Filming has started on a new Norwegian series titled In Olaf’s Footsteps, and Kristofer Hivju is the series’ leading man.
Produced by NRK, the series examines the history of ‘Norway’s Eternal King’ and his history. The documentary will involve a search the true and real Olaf Haraldsson, and Kristofer Hivju will travel around Europe uncovering more information about the king.
Olaf Haraldsson was the King of Norway from 1015 to 1028, and after his death, he became the Saint of Norway. His remains are enshrined in the Nidaros Cathedral, built over his burial site. His canonisation was confirmed in 1164 by Pope Alexander III, making him a universally recognised saint of the Roman Catholic Church, and a commemorated historical figure among some members of the Anglican Communion.
There is a path between Oslo and Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim known as Saint Olaf’s Way and is a pilgrimage route. The journey is 640km long and starts in the Ancient part of Oslo and heads North, along Lake Mjosa, up the Gudbrandsdal Valley, over Doverefjell and down the Orkdal Valley to end at the Cathedral. There is a Pilgrim’s Office in Oslo which gives advice to pilgrims, and a Pilgrim Centre in Trondheim, under the aegis of the Cathedral, which awards certificates to successful pilgrims upon the completion of their journey. But the relics of St. Olaf are no longer in the Nidaros Cathedral.
Hivju will present the series, and he has played the role of Olaf on several occasions, so it seems very fitting.
“Echo Films and I began to dream about making this series many years ago when I worked at Trøndelag Theater. After many years of research, applications and not least a growing Olav engagement, we are finally underway”, says Hivju.
Three episodes will be made in the series on a budget of 11 million NOK. The series will air on NRK in 2019 and nothing has been mentioned regarding an international release.
PHOTO: Kristofer Hivju working on the documentary at the St Olaf Festival earlier this week. Photo by Aleksander Fremstad Askim / Echo Film