The Swedish director Karzan Kader (pictured) has been selected to direct the Finnish adventure drama Layla, the Nordisk Film og TV Fund reports.
The series will be based on the best-selling novel by Jari Tervo. Set during the European wave of migrants that began in 2015, the six-part series will be about Istanbul-born Layla, a Kurish teenager who is forced into marriage. When her husband learns on their wedding knight that she is not a virgin, she is forced to flee to avoid honour killing from her father and brothers. She wants to reach Finland, where her elder sister is. The young girls are smuggled across the Mediterranean, into Italy, Germany and end up in Finland.
Layla will be pitched at Series Mania and is being produced by Minna Virtanen from Vertigo in co-production with Kjartan Þór Þórðarson of Iceland’s Sagafilm.
Karzan Kader similarly fed war-torn Iraqi-Kurdistan to Sweden as a kid, which will prove beneficial to the series and give it a unique edge. Kader is currently wrapping on Tradding Paint, an American film starring John Travolta that follows a veteran race car driver and his son, a fellow driver, as they overcome family and professional conflicts, balancing competition, ego, resentment and a racing nemesis to come out stronger on the other side.
Kader made his breakthrough with Bekas, which is set in Iraq.
Layla will be shown at Series Mania in France at the beginning of May.