Nordic delights

Nordic delights

February 3, 2022

Ones to Watch

As the winner of the Nordic TV Drama Screenplay Award is announced, read DQ’s interviews with all five nominees, whose work includes series Countrymen, Transport, The Shift, Vi i Villa and Blackport.

For the sixth year, the winner of the Nordic TV Drama Screenplay award has been crowned, recognising outstanding writing in a Nordic drama series. Five series were nominated this year – one each from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden – with the winner announced at a ceremony held last night during the Götenborg Film Festival’s TV Drama Vision event.

Backed by Nordisk Film & TV Fond, the award was first won in 2017 by Mette M Bølstad and Stephen Uhlander for Nobel, followed by Adam Price for Herrens veje (Ride Upon the Storm) a year later. Finland’s Merja Aakko and Mika Ronkainen picked up the prize in 2019 for Kaikki Synnit (All the Sins), while Sara Johnsen won in 2020 for real-life drama 22 Juli (22 July).

Last year, Maja Jul Larsen took home the award for Ulven Kommer (Cry Wolf), a Danish series that followed a social worker tasked with investigating an allegation from a young girl that threatens to tear her family apart.

Find out more about the winner and fellow nominees in this year’s competition, with links to DQ’s interviews with each writer.

Like Blackport’s other two writers, Gísli Örn Gardarsson (left) also stars in the series

Winners: Gísli Örn Gardarsson, Björn Hlynur Haraldsson, Mikael Torfasonn
Series title: Verbúðin (Blackport)
From: Iceland
Original broadcasters: RÚV, Arte France
Starring: Gísli Örn Gardarsson, Björn Hlynur Haraldsson, Mikael Torfasonn
Air date: December 2021
Set in the 1980s and based on true events, Blackport’s story follows married couple Harpa and Grimur as they build a small fishing empire along with their childhood friends. After the introduction of a new fishing quota system in the country, where the fishing grounds are privatised, the struggle for power results in a feud of jealousy, greed and betrayal – changing the political landscape in Iceland forever.
Read DQ’s interview with Gardarsson here

Nominee: Auli Mantila
Series title: Transport
From: Finland
Original broadcaster: YLE
Starring: Emmi Parviainen, Pirkko Hämäläinen, Maria Heiskanen
Air date: 2022
Transport’s plot follows three strands: a journalist wants to trace a microchip found in baby food, leading her to uncover Europe’s illicit horse trade; a bank manager makes a mistake – and when she fails to cover it up, it leads to something bigger; and a border-control veterinarian goes missing, resulting in an insurance investigator looking into what happened.
Read DQ’s interview with Mantila here

Izer Aliu

Nominees: Izer Aliu, Anne Bjørnstad
Series title: Jordbrukerne (Countrymen)
From: Norway
Original broadcasters: NRK, Arte France
Starring: Mader Khademi, Ayaz Hussain
Air date: October 2021
In Countrymen, a group of young men from inner-city Oslo move to picturesque farmland, pretending to be driven by a shared interest in agriculture when their real intention is something entirely different. But when their plans get derailed, they inadvertently become the founders of Norway’s first halal cheese-making business.
Read DQ’s interview with Aliu and Bjørnstad here

Nominee: Lone Scherfig
Series title: Det Største (The Shift)
From: Denmark
Original broadcaster: TV2
Starring: Sofie Gråbøl, Pål Sverre Hagen
Air date: 2022
The Shift is an emotional workplace drama set in a maternity ward, where the staff experience conflict and joy while striving to meet sky-high professional and personal standards.
Read DQ’s interview with Scherfig here

Nominee: Tove Eriksen Hillblom
Series title: Vi i Villa (Surburbia)
From: Sweden
Original broadcaster: Discovery+
Starring: Mattias Nordkvist, Sanna Sundqvist, Johan Widerberg and Helena Af Sandeberg
Air date: 2022
Surburbia centres on Anders, who finds himself fed up with the charade of middle-class adulthood. The final straw comes when he finds out his daughter is being ostracised at school. Desperate for change, Anders starts to harass his neighbours.
Read DQ’s interview with Hillblom here

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