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PRODUCTION USA / Nordic countries

Netflix focuses on original films from the Nordics

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- The US corporation has brought experienced Danish producer Kim Magnusson on board to scout and provide local feature-film projects aimed at a global audience

Netflix focuses on original films from the Nordics
Danish producer Kim Magnusson

Netflix has a long-established relationship with the Nordic countries that dates back to 2012, when Lilyhammer – in partnership with NRK – was first broadcast. Earlier in May, the post-apocalyptic The Rain became the first-ever Danish Netflix Original series, and now the streaming platform is intensifying its focus on the region by placing the emphasis on Nordic films. The company has signed an exclusive multi-year first-look agreement with Danish producer Kim Magnusson, as Variety reports, in order to produce original feature films.

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According to the deal, the features will be shot in the Nordic region and in their local languages. The goal is to create content that is aimed squarely at a global audience and Netflix subscribers around the world, not only those in the Nordics. Magnusson will focus both on collaborating with established creators and on scouting new talents from Denmark, Sweden and Norway. The producer also aims to represent the full spectrum of genres, ranging from horror and thrillers to romance and comedies.

Having already racked up a great deal of experience in the region, Magnusson co-founded M&M Productions with his father, Tivi Magnusson, and has produced over 125 films and TV series, including Nicolas Winding Refn’s Pusher trilogy, Anders Thomas Jensen’s Adam’s Apples [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Anders Thomas Jensen
interview: Mads Mikkelsen
interview: Tivi Magnusson
film profile
]
and Men & Chicken [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, and more recently, Anders Walter’s hit debut I Kill Giants [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
. His role is to initially select the projects, and then Netflix will decide on the investment to be made in them. “If Netflix thinks it is a great idea and they like the story, then they will find the budget and we’ll make the movie,” he stated.

Magnusson also believes that this will be a great opportunity for independent producers, as the budget for each film will vary between $2 million and $6 million, which is the rough equivalent of the local budget. The hope is for it to be increased slightly, as the final film will be available to the global market. Regarding film funding procedures, the producer added, “We won’t have to sit and wait for the different film institutes in the Nordic region or the different public television stations to get it funded.”

Netflix has not yet determined the number of projects that will be included in this first-look deal, but Magnusson plans to pitch the first ones in the next two months, aiming to enter pre-production this autumn. It has been reported that one of the potential projects could be the biopic of American-Danish pianist and comedian Victor Borge, which Magnusson is developing with writer-producer couple Mette Lisby and Jesper Bæhrenz. It’s worth noting that the American entertainment company is not alone in this field, as local player Viaplay has also announced its focus on Nordic content, and several projects have already been greenlit.

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