Nordic TV series a success for Lumière – even before aired
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
03/10/2011 - Besides being a leading Benelux distributor, releasing approximately 25 mainly European features annually – operating the Lunanimé production outfit and the biggest cinema portal in Belgium (Bruges) –, Ghent-based company Lumière has specialised in Nordic TV crime on DVD. Most recently the company launched the Danish series, The Killing 1+2 (pictured) and Borgen/Government, the latter to place No 6 on the charts in its first week.
“The films became successful on DVD before they were broadcast,” explained head of distribution, Esther Bannenberg, of Lumière. “Since five years we have been branding thriller series such as the Swedish Beck and Wallander. The books by Henning Mankell and Sjöwall-Wahlöö were already popular, so the DVDs found an easy way to the audience, also because of the top quality of production which they maintained.”
“Today there is Nordic crime on both pay and free television - The Killing 1+2 from Denmark, Beck, Wallander, Sebastian Bergman, Van Veeteren from Sweden, Varg Veum from Norway; Those Who Kill is currently on the air, The Bridge will shortly follow, and they are all attractive properties for the stations.
“The high production standards of the series is one of the main reasons for their market performance – and then I think the multi-layered storytelling made The Killing 1+2 a totally new experience for the (most of them) book-reading fans of Nordic thrillers, adding Sofie Gråbøl’s brilliant acting as detective inspector Sarah Lund,” Bannenberg concluded.
Lumière also picks Scandinavian crime for theatrical distribution, including Norwegian director Morten Tyldum’s Headhunters [trailer] and Swedish director Lasse Hallström’sThe Hypnotist, the first film in a planned franchise of Swedish writers Lars Kepler’s Joona Linna books. Upcoming DVD releases include new thriller series from Swedish authors Liza Marklund and Camilla Läckberg.