Studios announce that Winter Palace, a lavish period drama set in the first Alpine Grand Hotel at turn of the nineteenth century, has been selected as one of five participating High-End International TV Series projects in the Conecta Fiction & Entertainment Pitch Competition. The competition will be judged by the international film and television industry and is part of Conecta 2022, the international television conference in El Greco Centre, Castilla La Mancha, Toledo, Spain on 21-24th June.
Written by Emmy-winning screenwriter Lindsay Shapero (Red Joan, Enid) and Stephane Mitchell, this eight-part (8 x 52) co-production for RTS, the Swiss national broadcaster, captures the optimism, prosperity and vitality of the Belle Epoque.
This drama will introduce viewers to the ambitions, secrets and desires of Winter Palace’s various demanding, wealthy clientele, including royalty, artists and luminaries such as Arthur Conan Doyle – as well as the lives of its staff. Combined with the challenges of running a revolutionary five-star hotel in a hostile mountainous climate, Winter Palace’s character-led storylines highlight the revolutionary thinking of the era, female pioneers, the emergence of new inventions and the gulf between early adopters and nineteenth century refuseniks, all set against a backdrop of the golden age of travel for leisure and the birth of Alpine winter tourism.
Winter Palace, introduces a young ambitious hotelier, Andre Morel, who needs financing to make his dream of launching the first luxury hotel for the Alpine winter season, come alive. Investment arrives from Lord Fairfax, an English aristocrat, and together they launch Winter Palace, enticing wealthy grandees from all over Europe to experience the winter Alps in opulent luxury and explore new winter sports like mountaineering, ice-skating, tobogganing and ‘skiing’ (or plank hopping). Shapero and Mitchell’s script highlights the clash of the old establishment and the new pioneers of the Belle Epoque, introducing issues of class, race, diversity as well as attitudes to women, through the lens of history, and featuring the emergence of inventions of the era such as lightbulbs, central heating and skiing.
Lindsay Shapero, author, said “Winter Palace is an immersive trip into the world of luxury and glamour filled with unexpected twists and turns, infused with life and its passions!".
Jean Marc Fröhle, Point Prod said, "We’re thrilled to be selected as one of the finalists at Conecta 2022. The nineteenth century is a fascinating era, such an optimistic time of change and the origin of so many concepts that we take for granted today – such as holidays abroad, independent women, central heating and winter sports. We’re delighted to have Oble and RTS as co-producers who share our vision. It’s a significant production for all parties and one of RTS’s biggest investments into drama to date. As one of the leading distributors of international drama, Oble has a great understanding of what works and what doesn’t, and together with talented screenwriters Shapero and Mitchell, we have the right ingredients for Winter Palace to entertain audiences all over the world."
Lydia Kali, creative producer at Oble, says “We’re really excited about working with Point Prod on Winter Palace. Although it’s a period drama it feels very fresh. Morel’s ambition for the hotel and his willingness to embrace the ‘New’ captures the adventurous spirit of a golden age. As a hotel, the turnover of Winter Palace clientele gives the opportunity to introduce a wide variety of fantastic characters alongside longer-running storylines, driving momentum, keeping viewers gripped with a number of story threads, all set amongst the glistening pristine snow-capped Alps.”