Portugal’s SPi and Iceland’s Glassriver have attached Sérgio Graciano to direct Icelandic-Portuguese crime drama “Cold Haven,” a project which links two of the fastest-expanding TV producers on the western Europe seaboard.
Lisbon-based SPi is the company behind Portugal’s first Netflix Original series, the upcoming “Gloria.” It also co-produced “Dry Water,” a pioneering drive into premium TV production in Portugal, linking to Galicia in northern Spain.
Producer of “Ordinary People” and “Funeral,” Glassriver has been building a voluminous development slate with standout series – Baldwin Z’s “Black Sands,” thriller “Polaris,” for example – being snapped up by prominent sales agencies.
A 2011 Intl. Emmy winner for “Laços de Sangue” and a nominee the following year for “Windeck,” Graciano has co-directed season two of “Dry Water.” A high-profile Icelandic director is also expected to be attached to the series shortly, said Hordur Rúnarsson, Glassriver producer and co-owner and “Cold Haven’s” executive producer with José Amaral, SPi managing director.
To be presented at Series Mania Co-Pro Pitching Sessions on Aug. 30, “Cold Haven” is an Iceland-set crime drama probing the immigration experience and the conflict between career ambition and family ties and a deep-felt sense of guilt.
In it, an Icelandic detective, Soffia, attempts to solve a murder in the Portuguese community on Iceland’s Vestmanna Islands. The victim is María, a young Portuguese woman who came to Iceland to work in Vestmanna’s cod fishery industry, and also to find the freedom to be who she really is.
The case takes a new turn when Soffia discovers that her own son, whom she has failed as a mother, is among the suspects. This is an opportunity for her to become a real mother again, but at what cost to her integrity? the synopsis asks.
“Sérgio is a talented Portuguese director with whom we’ve been working on some of our international coproductions,” said Amaral.
He added: “He has a very modern creative vision in the way he tells stories and an extraordinary ability to work on co-productions, keeping the local flavors and always keeping the visuals interesting. For our ‘Cold Haven,’ Sergio will ensure a Portuguese vision and will give to the project the international point of view that this story deserves.”
“Cold Haven” is created by Portugal’s Filippa Poppe, a writer on “Back Home,” a recent co-production between Portuguese public broadcaster RTP and TVG, its counterpart in neighboring Galicia, and by Joana Andrade, a writer on soap opera “Rainha das Flores,” which won a gold medal winner at the 2018 World Media Festival.
Poppe and Andrade co-authored “Paixão,” which took a bronze medal at the 2018 New York Film and TV Festival. Andrade also co-penned two Graciano features, “O som que desce na terra and “A impossibilidade de estar só.”
The series has been co-created with the collaboration of Sveinbjorn I. Baldvinsson (“The Lava Field”).