Sky Germany’s “Pagan Peak,” Movistar +’s “Giants” and ITV’s “Cleaning Up” will be sneak-peaked at the inaugural MipDrama Buyers’ Summit, a series-in-production showcase which also highlights Russia’s “Trigger.”
The country with the biggest presence at the Summit is, however, Finland, sporting “Arctic Circle” and “Bullets,” both co-financed by Elisa Vilhde.
This is a sign of how Scandinavia still punches way above its geographic weight in drama series production. It also flags the building drive into high-end drama investment by European telecoms which account, between Telefonica’s Movistar + and Elisa, for half the titles at the MipDrama Buyers’ Summit.
That’s one trend at the Summit which, running on the Sunday April 8, the day before the official launch of MipTV, reworks MipTV’s successful MipDrama Screenings, offering longer excerpts – 15 minutes – of less series – six rather than 12. It also adds one conference session, Fast Forward: Drama, the Viewer’s Story, presented by Tape and Eurodata TV Worldwide, and billed in a MipTV press statement as delivering insights into drama themes and approaches which resonate with audiences, while exploring viewer habits.
Other trends abound. Nordic Noir is not dead, for instance. It has just gone global. Commissioned by Elisa Vihde, which offers an SVOD streaming service, “Arctic Circle” is produced by Finland-based top Nordic co Yellow Film & TV (“Nurses”), co-produced by Germany’s Bavaria Fiction, sold by France Lagardère Studios Distribution. Plot has a German virologist called in to examine an unconscious woman found chained in a remote Lapland hut, with a deadly virus in her blood.
Inspired by “The Bridge” – a cadaver is found on a snowy Alpine pass on the exact German-Austrian border; cops are called in from both countries – “Pagan Peak” isn’t Nordic at all. But it is sure to draw heat in Cannes, given its pedigree. Backing “Dark,” one of Netflix’s biggest foreign-language hits, Wieddemann & Berg lead produce. “Babylon Berlin’s” Sky Germany and Beta Film co-finance, Beta Film launches sales at MipTV.
More trends: All but one of the Summit’s sneak-peeks are, in one way or another, crime thrillers, as networks and platforms seek compulsive viewing shows in a highly competitive market.
But producers are attempting to broaden the spectrum. Described as a high-octane political thriller, from Finland’s Vertigo Production, Germany’s Nadcon and Belgium’s Lumière Group, “Bullets,” sold by Sky Vision, tracks an undercover cop attempting to bust a suicide bomber recruiter. The first commission scored by ex-Kudos Jane Featherstone’s new shingle Sister Pictures, “Cleanjng Up” humor-laced suspense drama has Sheridan Smith (“Mrs Bigs”) as a cleaning lady who discovers she can make more indulging in insider stock-market trading.
The MipTV Buyers’ Summit also underscores the diaspora from film to TV. A Telefonica Movistar + Original Series, “Giants” marks the drama series directorial debut of Spanish filmmaker Enrique Urbizu, a Spanish Academy best picture winner with “No Rest for the Wicked,” and the kind of multi-laureled accessible movie auteur which Movistar + has courted for its first series. “A family tragedy” – according to Emmanuelle Guilbart at About Premium Content, its sales agent – it turns on the conflicts of an inner Madrid drug dealers family, it is shot in the preeminently cinematographic 2:35:1 Cinemascope aspect ratio.
Summit titles are rounded up by drama “Trigger,” to be aired on Russia’s Channel One and marking the latest drama series from Sreda Production, launched in 2010 by Alexander Tsekalo, producers of “The Other Side of the Moon,” and specialists in event series.