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Cineflix Rights Scoops Icelandic Political Series ‘The Minister’

Cineflix Rights, a leading U.K.-based distributor, has acquired “The Minister,” the anticipated political drama series headlined by Icelandic star Ólafur Darri Ólafsson (“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”).

Produced by the Icelandic company Sagafilm, “The Minister” centres on Benedikt Ríkhardsson (Ólafsson), a populist politician who becomes Iceland’s Prime Minister. However, Benedikt is suffering from an underlying bipolar disorder which progressively worsens. The Prime Minister’s team and their allies are forced to endanger both the stability of the government and their private lives to hide his illness while others abuse it.

“The charm and charisma that Ólafur Darri brings to the conflicted character is unique and we are extremely excited to see how his unorthodox way of doing things touches viewers around the world,” said Sagafilm’s CEO, Hilmar Sigurðsson.

Ólafsson’s credits include “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” as well as the series “Trapped,” “True Detective” and “The Missing. “The Minister” was written by Birkir Blær Ingólfsson, Björg Magnúsdóttir and Jónas Margeir Ingólfsson; and is directed by Nanna Kristin Magnúsdóttir whose short “Cubs” won several awards, and Arnór Pálmi Arnarson, who directed the critically acclaimed series “Ligeglad.”

The eight-part series was ordered RUV Iceland and produced by Anna Vigdís Gísladóttir. The executive producers are Hilmar Sigurðsson, Kjartan Thor Thordarson, Thorhallur Gunnarsson and Ólafsson.

Ólafsson stars opposite Aníta Briem (“Salt and Fire”), Þuríður Blær Jóhannsdóttir (“The Swan”), Thor Kristjánsson (“The Swan”), Elva Ósk Ólafsdóttir (“Trapped”) and Oddur Júlíusson (“1991”).

“’The Minister’ sits alongside the best Nordic dramas of the past few years and reflects the new world of populism,” said Julien Leroux, SVP of global scripted co-productions of Cineflix Media, who brokered the deal.

“It has a taut plot which follows the rise of a populist, but flawed, politician and how his team deals with the impact of his behaviour on the traditional political system and their ability to govern,” said Leroux, who added
that the series was “so timely and relevant.” Cineflix will be unveiling more details about the series at Series Mania and MipTV.

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