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‘Hacker’ and ‘Clone’ Stand Out At Drama Series Days’ Focus on Norway

“Hacker” and “Clone” were the most buzzed-about Norwegian series projects pitched at a Drama Series Days’ Focus on Norway.

Produced by Mer film, “Clone” is a sci-fi sitcom set in 2041 and exploring an unravelling marriage. It follows Fredrik and Eva, a married couple who are the only passengers on board of a small spaceship which is returning to Earth and carrying some samples from Mars. Fredrik finds out he is infected by a virus and thus not allowed to return home, so he clones himself in the ship’s 3D printer. From that moment an intense and awkward ménage-a-trios drama plays out between Eva, Fredrik and his clone.

Now in development, “Clone” was created and written by Ole Giæver, the writer/director of the critically acclaimed film “Out of Nature” and “Tommy.”

“Hacker” follows Mia, a 34-year-old Norwegian ex-climbing champion who dropped out of university after she lost her fiancé in Oslo’s 2011 Government Quarter terror attack. Working as a bike courier, Mia is given a mysterious package containing a hidden hard-drive to deliver. Unable to do so, she gets embroiled in a nightmarish conspiracy. The thriller was created and written by Andres J. Riiser (Isola ). Produced by Motlys, the series is also in development.

Other Norwegian series highlights presented at Drama Series Days included Season 2 of “Homeground,” whose first season just premiered to strong reviews on Norwegian public broadcaster NRK and was part of last year’s Drama Series Days.

The diversity of projects presented at the showcase showed how Norwegian drama have expanded beyond the Nordic Noir genre to reach wider audiences. Canneseries winner “State of Happiness,” for example, is a take on Norway’s halting modernization, worked through its gradually more progressive gender politics, and set against the background of the discovery of oil just off the Norwegian coast.”Occupied” imagines a Russian invasion of Norway.

The producers of both “Hacker” and “Clone” received interest from potential co-production partners and broadcasters at the Drama Series Days, said Stine Helgeland from the Norwegian Film Institute.

The three-day conference drew a spotlight on Scandinavian drama and lured top Nordic industry players and filmmakers, including Erik Poppe who promoted a Norwegian technology company called Drylab which helps film crews solve tasks that usually require much bigger crews.

A partnership between the International Sámi Film Institute and Sundance Institute’s Indigenous Program aiming to strengthen Arctic indigenous films was also announced during the conference.

The event also hosted a showcase of 12 books, including Simon Stranger’s “Keep Saying Their Names,” in partnership with NORLA (Norwegian Literature Abroad).

Norwegian films which played at this year’s Berlin Film Festival include “Out Stealing Horses” which competed; as well as “Louis and Luca – Mission to the Moon,” “Dad” and “She-Pack” which screened in the Generation KPlus section. On top of the 14 Norwegian films which screened at the European Film Market, “False Belief” played in the Forum Expanded section and “The Wayward Girl,” starring Liv Ullman, played in Berlinale Classics.

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