Reimagining Nordic Mainstream

Meet the creators behind two of the freshest Scandinavian series to come out this year - Norwegian Canneseries winner Countrymen and acclaimed Finnish sci-fi drama Next of Kin - in a session about staying courageous and getting it right for the audiences.

In this session the makers of the two must-see series will share their insights on the creative and productional processes of the shows and discuss the role of niche content today and why themes of ‘belonging’ are ever relevant in the local and global drama series landscape. 

What happens when you decide to use the worst stereotypes you can come up with as the starting point for your new series, then work your way backwards? Writer Anne Bjørnstad (Beforeigners, Lilyhammer) and writer-director Izer Aliu (Hunting Flies, To Guard a Mountain) did just that with award-winning hit comedy show Countrymen as the direct result.

The series follows four Muslim men, who move to a rural part of Norway with a mixed bag of criminal intentions and end up creating Norway’s first halal cheesemaking business sort of as a by-product mistake. It is funny (very!), clever and heartfelt in equal measures and masters a knife’s edge balancing act of running socio-political commentary without losing sight of its entertaining storyline for a second.

Finnish sci-fi drama Next of Kin is the outcome of a six-year long collaboration between Finnish writer Minna Panjanen (Welcome to Texas) and Danish writer-producer Valeria Richter (Cora). The eight-part series set in a near-futuristic Helsinki explores ethical and emotional questions around our DNA and the connections we form. It asks us what is means to be human in a world where genetics can change who we are as a species. 

Integrating scientific research seamlessly into a thriller paced story, the series centres around 30-year old Liv as her decision to uncover what happened to her DNA sample after it was stolen from a biobank, propels her into a gripping mouse-and-cat game with her ‘creators’. The show premiered in Finland in January to great reviews and is currently doing the international sales rounds = your chance to catch a very special preview! Meet the creators Minna Panjanen and Valeria Richter.