A record 500 delegates have signed up for Scandinavia’s leading TV drama confab, TV Drama Vision, which is set to unspool online over Feb. 3-4, parallel to Sweden’s Göteborg Film Festival.
Next to honorary guest – Danish writer-helmer Susanne Bier (“The Night Manager”, “The Undoing”), 30 keynote speakers will share their insights, business and creative tips on how to boost global industry resilience at a time of unprecedented challenges under COVID-19. Walter Iuzzolino, creator of the international curated streaming service Walter Presents – jointly owned by the U.K.’s Channel Four – will open discussions, in conversation with media analyst Johanna Koljonen, author of Göteborg’s annual Nostradamus Report.
Ampere Analysis exec director Guy Bisson returns to Goteborg for a second year running will analyze a series of TV trends to watch out for in 2021 – which he describes as turning on “compounding.” Festival and market executives Frédéric Pittoors d’Haveskercke (Series Mania), Dennis Ruh (European Film Market), Jovan Marjanovic (Cinelink Sarajevo), Marie Barraco (Series Series), Gaia Tridente (MIA Market Rome) and Géraldine Gonard (Conecta Fiction) will share their experiences and plans for 2021.
Trend-setting “virtual” production under COVID-19 will be discussed by Kjartan Thor Thordarson of Iceland’s Sagafilm, as well as Patrik Nebout and Henrik Jansson-Schweizer at the Beta Film-backed Stockholm-based Dramacorp.
“Under COVID-19, where many productions have had to cancel or revise their schedule and locations, virtual production is the next big thing,” noted the Göteborg Film Festival’s head of industry, Cia Edström.
As always, top Nordic TV commissioners and global players working with the Nordics will take centre stage to detail current strategies and upcoming drama slates. These include drama chiefs from TV2, DR in Denmark, Sweden’s SVT, Norway’s NRK, Finland’s YLE, and the major Nordic streamers C More and the Nent Group’s Viaplay.
HBO Europe’s Antony Root, executive VP of original programming and production, will unveil HBO’s vision for its Nordic Originals, together with Christian Wikander, its commissioning editor and VP of programming, as WarnerMedia’s streaming service HBO Max prepares to land in Europe.
This year’s Country in Focus is Spain, with keynote speakers Domingo Corral, director of originals at Movistar Plus and Javier Mendez, CCO at The Mediapro Studio, giving a crash course on the Spanish drama boom talking to Conecta Fiction’s Gonard.
In terms of standout Nordic TV series, a handful of period shows to be pitched share real-life-inspired stories about leading historical figures or defining events in society.
Iceland’s “Vigdís” (RÚV, Glassriver/Vesturport), about former president Vigdís Finnbogadóttir and Norway’s “Power Play” (NRK/Motlys/November Film), turning on former Norwegian Labour leader Gro Harlem Brundtland, both dramatize inspirational women’s impacts on their nations’ politics and societies.
Meanwhile, Swedish mini-series “A Royal Secret” starring Sverrir Gudnason (“Falling”, “Borg vs McEnroe”) explores the forbidden love between King Gustav V of Sweden and entrepreneur Kurt Hajby. Lisa James Larsson (“Victoria”, “Brittania”) serves as director. The series is repped by REinvent Studios.
Highly-anticipated Icelandic fishing quota drama “Blackport” will be pitched as a work in progress by its creators from the Vesturport collective. The project, commissioned by RÚV, won the Berlinale Series Market Copro Pitching award in 2018.
Elsewhere, in development, “506 Grams of Ural Snow” (YLE/Aito Media/Haapasalo Entertainment) is a Finnish drug ring thriller, and the Croatia-Iceland co-production “The Possibility of an Island” (Drugi Plan/Glassiver) a dystopian drama about Icelandic refugees landing on Croatian islands in the aftermath of a Volcanic eruption in Iceland. Rounding off the European pitches are Croatia’s “The Abyss” and Estonia’s “Who Shot Otto Mueller”.
Other highlights of the TV drama showcase include the annual Nordisk Film & TV Fond Prize for best screenplay of a Nordic TV drama, to be handed out on Feb. 3.
This year’s contenders are Danish family drama “Cry Wolf”, successfully shown on DR and sold by DR Sales, Finnish refugee drama “Cargo” from Fremantle, crime drama “Sisterhood” from Iceland, sold by NBCU, Norway’s darkly comedic “Welcome to Utmark,” from HBO Europe, and Sweden’s “Thin Blue Line,” distrbuted by ITV Studios.
Full access to TV Drama Vision’s platform goteborgfilmfestival.se/industry-platform for accredited participants opens today Friday Jan. 29.
“We’ve had to work hard on our first virtual event and we’re pleased to offer a comprehensive and relevant program,’ said confab head Edström.
She added: “The most important thing for us was to create engagement, so that people will connect and stay online. We are all becoming better socially online and have great web tools to work differently, although nothing replaces meetings in real life.”
TV Drama Vision will segue into Göteborg’s other industry event, its Nordic Film Market, unspooling Feb. 4-7.