Miniseries “The Adrenalist” has been pre-sold to Denmark’s DR and Iceland’s RÚV. Produced by True Content Production in Norway, and with TV2 already on board, it will be shot in Norway.
Currently casting, the show – budgeted at €10.5 million – is expected to gather “top star actors from the Nordic countries,” says producer Renée Hansen Mlodyszewski. “The Adrenalist” will mark a second miniseries for writer and director Pål Sletaune, also behind “22 July,” about the infamous terrorist attack in 2011.
Sletaune will once again refer to a true story, this time focusing on Arthur Omre: one of the most successful liquor smugglers in Norwegian history, later on transforming into a successful author. His gangster drama, set in Oslo in the 1920s during prohibition, “is a wild ride about the right man, at the right time, in the right place,” adds Hansen Mlodyszewski.
Ole Søndberg, also behind the “Millennium” trilogy, will produce as well, with Sofie Wanting Hassing tapped as an executive producer.
In the meantime, Hansen Mlodyszewski will also focus on “Europa,” Brwa Vahabpour’s feature debut.
The Norwegian production, currently being presented at MIA Market in Rome, will zoom in on Akam, who lives a relatively comfortable life in Oslo. When his uncle from Kurdistan suddenly decides to visit, he needs to go out of his way to be a good host. But time goes by and the uncle just isn’t leaving.
“Brwa and I studied at the Norwegian Film School together. Just before we were about to graduate, he was pitching his feature debut to me and I was struck by the ideas he had,” she says. “I was intrigued.”
“I have never laughed so much as when I was reading that first treatment. I felt the story was relevant for our times, it was vulnerable without being too sentimental. You get to know these two characters and you really care for them, [even though they are situated] on different sides of this culture clash and come from two different generations.”
“I will try not to sensationalize [cultural] ‘clashes,’ but rather use them as a catalyst to explore human emotions that most of us find familiar,” adds the Kurdish-Norwegian filmmaker.
“People living in a western social democratic society can choose to identify however they want, whereas in some places, speaking a specific language can put you in jail. The film will hint at this matter and talk about identity also in a broader sense.”
Hospitality is an important part of Kurdish culture, says Vahabpour, so when Akam’s uncle shows up, unannounced, he is forced to invite him in. Regardless of his living situation. Predictably, this leads to some humorous challenges.
“Akam’s independent and private lifestyle is invaded by his uncle. The atmosphere gets strained and their relationship is put to the test. Throughout the story, their chemistry changes, though. The film will play with Akam’s expectations and show how he is affected, for better or worse, by his uncle’s arrival.”
Vahabpour describes “Europa” as a “warm” comedy drama that’s grounded in reality. But eventually, it takes on a more serious tone.
“I draw a lot of inspiration from my own experiences and even use myself and the people I know as references for my characters. This will enrich them,” he promises.
“But the ambition is to use these experiences in order to tell a story that’s human and relatable. People are more alike than we think.”