Reading the writers

Reading the writers

By Michael Pickard
February 4, 2021

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 Cry Wolf, Sisterhood, Cargo, Thin Blue Line and Welcome to Utmark.

For the fifth 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 from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, with the winner announced at a ceremony held last night during Göteborg Film Festival’s TV Drama Vision event.

Backed by Nordisk Film & TV Fond, the first winners in 2017 were 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 last year for real-life drama 22 Juli 22 July).

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


Maja Jul Larsen
Series title: Ulven Kommer (Cry Wolf)
From: Denmark
Original broadcaster: DR
Starring: Bjarne Henriksen, Peter Plauborg and Christine Albeck Børge
Air date: October 2020
When 14-year-old Holly writes a school essay about the violence in her home, her family is torn apart. Dedicated social worker Lars is assigned to the case and, convinced by Holly’s story, he places Holly and her seven-year-old brother Theo in foster care. But her family members – including Holly’s stepfather – claim the essay is nothing more than teenage rebellion, and Lars’s sense of certainty begins to fray at the edges. As he comes under attack in the courts and from negative publicity, Lars must discover who is telling the truth.
Read DQ’s interview with Larsen here.


Kim Fupz Aakeson
Series title: Velkommen til Utmark (Welcome to Utmark)
From: Norway
Original broadcaster: HBO
Starring: Tobias Santelmann, Marie Blokhus, Alma Günther and Stig Henrik Hoff
Air date: 2021
A sheep lies savaged. A dog runs free. A wife leaves her husband. So begins a chain of revenge that entangles a whole town.
Read DQ’s interview with Aakeson here.

Jóhann Ævar Grímsson
Series title: Systrabönd (Sisterhood)
From: Iceland
Original broadcaster: Síminn (Iceland), Viaplay (Nordics)
Starring: Lilja Nótt Þórarinsdóttir, Jóhanna Friðrika Sæmundsdóttir and Ilmur Kristjánsdóttir
Air date: 2021
Set in a small fjord town in Iceland, the series begins with the discovery of the skeletal remains of a young girl, Hanna, who disappeared 20 years ago. The subsequent investigation rattles a small group of women, now in their 30s, who one fateful night killed the young girl and have had to live with their guilty secret ever since.
Read DQ’s interview with Grímsson here.

Cilla Jackert
Series title: Tunna blå linjen (Thin Blue Line)
From: Sweden
Original broadcaster: SVT
Starring: Amanda Jansson, Oscar Töringe, Per Lasson, Gizem Erdogan, Sandra Stojiljkovic and Anna Sise
Air date: January 2021
A new twist on a police procedural, Thin Blue Line gets under the skin of real life as a modern-day cop, following officers in the vibrant multicultural city of Malmö.
Read DQ’s interview with Jackert here.

Matti Kinnunen
Series title: Rahti (Cargo)
From: Finland
Original broadcaster: Yle
Starring: Evelyn Rasmussen Osazuwa, Johannes Holopainen, Amos Brotherus and Oona Airola
Air date: 2021
A multi-layered series following different characters as they each encounter human smuggling: a young Eritrean woman who becomes separated from her husband and daughter as they flee to Finland; two brothers who steal a van unaware that there are people hidden inside; and a lawyer who becomes the legal guardian of a child whose parents’ whereabouts are unknown.
Read DQ’s interview with Kinnunen here.

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