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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Iceland / UK / France

Iceland’s Black Port starts filming

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- The Vesturport-created drama series centres on a turbulent recent period for Iceland’s fishing industry through a group of friends who build their own small empire

Iceland’s Black Port starts filming
On the set of Black Port (© Vesturport)

According to the Nordisk Film & TV Fond’s exclusive announcement (see the news), the Icelandic eight-part drama series Black Port has commenced filming around Reykjavik and in the Westfjords, as the country has allowed crews to return to set as long as health regulations are followed. Produced by well-known theatrical and film collective Vesturport for RÚV, the series was co-created by its founding members, Björn Hlynur Haraldsson (Trapped, Fortitude), Gísli Örn Garðarsson (Ragnarok) and Nína Dögg Filippusdóttir (The Valhalla Murders), and they share a production credit with Nana Alfredsdóttir.

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The story is set in a small coastal fishing village between 1984 and 1991, during a challenging period for Iceland’s fishing industry, which was riddled with greed and corruption. One of the major changes was the quota system that was introduced to the country owing to overfishing. The series follows a group of friends in their late thirties, who start a fishing company in order to create a small empire. The series portrays both the transition that the fishing industry was going through and the shift in the local society, along with the gradual changes in the characters as they seek power and wealth.

Black Port is based on true events, and it was the winner of the Séries Mania Award at the Berlinale CoPro Series pitch in 2018 (see the news). It is being co-directed by Haraldsson and Garðarsson together with María Reyndal. The script was co-penned by Mikael Torfason (The Valhalla Murders) and all three Vesturport creative partners, Haraldsson, Garðarsson and Filippusdóttir, who also co-star, playing the leading roles, flanked by actors Guðjón Davíð Karlsson (Let Me Fall [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Baldvin Z
interview: Kristin Thora Haraldsdóttir
film profile
]
) and Unnur Ösp Stefánsdóttir (Prisoners). Furthermore, the series is being lensed by Hrafn Garðarsson and edited by Kristján Loðmfjörð (Rams [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Grimur Hakonarson
film profile
]
), whereas Atli Geir Grétarsson (The Oath [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
) is the production designer.

As well as Vesturport and Icelandic pubcaster RÚV, Black Port is being co-produced by ARTE France and British producers Andrew Eaton and Justin Thompson, of Turbine Studios. The series is co-financed by Nordic pubcasters DR, SVT, NRK and YLE, plus Benelux’s Lumiere Group, and it has secured support from the Icelandic Film Centre, the Icelandic Ministry of Industries and Innovation, and the Nordisk Film & TV Fond as one of the recipients of its latest slate of funding (see the news). According to the producers, filming will last until the end of the summer, and the premiere on RÚV is slated for early 2021. A global distributor will be announced in the coming months.

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