Nordisk Film & TV Fond: Three Nordic series compete at Canneseries

By Nordisk Film & TV Fond / Annika Pham



Norway is vying with NRK’s comedy series Afterglow and Discovery+’s Everything You Love, and Denmark with Viaplay’s The Dreamer-Becoming Karen Blixen.

Only six months after Finland’s Mister8 and Norway’s Countrymen each won two awards at Cannes’ TV drama Festival, the Nordic region is back at Canneseries (April 1-6) with two out of 10 series selected for the long-form competition - The Dreamer-Becoming Karen Blixen and Afterglow, and the youth drama Everything You Love, screening in the short form competition programme.

The three series ranging from female empowering stories to a love story set against radicalisation, mirror again the great diversity of Nordic storytelling, brought to global viewers by top talents on both sides of the camera.

The six-part series The Dreamer-Becoming Karen Blixen (Drømmeren- Karen Blixen bliver til) starring Connie Nielsen as the iconic Danish author of Out of Africa, is based on an idea by Nielsen and Zentropa producer Karoline Leth, who took inspiration from Karen Blixen’s life, letters and novel ‘The Dreamer’. The series is written by Dunja Gry Jensen (Norskov) and directed by Jeanette Nordahl (Wildland).

Set in the 1930s, it’s the story of one woman’s struggle to find her place in life while freeing herself from the expectations of family and society. The series chronicles Blixen’s journey from a penniless writer, just back in her childhood home in Denmark after many years in East Africa, to a world-renowned novelist.

Besides Nielsen, the stellar international cast includes Lars Mikkelsen (Ride Upon the Storm), Hanne Uldal (Splitting Up Together), Joachim Fjelstrup (Wildland), Lene Maria Christensen (The Exception), Solbjørg Højfeldt (The Killing), Lochlann Ó Mearáin (Outlander) and Johannes Kuhnke (The Rain, The Bridge).

“We are excited yet not surprised to have this high-quality series world premiere at the prestigious festival Canneseries, and we are happy to experience such immense interest from the industry’, said Susan Wendt, managing director at TrustNordisk, in charge of sales.

The series is produced by Zentropa’s Marie Cecilie Gade, Karoline Leth, Charlotte Hjordt for Viaplay, in co-production with Belga and Stage 5, with support from the DFI’s Public Service Fund, Nordisk Film & TV Fond, Wallimage, the Belgian Federal Government Tax Shelter and Creative Europe’s Media Programme.

The Viaplay Original is due to premiere on the streamer later this year.

The seven-part series Aflerglow (Etterglød) produced by Monster Scripted (Pørni) for NRK, reunites Bloodride co-creators Kjetil Indregard and Atle Knudsen. The latter is directing from a screenplay by Indregard and Mads Løkken. NRK Drama’s Marianne Furevold-Boland - producer of the cult series SKAM - is executive producing.

Aflerglow is an uplifting and emotional story about a woman - Ester Sand - suffering from a terminal illness, and her extraordinary desire to live life to the fullest. On her 40th birthday, she learns that she’s got cervical cancer, and it could go either way. But after the initial shock, she is the one who comforts the people around her: her husband, her children, her father and her friends. She has no intention of leaving the world just yet.

In the title roles are Ninna Ellen Ødegaard (Possession, State of Happiness), Torbjørn Harr (Norsemen), Sara Khorami (Witch Hunt) and Hermann Sabado (Home for Christmas).

Helene Aurø, sales and marketing director at REinvent international sales: “We picked up Afterglow at an early stage last year. We have followed it closely, and am sure it will sell as viewers in all countries can relate to it. It’s an important story to tell, and I see a place for it with most stations and platforms that deal with the more serious and important topics in life.” The series is due to premiere on NRK in the fall.

Launched on the streaming platform discovery+ and TV2 Norge on February 17, the 7X25’ series Everything You Love (Alt du elsker) has already received strong reviews in the local press. The show produced by The Oslo Company is written by Marie Hafting (Young & Promising), with Stian Kristiansen (Home Ground) serving as director.

It’s a love story about falling for somebody who turns out to be a totally different person, and what you're willing to sacrifice for the ones you love.

Sara and Jonas meet by chance in Oslo, and immediately fall in love. Jonas is a charming and smart guy, but soon Sara finds out that he has a dark secret - he feels close to the extreme right-wing community and is gradually being radicalised.

In the starring roles are Mina Fuglesteg Dale (Heirs of the Night), and Jakob Fort (Wisting). DR Sales handles global sales.

Back at its usual April slot, as preamble to the global content market MIP TV, the 5th Canneseries will be showcasing a total of 24 international series selected out of 180 submissions.

More than 300 guests are expected, including actresses Gillian Anderson (The X-Files, The Crown), and Sydney Sweeney (Euphoria), set to receive respectively the Variety Icon Award, and Rising Star Award, UK author and screenwriter Anthony Horowitz (Collision, Foyle’s War), president of the Short Form Jury, legendary multi-Oscar-nominated composer Lalo Schifrin (Mission Impossible, Cool Hand Luke, The Sting 2), and Squid Game creator Hwang Dong-Huyk. The latter will take part in a Focus on South Korea, as well as the new MIP x Canneseries Connection (April 2-4), a closed-door event where international producers and executives can meet rising screenwriters. The event is co-organised by MIPTV and the Canneseries’ Writers Club.

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