EU MEDIA support announced for Norwegian TV series and documentary

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From the Norwegian Film Institute (


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The Norwegian thriller series Wisting was awarded €1 million from the European Commission’s MEDIA program.

The €11.4 million Wisting, a TV thriller series staged by Norwegian production company Cinenord Drama, is the first Norwegian project to be granted the maximum €1 million production support from Creative Europe, a special MEDIA subsidy scheme for high-quality television from independent companies.

Creative Europe MEDIA announced on May 8 the first 2018 recipients, also including the Norwegian Fabelaktiv series Helium and Norsk Fjernsyn documentary War of Art; only Wisting and Italy’s My Brilliant Friend, were awarded the full million euros.

Based on Norwegian author Jørn Lier Horst’s novels about police detective William Wisting, Cinenord Drama’s 10-episode Wisting is described as a character-driven thriller series of Nordic noir with a strong, international appeal.

“Obviously, we are very excited about this support from Creative Europe MEDIA, which we also see as a recognition both of the project and of our company,” said producer Silje Hopland Eik, of Cinenord Drama, who will produce the series with Terez Hollo-Klausen and Anni Faurbye Fernandez.

Co-produced by Denmark’s Good Company Films on a NOK 110 million (€11.4 million) budget, including the Norwegian Incentive Scheme framework grant of NOK 26.05 million ($13.4 million) from the Norwegian Film Institute, Wisting is filmed in and around Larvik-Stavern in the Vestfold region.

The project stars Norwegian actor Sven Nordin—most recently in Norwegian pubcaster NRK’s Valkyrien (The Valkyrie / 2017) series­—with Canadian Hollywood actress Carrie-Anne Moss in the role as FBI agent Maggie Griffin.

Directed by Katarina Launing and Trygve Allister Diesen, Wisting started its 150-day shooting schedule in January. The series has been presold to MTG’s Viaplay streaming service and German pubcaster ARD.

Described as a humorous, feel-good drama series, the 13-short-episode Helium follows 12-year-old Martin, when he falls in love for the first time with Dalia. But there are problems: when he talks to her, it sounds as if he has a “helium voice.”

Scripted by Trond Morten Venasen and Morten Hovland, Helium will be directed by Liv Karin Dahlstrøm for NRK Super. The Fabelaktiv production has received NOK 4 million ($488,000) support from the film institute.

War of Art
Scripted and directed by award-winning Tommy Gulliksen, War of Art is a documentary about a group of artists including Norway’s controversial Morten Traavik, who have for several years worked on cultural exchange with North Korea. But how is it possible to collaborate with a country, where (according to Human Rights Watch) 200,000 Koreans are kept in concentration camps, and dissidents and their families are imprisoned and forced to do hard labor for their criticism of the system? The film will be produced by Eirin Høgetveit for Norsk Fjernsyn.

A sub-division of the European Commission’s MEDIA program, Creative Europe supports the EU film and audiovisual industries financially in the development, distribution, and promotion of their work. It helps launch projects with a European dimension and nurtures new technologies; it enables European films and audiovisual works including feature films, television drama, documentaries, and new media to find markets beyond national and European borders; it also funds training and film development schemes. Last year the Norwegian audiovisual industry, which participates in Creative Europe through the EEA agreement, received various grants totalling NOK 29 million ($3.5 million).

This article originally appeared in the June 1, 2018, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.