Cineuropa: TrustNordisk boards new Zentropa-produced Viaplay drama series The Dreamer – Becoming Karen Blixen

By Cineuropa / Davide Abbatescianni



This week, TrustNordisk boarded the international sales of the Zentropa-produced Viaplay Original drama series The Dreamer – Becoming Karen Blixen. Based on an idea by Connie Nielsen and Karoline Leth, the show was created by Dunja Gry Jensen (The Good Traitor [+], the TV series Norskov) and directed by Jeanette Nordahl, best known for her debut feature, Wildland [+], a drama that world-premiered in the Panorama section of the 2020 Berlinale, starring Sandra Guldberg Kampp and Sidse Babett Knudsen in the lead roles.

The Dreamer – Becoming Karen Blixen will tell the story of the titular writer (here played by Nielsen), a woman struggling to find her place in life while freeing herself from the expectations of family and society. The series takes place in the 1930s and follows Blixen’s return to Denmark after many years in East Africa. She is penniless, sick and divorced, and her dreams are in ruins, but the series will depict her journey from her lowest point to becoming a renowned writer, including visualisations of her deepest thoughts and the magical universe of her stories. The six-episode drama series was filmed in Denmark and internationally, and is now in post-production. Budgeted at €10 million, the series’ technical crew includes DoP Aske Alexander Foss (Miss Osaka [+], The Marco Effect [+], Western Arabs [+]) alongside editors Nicolaj Monberg (Riders of Justice [+], Out Stealing Horses [+]) and Rasmus Gitz-Johanse (the TV series Farang and Bankerot).

Speaking about her new role, Connie Nielsen said: “Karen Blixen has been a role model for me ever since I was a child: an adventurer, artist, traveller and thinker. But I didn’t know the full story of how a 46-year-old woman, in the midst of her life’s deepest crisis, found her unique talent through a process that was painful, trying and also exciting. I believe it’s important for women of all ages and backgrounds to know her inspiring story, and I’ll put my body and soul into portraying this incredible person.” Nielsen, who is also serving as the series’ executive producer, won the Best Actress Award at the San Sebastián International Film Festival in 2004 for her role in Susanne Bier’s Brothers [+], for which she also received a Bodil Award in Denmark and a nomination for Best European Actress at the 2005 European Film Awards.

NENT Group chief content officer Filippa Wallestam added: “Sharing the stories of influential and inspiring Nordic figures with the world is a priority for Viaplay. The Dreamer – Becoming Karen Blixen offers a close-up look at the life of Karen Blixen, one of the greatest authors of all time and somebody who spent her life fighting to be the woman, person and artist she wanted to be. The exceptional creative team on both sides of the camera means our ambitions for this very special show are as high as possible.”

The Dreamer – Becoming Karen Blixen is being produced by Marie Cecilie Gade, Karoline Leth and Charlotte Hjordt for Zentropa, in co-production with Belgium’s Belga Films. The project has received support from Public Service Puljen, the Nordisk Film & TV FondWallimage, the Belgian Tax Shelter and the European Union’s Creative Europe – MEDIA programme. NENT Group and Zentropa are already partnering on the making of The Kingdom Exodus, the third and final season of Lars von Trier’s The Kingdom, staged by Zentropa for NENT Group and DR (see the news).

The Dreamer – Becoming Karen Blixen will premiere exclusively on Viaplay in 2022.

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