More than 70 speakers from 17 countries, including “SKAM” showrunner Julie Andem, “It Takes Two” game creator/filmmaker Josef Fares, and top commissioners from Viaplay, Netflix, Amazon Studios, DR, SVT, NRK and Yle will take center stage at Göteborg Film Festival’s TV Drama Vision.
The festival’s flagship drama confab will run Feb. 1-2 both on-site in Sweden’s second largest city, and online, with all streamed sessions open to accredited professionals.
A record 542 delegates – including 39 online visitors – have signed up for the sold-out event, set under the overarching theme “Navigating Disruption and Cultivating Talent.”
”It’s been a challenge to set the core of this year’s program, considering the drastic changes in the drama industry, fuelled by the macroeconomic uncertainties, streaming wars and changing strategies,” acknowledges TV Drama Vision honcho Cia Edström. “But our top industry guests will offer inspiring best-practices on how to navigate these changing times, cultivate talent and innovate in storytelling. Because good storytelling remains key to success in our industry.”
The pressing topic of finding “creative solutions for a troubled market” from a producer’s perspective will be discussed by panelists Nebojša Taraba (Drugi Plan, Croatia), Gudny Hummelvoll (Rubicon, Norway), Karoline Leth (Zentropa, Denmark) and Jan Blomgren (Art & Bob, Sweden).
“Future Proofing Financing” is the core of a three-part session with panelists Karin Lindström (head of originals, Nordics, Amazon Studios), Petri Kemppinen (CEO, Aurora Studios), Fredrik af Malmborg, (managing director, Eccho Rights), Simone Emmelius (senior VP, international fiction, coproduction and acquisition, ZDF), while Eurimages’ Alex Trăila will give an update of the Council of Europe’s pilot program for series co-production, and Film i Väst’s Thomas Eskilsson, a sneak-peek of his “Public Film Funding Part II” report.
Broadcasting and streaming drama honchos set to unveil their Nordic strategies and upcoming slate include Netflix’s Jenny Stjernströmer Björk, Viaplay’s Camilla Rydbacken, Amazon Studios’ Lindström, Elise Viihde’s Ani Korpela, TV4/C More’s Piodor Gustafsson and Dunja Vujovic, DR’s Henriette Marienlund, SVT’s Anna Croneman, NRK’s Marianne Furevold-Bolund, Yle’s Jarmo Lampela, TV 2 Denmark’s Mette Nelund and TV 2 Norway’s Alice Sommer.
While Norway is this year’s Drama Focus nation, Julie Andem, creator of one of Norway’s biggest drama exports “SKAM,” will deliver a keynote, co-organized by the European Showrunner Program of the Internationale Filmschule Köln.
In another rare on-stage interview, Fares, of Sweden’s Hazelight Studios, will share his insight on content creation for film and gaming, and another session turning on cross-border storytelling, will explore “serial storytelling for the ears – the power of audio.”
With the art of screenwriting and writers at the core of TV Drama Vision, Edström said she is pleased to showcase the new “European Writers Club” and “Nordic Script.” “These training programs are thrilling new initiatives to foster cross border collaborations in the Nordics and in Europe, that will bring new energy to the writing process,” she noted.
Josef Kullengård, the Goteborg Film Festival’s head of industry, also points out that “nurturing talent, moving away from ‘safe bets’ to bring systematic sustainability in the value chain” will be the headline of the sought after “Nostradamus” report, written by media expert Johanna Koljonen.
As a taster of the report “Game Change-Embracing Talent Sustainability for Success,” slated for a May publication during the Cannes Marché du Film (May 16-24), moderator Koljonen will be in conversation in Gothenburg Feb. 3, with Tamara Tatishvili, MEDICI head of training, Neil Peplow of the London Film School, Mette Damgaard-Sørensen of the Danish Film Institute’s New Danish Screen, Fatih Abay, diversity and inclusion officer at the European Film Academy, Cannes Marché du Film’s executive director Guillaume Esmiol, and head of programs and training Aleksandra Zacharchenko. The session is co-hosted by the Marché du Film and the impACT initiative.
Elsewhere, to highlight the need for shared stories and industry-wide solidarity with Ukraine, Kateryna Vyschevska of Film UA will present the non-profit organization Ukraine Content Club.
SERIES COMING UP
Two Ukrainian series looking for co-financing will be pitched among the six Series in Development: “Alchevsky’s Mystery,” co-written by Olga Krzhechevska, Natalya Ribalko and Taras Dron for production company LLC Ideas Bank and 1+1 Channel; “Those Who Stayed,” co-written by Anastasiia Lodkina, Tala Prystaetska, Artem Lytvynenko, Pavlo Ostriko and Sergiy Luschik for FILM.UA Production. Red Arrow Studios Intl. is handling sales.
Other series in development are:
“Brothers” (Luxembourg, Greece, Germany), from creator/showrunner Simon Farmakas, produced by Deal Productions, Blonde s.a. and Hager Moss Film.
“RENT” (Estonia), co-written by Leana Jalukse and Rein Pakk for POINT Productions and Elisa Viihde Estonia.
“The Wedding Party” (Norway), written by creator Åse Kathrin Vuolab with Pauline Wollf and Jörgen Hjerdt. Mer Film is producing for NRK.
“E14” (Norway), co-written by Sebastian Torngren Wartin and Erik Ivar Sæther for Banijay-owned Rubicon TV.
Premium Nordic series shown as works in progress include:
“Dance Brothers,” created by Max Malka for Endemol Shine Finland and co-production partners Netflix and Yle.
“Balls” (Iceland), co-written by Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson, Halldór Laxness Halldórsson, Jörundur Ragnarsson, Jóhanna Friðrika Sæmundsdóttir and Katrín Björgvinsdóttir. ZikZak Filmworks is producing for RÚV.
“Painkiller” (Sweden) created by Gabriela Pichler for production outfit Garagefilm and SVT.
Five completed Nordic series will be vying for the annual Nordisk Film & TV Fond Prize for outstanding writing of a Nordic drama series: Denmark’s “Carmen Curlers,” Finland’s “The Invincibles,” Iceland’s “As Long as We Live,” Norway’s “Kids in Crime” and Sweden’s “Blackwater.”