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Norwegian incentives support local TV series


- Totalling over €5.9 million, the Norwegian Film Institute’s incentive scheme invests in local TV series that have secured international partners and are eyeing worldwide distribution

Norwegian incentives support local TV series
Norwegian Crown Princess Märtha with President Franklin D Roosevelt (© NTB Scanpix)

The Norwegian Film Institute (NFI) has announced its support for three new Norwegian TV series via its incentive scheme that was introduced in 2016. The support granted totals NOK 57.4 million (€5,950,000), and backs productions that have at least 30% of their international financing in place and that have secured international distribution. The productions can apply for a 25% tax rebate of the costs of filming in Norway.

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For the 2018 round, which will also be the sole production incentive for the whole year, 11 projects applied – five Norwegian dramas, five international features and one international drama series with a Norwegian co-producer – and only three Norwegian dramas were selected: Cinenord Drama productions Atlantic Crossing and Wisting, and Rubicon TV’s Beforeigners.

Below you can find more details about the drama projects:

Atlantic Crossing is a period miniseries consisting of eight one-hour-long episodes. It is being produced for Norwegian public broadcaster NRK and has received a total grant of NOK 27,275,000 (€2.8 million). The drama is based on the true story of Norwegian Crown Princess Märtha, who escaped to the USA after the Nazi occupation of her country in 1940. She moved to Washington with her children and became close to President Franklin D Roosevelt, whom she tried to persuade to join the war, while her husband Crown Prince Olav was in exile in London with his father, King Haakon. The showrunner and director is Alexander Eik, and the series has been co-written with Linda May Kallestein. Silje Hopland Eik serves as the executive producer for Cinenord Drama, and Germany’s Beta Film is handling the worldwide distribution. Aiming to premiere in 2020, filming is set to begin this summer throughout Europe.

Wisting, consisting of ten 45-minute episodes, is a crime series being produced for streaming platform Viaplay, TV3 Norway and Germany’s ARD Degeto. It has been granted NOK 26,050,000 (€2.7 million) and is based on Jørn Lier Horst’s series of best-selling novels about police investigator William Wisting, which have sold more than 1.5 million copies in Norway alone. Wisting (Sven Nordin) is working on his biggest serial-killer case, and his involvement in it leaves him exposed and jeopardises his career. It was co-written by Kathrine Valen Zeiner and Trygve Allister Diesen, who is also co-directing with Katarina Launing. It is a co-production between Cinenord Drama and Denmark’s Good Company Film, while London-based Banijay Rights is in charge of the international distribution. Shooting started in January.

Beforeigners is a drama series consisting of eight 45-minute episodes, and it has received incentive support of NOK 4,075,000 (€422,000). Created by Eilif Skodvin and Anne BjørnstadLilyhammer’s co-creators and head writers – the series is about a couple of weak and exhausted people who arrive in Oslo. In fact, they turn out to be the first of many people from the past who are seeking refuge in our time. It is directed by Jens Lien (The Bothersome Man [+see also:
film review
interview: Jens Lien
interview: Jørgen Storm Rosenberg
film profile
) and produced by Jan-Erik Gammleng for Rubicon TV.

Regarding the tax rebate scheme, Stine Helgeland, head of communication, insight and international relations at the Norwegian Film Institute, stated: “It is good to see that with the incentive grants, these Norwegian projects, which would otherwise be filmed abroad, are now being realised in Norway, with Norwegian film professionals. The scheme should also increase the experience and knowledge of a sustainable local industry, as well as stimulating growth and international cooperation.”

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