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GÖTEBORG 2020 TV Drama Vision

22 July wins the Nordisk Film & TV Fond Prize

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- The writer of the series, Sara Johnsen, has snagged the circa €20,000 award in a competition that included four other Nordic series

22 July wins the Nordisk Film & TV Fond Prize
Sara Johnsen with her Nordisk Film & TV Fond Prize (© Louise Bergwall)

At the 43rd Göteborg Film Festival, and on the first day of TV Drama Vision, the Norwegian TV series 22 July emerged as the winner of the Nordisk Film & TV Fond Prize, given out for the fourth time in a row. The award, worth NOK 200,000 (€19,800), was bestowed upon writer Sara Johnsen, for “outstanding writing of a Nordic drama series”.

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Johnsen, who is one of the best-known Norwegian filmmakers, wrote and directed the award-winning features Kissed by Winter [+see also:
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, Upperdog [+see also:
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]
and All That Matters Is Past [+see also:
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]
, before joining the writing team of the successful Norwegian political thriller series Occupied. The six-part series 22 July, which Johnsen co-created with the director of the series, Pål Sletaune (Next Door [+see also:
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]
), is her first TV drama as head writer.

The jury comprised Jakob Oftebro, a Norwegian actor known for his roles in Agent Hamilton [+see also:
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]
and Kon-Tiki [+see also:
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]
; Swedish actress Moa Gammel, who starred in Jordskott and Tommy [+see also:
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]
; Polish producer and director Dariusz Jabłoński (Photographer, The Pleasure Principle); and Norwegian Aftenposten journalist Cecilie Asker. After deliberating, they picked the winner in a competition that also included Sweden’s Caliphate, Denmark’s When the Dust Settles, Finland’s The Paradise and Iceland’s Happily Never After.

The jury statement reads: "Drama is a powerful tool that should be used wisely, especially when it comes to portraying stories inspired by real events. The jury was blown away by the brave approach to telling a story respectfully while still grasping its emotional core."

22 July focuses on the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Oslo and on the island of Utøya, which took place on 22 July 2011. The writers created fictional characters, which are based on real stories and are the result of extensive research, who narrate the story and mostly how they have been affected by the tragedy. More precisely, the heroes are those who, because of their professions, were immediately affected by the terrorist attack, and they include health workers, teachers, journalists and police officers.

Directed by Pål Sletaune, and produced by Elisabeth Tangen and Per Berge Engebretsen for NRK Drama, the series’ first two episodes premiered on 5 January on Norwegian pubcaster NRK. According to audience measurements, nearly 500,000 viewers watched them on TV and more 100,000 on NRK’s VoD service. The UK’s Digital Rights Group (DRG) is handling the worldwide distribution.

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