Banijay has boarded “Countrymen,” a new drama series produced by its Norwegian label, Rubicon, with a cast of Scandinavian stars, including Nader Khademi (“Ninjababy”), Ayaz Hussain (“Kasim Bæder”), Jonas Strand Gravli (“Ragnarok”) Arben Bala (“Lilyhammer”) and Erika Strand Mamelund.
The show will world premiere at Cannes Series and has been commissioned by the public broadcaster NRK, in co-production with Arte France. Banijay Rights will handle world sales on the eight-part series.
“Countrymen” follows four men who move to a farm in the rural Norwegian countryside and end up founding Norway’s first halal cheesemaking business more or less against their will.
Award-winning director and screenwriter Izer Aliu (“Hunting Files”), created and penned the series along with Rubicon’s Anne Bjørnstad (“Lillyhammer,” “The Councilman”).
“This metaphoric concept will get people talking here in Norway, and also resonate with global audiences,” said Anne Bjørnstad, Rubicon’s creative director (with Eilif Skodvin). “This high-quality series has been elevated with Izer Aliu writing and directing, and we are proud to create characters which are so brilliantly portrayed with warmth and humour by our cast,” added Bjørnstad.
A leading Norwegian production banner, Rubicon’s previous premium drama credits include “Beforeigners,” which is available on HBO Europe and HBO Max in the U.S. Season two will launch later this year with Paul Kaye (“Game of Thrones”), Ann Akin (“I May Destroy You”), Jade Anouka (“Cleaning Up), Billy Postlethwaite (“Chenobyl”), and Philip Rosch (“The King”) have joined the cast.
Banijay is the parent company of more than 50 award-winning production labels in the U.K., U.S., Australia, Germany, Benelux, Iberia, Israel, Italy, Poland, Russia, India and across the Nordics.