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Write on

February 2, 2023

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 As Long As We Live, Blackwater, Carmen Curlers, Kids in Crime and The Invincibles.

For the seventh year, the winner of the Nordic TV Drama Screenplay award has been presented in recognition of outstanding writing in a Nordic drama series. As in every year, five series were nominated – 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.

Supported 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).

In 2021, 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, while last year’s winners were Gísli Örn Gardarsson, Björn Hlynur Haraldsson, Mikael Torfasonn for Icelandic series Verbúðin (Blackport), which charts a power struggle set against the backdrop of the country’s fishing industry in the 1980s.

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

Winner: Kenneth Karlstad
Series title: Kids in Crime
From: Norway
Original broadcaster: TV2 Norway
Produced by: Einar Film Drama
Distributed by: Federation Studios
Starring: Kristian Repshus, Lea Myren, Martin Øvrevik and Jakob Oftebro
Air date: November 2022
A dramatic coming-of-age story set at the turn of the millennium. Teen Tommy turns to a life of crime alongside local drug lord Freddy Hell, but when the party ends, he must choose between his new life and friends Pål and Monica.
Read DQ’s interview with Kenneth here.

Nominee: Aníta Briem
Series title: Svo lengi sem viō lifum
From: Iceland
Original broadcaster: Channel 2
Produced by: Glassriver
Distributed by: Eccho Rights
Starring: Aníta Briem, Martin Wallström, Matteo Simoni, Silmir Snar Gudnason and Ólafur Darri Ólafsson
Air date: Q3 2023
Beta, a once promising musician, finds her marriage at breaking point – until a new au pair suggests she and her husband complete some ‘flirting assignments’ that take Beta on a rollercoaster ride.
Read DQ’s interview with Aníta here.

Nominee: Mette Heeno
Series title: Carmen Curlers
From: Denmark
Original broadcaster: DR
Produced by: DR Drama
Distributed by: DR Sales
Starring: Moren Hee Andersen and Rosalinde Mynster
Air date: September 2022
Based on a true story, Carmen Curlers follows entrepreneur Axel Byvang and his wife Birthe Windfeld as they set about building a business empire in 1960s Denmark, based on his revolutionary invention: the electric hair curler.
Read DQ’s interview with Mette here.

Nominees: Maren Louise Käehne and Karin Arrhenius
Series title: Händelser vid vatten (Blackwater)
From: Sweden
Original broadcaster: SVT
Produced by: Apple Treet Productions
Distributed by: ITV Studios
Starring: Asta Kamma August, Rolf Lassgård, Alba August, Pernilla August, Liv Mjönes, Christian Fandango Sundgren and Alma Pöysti
Air date: January 2023
On midsummer’s night in 1973, two tourists are found murdered in a tent in the mountains of Northern Sweden – an event that connects the lives of three people and continues to influence them many years later.
Read DQ’s interview with Maren and Karin here.

Nominee: Matti Kinnuunen
Series title: Rosvopankki (The Invincibles)
From: Finland
Original broadcaster: Elisa Viihde
Produced by: Moskito Television
Distributed by: Fremantle
Starring: Amanda Pilke, Pekka Strang, Mikko Kauppila and Paul S Tracey
Air date: March 2023
Inspired by Finland’s banking crisis in the 1980s, this drama explores themes of power and money as a young, idealistic economist becomes embroiled in a small bank’s fight against its unscrupulous commercial rivals.
Read DQ’s interview with Matti here.

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