A new TV series will chart the rise and fall of Finnish cell phone company Nokia.
Rabbit Films has begun production on “Mobile 1.0” (working title), a six-part scripted drama that explores the meteoric rise of Nokia to become the world’s leading manufacturer of mobile phones before a dramatic fall from grace.
The Finnish and English-language series, shot in Finland and the U.S., will launch in early 2022 on Scandinavian streamer C More, with a linear premiere to follow on MTV3. C More has also picked up the first-window VOD rights for the Nordic and Baltic regions. Rabbit Films is handling international distribution.
“Mobile 1.0” is the first account of the Finnish electronics company’s expansion from a small business into a global player in the mobile phone industry, beating huge established brands. The first season will focus on the years 1988-1990, when technology for mobile phones was in its infancy.
At the heart of the series are the young lawyers who were willing to take on their counterparts at deep-pocketed multinational competitors; the single-minded engineers developing revolutionary new products, boardroom plots and personal feuds; and a business leader whose courage saved the entire company following the tragic death of his predecessor.
The series stars Satu-Tuuli Karhu (“Maria’s Paradise”) as Katarina Tammi, a recently graduated lawyer working in the company’s legal department; newcomer Emil Kihlström as Aki Makkonen, Katarina’s former law school colleague with a secret to hide; Aku Sipola (“Forest Giant”) as Risto Salminen, a talented but eccentric and obsessive engineer determined to create a new type of mobile phone; Oona Airola (“The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki”) as Risto’s wife and fellow developer Vuokko Salminen; and Sampo Sarkola (“Bordertown”) as Jorma Ollila, the visionary Nokia CEO who drove the company to success.
The show is based on extensive research and interviews with those involved in the company’s history.
“Mobile 1.0” is written and directed by Jussi Award-winning Maarit Lalli (“Almost 18,” “The Sixth Time”). The producers are Tiina Pesonen, Minna Haapkylä and CEO Olli Suominen from Rabbit Films, and the co-producers for Aurora Studios are Petri Kemppinen and Ari Tolppanen. The series is being produced with additional funding from the Finnish Impact Film Fund.
“Behind Nokia’s well-known narrative, there are the untold stories of the people whose passion for their work made immense success possible,” said Lalli, creator and director of “Mobile 1.0.”
“But there were also personal losses and moments of despair. Now, 30 years on from the first GSM call, and based on first-hand accounts from those most intimately involved in Nokia’s story we can tell the full, dramatic story of the extraordinary events behind its remarkable rise and fall.”
Minna Haapkylä, producer and head of scripted content at Rabbit Films, added: “Nokia is a national treasure but also a huge global brand. The series unfolds as an epic story of how a small Finnish town and a small Finnish company grew to become the home of biggest mobile phone supplier in the world, and one that changed literally all our lives.”