GOTEBORG, Sweden — “Peacemaker,” produced by leading company MRP Matila Röhr Productions for Finnish pubcaster Yle, is the first Finnish drama pick-up for newly launched Nordic sales outfit REivent Studios.
The company’s sales & marketing director Helene Aurø said the political drama, set in an international arena, with a strong female lead (“Bordertown”’s Irina Björklund) has immediately attracted attention from leading international players such as Benelux’s Lumière Group, first to acquired licencing rights.
The ten-part series set between Turkey, Syria and Spain tells of the world of peacemakers, international arms trade dealings and the deep-layered relationships with people in power. A.J. Annila (“Sauna”, “The Eternal Road”), known for his strong visual style and unconventional choices, will be helming a strong international cast. Besides Björklund, toplining the show are Louise Peterhoff (“Blue Eyes”, “Borgen”) and Kardo Razzazi (“Arne Dahl”).
MRP producer Johanna Enäsuo and screenwriter Eriika Etholen have spent the last three years developing the idea.
“We have gathered a wide network of politicians, private security professionals and U.N. field workers who have been a great help in the researching process,” notes Etholen, emphasizing that “the series’ ‘main characters and their stories are fictional, but inspired by real people and events.“
Yle’s head of drama Jarmo Lampela adds: “it is rare that a story moves between so many countries as organically as the journey of this team of peace-makers. This series opens up an unprecedented dramatic world for both domestic and international markets.”
With a high-end €7.7m ($8.8 million) budget, the series is produced in collaboration with Nordic pubcasters SVT, NRK, DR and RÚV, with co-financing from REinvent Studios, tax rebates from Finland (Business Finland) and the Canary Islands. Filming is set to start in April in the Canary Islands, with a delivery pencilled for late 2020.
“Peacemaker” is the latest example of Finnish broadcaster Yle’s strategy to ramp up its high-end international productions. Other major international shows pitched in Göteborg comprise “Invisible Heroes”, co-produced with Chile.
Yle and MRP Matila Röhr are also partners with Spain’s Mediapro in the drama “The Paradise,”currently filming in Little Finland Fuengirola on Spain’s Costa del Sol.