Des To Screen At Swiss and German Film Festivals

David Tennant's new drama Des will be screening in its entirety at both the Zurich and Cologne Film Festivals this year. The three-part ITV series follows the arrest and trial of UK serial killer Dennis Nilsen. Also starring Daniel Mays and Jason Watkins, Des was written by Luke Neal and directed by Luke Arnold. 

Zurich Film Festival

The 16th Zurich Film Festival runs from September 24th to October 4th and celebrates some of the most eagerly awaited autumn and winter movies, new documentaries, children's films and the best of cinema from around the world. The Series section of the programme brings a selection of top international TV shows to the big screen, all of which can be viewed for free. 

Des will screen at Kosmos in Lagerstrasse, Zurich on:

Sun. 27. Sep. 13:15, Kosmos 4

Sat. 03. Oct. 13:00, Kosmos 5

Tickets are available from September 14th here.

Cologne Film Festival

The 30th annual festival runs from October 1st-8th in celebration of the world’s most important trends and outstanding works of audiovisual storytelling. Des screens on Tuesday 6th October from 18:30 at Cineplex Filmpalast 5.

Tickets cost 8 Euros and are available now at this link.


Des is a true-crime drama focusing on one of the most infamous criminal cases in UK history, Dennis Nilsen. Known as the ‘kindly killer’, Nilsen (David Tennant) was a local civil servant who murdered up to fifteen boys and young men he met on the streets of Soho from 1978 to 1983. His victims were often homeless or living off grid, having slipped through the cracks of 1980s society and were therefore welcoming of this stranger’s apparent generosity. 

After his arrest, Nilsen was astonishing in his honesty: admitting outright to all fifteen murders in the police car outside his flat. But infuriatingly for the investigating detectives, he couldn’t remember any of his victims’ names. With no apparent motive, inconclusive forensic evidence and most of Nilsen’s victims living off-grid, the police started the biggest manhunt investigation in UK history. This time not for the murderer, but for the murdered.

The story is told through the prism of three isolated men - a detective, a biographer, and Nilsen himself. While Detective Peter Jay (Daniel Mays) and the police investigation’s attempt to get justice for as many victims as possible provides the narrative and emotional spine, the relationship between Nilsen and his biographer Brian Masters (Jason Watkins) allows us to delve into the mind of one of the most emotionally elusive serial killers the world has ever seen. 

The series premieres on ITV in the UK from Monday 14th September, airing across three nights