Denmark's Ride Upon the Storm wins the Nordisk Film & TV Fond Prize
by Vladan Petkovic
- The writer of the TV series, Adam Price, has snagged the circa €20,000 prize in the competition that included four other Nordic programmes
At the Göteborg Film Festival, the Danish TV series Ride Upon the Storm has emerged as the winner of the Nordisk Film & TV Fond Prize, given out for the second time. The award, worth SEK 200,000 (circa €20,000), went to the writer, Adam Price, as it is intended for "outstanding writing of a Nordic drama series".
Price co-wrote the Emmy Award-winning series Nikolaj and Julie, before becoming the creator of Borgen. He was the head of Drama for TV2 Denmark between 2001 and 2005, and has been the co-owner of SAM Productions since 2014.
Ride Upon the Storm is a character-driven drama that explores good and evil, and the spiritual journey towards seeking greater meaning in life. The story centres on a family of priests that traces its roots back more than 250 years. It consists of ten 60-minute episodes.
The jury, comprising Walter Iuzzolino, TV executive and curator of the streaming service Walter Presents; Swedish actress Sofia Helin (Bron/The Bridge); and Finnish journalist Kirpi Uimonen Ballesteros, a board member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association TV committee, picked the winner in the five-strong competition, which also included Sweden's The Lawyer, Finland's Deadwind, Iceland's Stella Blómkvist and Norway's Borderliner.
The first day of Göteborg's two-day TV Drama Vision industry section also saw presentations of various upcoming shows at various stages of development, such as The Beehive by Lithuanian writers Domante Urmonaite and Martynas Mendelis, Blackout by producer Hörður Rúnarsson, of Iceland's Glassriver, a work-in-progress of State of Happiness, written by Mette M Bølstad and produced by Synnøve Hørsdal, of Norwegian company Maipo Film, who are making it for broadcaster NKR, as well as four projects by Anagram, a company with branches in Sweden in Norway: Thin Blue Line and Four Days in Kabul (Sweden), and Crimeshare and En Kjærlighetshistorie (Norway).
At other events on the first day, Brian Pearson, Netflix's director of International Originals, spoke about the global streaming service’s plans for the Nordic region and beyond, and as an example of a local product that might follow the international success of Germany's Dark, focused on the Danish series The Rain, which was co-created by Jannik Tai Mosholt, of Borgen fame.
Fredrik Zander of Chimney led a discussion about different future funding models and followed it, together with Daniel Lägersten of Brain Academy, Nicola Söderlund of Eccho Rights and Christian Wikander of Twelve Town, with a closer look at Viaplay's upcoming show Conspiracy of Silence.
In the Looking Ahead section, the professionals at the event saw a showcase of other upcoming drama series from Norway and Finland, and today they will watch presentations of forthcoming shows from Sweden and Denmark.
The day will be opened by the keynote speech by Ron Tellem, the Emmy-winning creator of Homeland, who will share his experience with the Israeli drama export and give a sneak peek into his current projects, before speaking with Liselott Forsman, executive producer of international projects at YLE, about issues of co-producing when the production culture and views on matters like gender roles and exotification clash.
As Göteborg was a pioneer among European festivals in terms of introducing drama to its industry section, its colleagues who joined the trend later on will show off the fruits of their labour: EFM drama series programme manager Solmaz Azizi will present Babylon Berlin with the show's writer, Achim von Borries, and CineLink Drama's Armin Hodžić will present the Serbian TV series in development Burn Baby Burn together with the show's co-writer Marijana Verhoef.
As a work in progress, The Hunters by Swedish company Harmonica Film, which is making the show for TV4, will be presented by writer Stefan Thunberg and producer Per Janérus, while Martin Svensson of Sweden's Lindholmen will show The Inner Circle (Fundament Film), Stellar Skies (Bob Film), Cookies (Cinenic) and Turnaround (Brain Academy), and producer Ilkka Matila of Finland's Matila Röhr will showcase All the Sins, all as projects in development.
Peter Possne will tell the audience what Sweden's Film i Väst has in the pipeline, and the day will end with "Every Saga Has its End: Bron Grand Finale", where a panel comprising Lund University professor Annette Hill, creator and head writer Hans Rosenfeldt, actress Sofia Helin, Anders Landström and Lars Blomgren of Filmlance, and Bo Ehrhardt of Nimbus Film will look at the series’ massive audience engagement, the making and importance of it, and the many remakes that have followed in its footsteps.
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