Russia looks to Finland and Norway for TV programming
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
09/07/2012 - While Nordic noir - such as Denmark's The Killing - pops up on TV screens worldwide, Russian viewers will also experience other areas of the Scandinavian television repertoire.
Sweden's NonStop Entertainment has presold Russian and CIS rights for Finnish director Miikko Oikkonen's 12x44min TV series Nymphs (photo) to Russian independent distributor Volgafilm (adding MTV3 for Finland, Zylo or France and Viva Mondo for French-speaking Canada).
"There is a growing demand for compelling product to serve the female demographic - this is a great opportunity to ally the needs of our partners with our discerning taste," said acquistions chief Lisa Shectman, of Volgafilm, which has released such blockbusters as Slumdog Millionaire [trailer, film focus] and The Hunger Games.
Produced by Matti Halonen for Finland's Fisher King Production, Nymphs, about forbidden love that occurs when a young human male moves into a student's apartment with three seductive and deadly sprites, will shoot from September onwards.
To survive for the next month, a Nymph needs at least one man she can feed on. The series will be filmed against a greenscreen backdrop - the scenery can be adapted to reflect any city in the world - and NonStop will present the first episode at this year's MIPCOM in Cannes (October 8-11).
A joint venture of Channel One Russia and RTR - the largest content providers of Russian TV entertainment - Russian children's channel Carousel has purchased the rights for the fully animated City of Friends, Norway's number-one kids' programme, which is aired in 180 countries and 25 languages.
Developed by Norwegian policeman Carl Christian Hamre at Åsane outside Bergen, the City of Friends franchise - the series is currently being prepared for a 3D-animated feature - has since 2007 been marketed by Norway's CreaCom Group, and will also be the theme of a family show in Norway's Vestlandshallen-Bergen and Dubai's The Mall, the world's largest shopping centre, which has an estimated 500,000 visitors per day.
The Arena Live Show will be launched to a 3,000-strong audience on the Vestlandshallen's 1,000 sqm on September 27, with real-size cars and a helicopter for the action scenes. City of Friends in Dubai was produced as a 30-minute televised stage show every day between June 28-July 8 as part of the Dubai Mall's Summer of Surprises festival.