Sagafilm, the thriving Icelandic company behind “Stella Blomkvist” (pictured), is developing “The Minister,” a political tragicomedy series about a politician with bipolar disorder who gets elected prime minister of Iceland.
Commissioned by Iceland’s RUV, the series is being created and written by three up-and-coming screenwriters, Bjorg Magnusdottir, Birkir Blær and Jónas Margeir Ingólfsson. The Minister” follows a young woman, Hrefna, who is hired as the aide to the newly elected Prime Minister Benedikt Rikhardsson and quickly discovers that the Prime Minister is in fact struggling with bipolar disorder.
In order to keep her job, Hrefna must conceal the prime minister’s illness from the public. When Benedikt stops taking his medication because they sap his strength, his mania kicks in and he starts taking erratic decisions and committing serious offences like firing the director of the National Theater live on TV, pardonning a prisoner on a whim and declaring a member of his administration to be a persona non grata.
“‘The Minister’ echoes what’s happening today in many countries where people were so desperate to get rid of ‘old politicians’ that they elected folks they knew very little about and now they’re stuck with them,” said Kjartan Thor Thordarson, CEO of Sagafilm Nordic.
Thordarson pointed out the political environment in Iceland has been particularly volatile in recent years. “We’ve had three governments overthrown in the last three years in Iceland,” said the producer, who added that casting for the show is underway.
Although the series will be infused with tragicomedy, Thordarson said it will be more of a drama. “The collateral damage of the Prime Minister’s bipolar disorder are getting gradually worst,” said Thordarson.
Sagafilm’s development slate include “The Flatey Enigma,” a mystery thriller series based on Viktor Arnar Ingolfsson’s novels. The series, which will be directed by Björn B Björnsson (“Cold Trail”), is being represented in international markets by Sky Vision.
Sagafilm’s recent production “Stella Blomkvist” was nominated for Best Nordic TV Drama at Göteborg Film Festival. The company’s past credits include “The Press” and “Black Angels.”