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Netflix to focus on original content from the Nordics

The streaming service Netflix has announced it will focus on original content from the Nordic region.

The company has signed an exclusive deal with the Danish producer Kim Magnusson to produce original films. According to the deal, the films will be shot in the Nordic countries and use Nordic languages, with the goal being to create content for global viewers, not just Nordic ones. A full range of genres will be included, from horror and thriller to romance and comedies.

One of the first rumoured projects may be a biopic of the Danish/American pianist and comedian Victor Borge.

In a statement, Ian Bricke, Netflix’s director of content acquisition, said Magnusson had “incredibly strong relationships with talent in Scandinavia, and a proven track record of producing high-quality films.” He added: “Scandinavia has a strong pedigree in storytelling, and we’re excited that Kim is on board to help discover and produce great local projects for our global audience.”

Kim Magnusson is a well-known producer in Denmark. He founded M&M Productions with his father, and the company has produced films like Pusher, and Men & Chicken. Magnusson will select the projects Netflix will invest in.

Netflix has a long love of Nordic content, starting with Lilyhammer back in 2012 and most recently with The Rain, which premiered earlier this month.

It is not yet certain how many films will be included, but the first ones will be pitched within the next two months and go into pre-production this autumn.

The Nordic streaming service Viaplay has also announced it is focusing on Nordic content, perhaps signalling a rivalry between the two companies.

The Nordisk Film og TV Fond spoke to Kim Magnusson about this announcement, and you can read that here. 

Sources:

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.