The Norwegian Film Institute supports six new audiovisual projects
by Davide Abbatescianni
- The country’s film agency has earmarked €2.3 million for the development and production of four drama series and two documentaries
The Norwegian Film Institute, the country’s film agency, based in Oslo and controlled by the Royal Ministry of Culture, has allocated 22.2 million Norwegian crowns (approximately €2.3 million) for the development and production of six new audiovisual projects.
The biggest grant went to the political thriller Witch Hunt (circa €1.02 million), a project developed by Acquitted creators Siv Rajendram Eliassen and Anna Bache-Wiig, who also recently penned the script for Erik Poppe’s U – July 22 [+see also:
interview: Erik Poppe
film profile]. Directed by Eva Sørhaug (90 Minutes [+see also:
film profile], Cold Lunch [+see also:
film profile]), the TV series is being produced by Cecilie Aspenes, Are Heidenstrøm, Peter Bose and Jonas Allen for Miso Film Norge Team and is set to air on TV2. Its plot revolves around an average woman involved in a scandal of national proportions, with the consequences reverberating to the very highest tiers of Norwegian society.
The second political-thriller series to be awarded is entitled Fury and received a grant of approximately €620,000. Staged by Lasse Greve Alsos and Håkon Briseid for Monster Scripted and helmed by Roar Uthaug (Tomb Raider, The Wave [+see also:
interview: Roar Uthaug
film profile]), Fury centres on Ragna, who is tasked with preventing a major terror attack. Her mission will lead her on a turbulent journey from an idyllic village in Western Norway to a political battle at the heart of Europe, both metaphorically and literally.
Another TV series being produced by Monster Scripted has also benefited from funding (circa €160,000) – namely, the light-hearted disaster drama In the Headmaster's Office, directed by Atle Knudsen (ORPS: The Movie). Produced by Ida Håndlykken Kvernstrøm, and penned by Emir Mulaosmanovic and Oda Radoor, the 20-episode series opens with Elias being called to the headmaster’s office to explain why he has thrown a water balloon at a fellow student.
The last TV series supported by the NFI is Norsemen 3 (circa €41,450), written and directed by Jon Iver Helgaker and Jonas Torgersen, for Viafilm. This season is described as a prequel, set in 789, before the first Viking race to the west, and follows Chief Olav and Hildur as they rule the village of Norheim with steady hands. Meanwhile, Jarl Varg has started an all-out war and needs the Norheim Vikings’ loyalty.
Moreover, two documentary features will benefit from production grants – namely, Thomas Robsahm and Aslaug Holm’s a-ha – The Movie (circa €25,900, produced by Motlys), and Ragnhild Nøst Bergem and Erlend Eirik Mo’s Sing (circa €124,350, produced by Herlig Film & TV), the latter focusing on Jan, Mimi and Sigvald, three dementia patients who are trying to relieve their pain through the power of music.
Commenting on the latest slate of funding, the institute’s film and drama consultant, Ståle Stein Berg, said: “It is a pleasure to see that interest in commenting on our contemporary world is so close to the heart of Norwegian drama. It guarantees relevance and topicality, and I believe it establishes a genuine link with the public, also internationally.”
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