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Nordic drama producers look to London

Date posted: 08.12.2015

Back in 2011, the runaway success of The Killing saw the UK awash with Sofie Gråbøl and Fair Isle knitwear. Since then, the international appetite for Nordic noir hasn't waned. From The Bridge to Wallander and Borgen, Nordic television drama has us all hooked.

London got a piece of the action recently, when the team behind Sky Atlantic's Fortitude decided to base the production here in the capital.

Last week, we brought five top Nordic television drama producers to London, with the aim of boosting business by showcasing the city's production offer and strengthening the links between our industries.

The delegates were:

  • Helena Danielsson of Brain Academy, winner of the European Film Academy Award - Prix Eurimages in 2012 (Sweden)
  • Christian Fredrik Martin of Friland Produksjon AS (Norway)
  • Janni Lund Helleskov of Eyeworks Scandia Fiction (Denmark)
  • Snorri Thorisson, line producer on Game of Thrones and Fortitude in Iceland (Iceland)
  • Jojo Uimonen of Dionysos Films (Finland)

Showcasing London

Over five days, the producers were taken on tour around some of the facilities and spaces that make London such an attractive offer for television drama productions. They left with a better understanding of our world-class production infrastructure and unique locations, as well as insights on the UK's generous High-end Television Tax Relief.

They also attended C21's Content London conference, where they rubbed shoulders and networked with television industry representatives from the UK and beyond.

The verdict

Our Nordic producers praised the diversity of London's production offer. Jojo noted that "the variation of different types of facilities and locations is superb," adding that "it was very interesting to see traditional film studios, but also how the city is full of other locations that can be used as  studio space." Janni agreed, remarking that "the city is big and extremely beautiful, and yet very diverse locations are surprisingly close. It seems as if we easily can find the locations required."

"London seems to be a city that Nordic writers find creatively inspiring, so they want to take their drama there," said Janni. Snorri agreed that London is a tempting prospect for Nordic producers, noting that "the skills of UK crews and the quality of the post-production industry is attractive."

And will they be looking to London for their next project? "I have never co-produced with the UK before, but will certainly do so in the future," Christian said. Jojo praised the companies she met at Content London, adding that she is "one step closer to finding a suitable co-production partner for my project." Janni was even more optimistic, noting that she had met a potential co-producer for her current project. "Time will tell," she said, "but it is very exciting. Doing post-production and VFX in London seems like a very good opportunity."

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