Tag Archive: Countrymen

  1. Ivar Køhn Takes Rubicon Helm as CEO

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    Banijay Nordic today announces a new senior appointment at Norwegian scripted label Rubicon, with Ivar Køhn taking up the role of Chief Executive Officer, joining from public broadcaster NRK.

    Køhn has been Head of Drama at NRK since 2013. Under his leadership, the network has fostered a strong portfolio of acclaimed hits, including Rubicon’s original series directed by Izer Aliu, Countrymen,which picked up a Cannes Series award in September, has been nominated for Best Script at this week’s Göteborg Film Festival, and will air in the US on NENT’s Viaplay, through a deal with Banijay Rights. Other recent successes include last year’s International Emmy winner, Atlantic Crossing, as well as high-profile scripted series 22 July, State of Happiness and Mammon 2.

    Prior to his time at NRK, Køhn spent six years leading the development and production department at the Norwegian Film Institute, and has previously held posts at the Norwegian Film Fund, Maipo Film and has also written and created his own scripted series.

    At Rubicon, Køhn will work with the company’s creative leaders, Anne Bjørnstad and Eilif Skodvin, to further build the company’s pipeline of standout original programmes for the local and international market. He will take up the role on 1st May 2022, and will report to  Banijay Nordic’s CEO, Jacob Houlind, and the region’s Head of Scripted, Johannes Jensen.

    Norway’s leading drama production company, Rubicon, is behind a slate of freshly-created scripted productions. As well recent success Countrymen, Rubicon is also behind hit HBO Max series Beforeigners, which launched its second series last year across Europe and the US. Standout local talent, Eilif Skodvin and Anne Bjørnstad, are also behind global success Lillyhammer, and The Councilman, which was also adapted for the Dutch market.

    Ivar Køhn comments:  “I’ve had a great eight years with a skilled and committed gang in NRK’s ​​drama department, building a brilliant portfolio of hits. I feel very lucky to have been part of a very strong period of growth, at a broadcaster with a conscious and innovative relationship to both drama and publishing. The time now feels right for a change of editor, both for NRK, the industry and myself. There are great opportunities ahead for Norwegian drama, and to be involved in developing this through Rubicon TV will be challenging and super fun. The company is behind high-profile series such as Lilyhammer, Beforeigners and Countrymen, and is part of the worldwide community of producers in Banijay. I’m going to do something I’ve not done before, based on something I’ve been doing for quite some time.”

    Anne Bjørnstad and Eilif Skodvin, Creative Directors at Rubicon comment: “Ivar has been one of the key figures in the successful development of Norwegian TV drama in recent years. He is globally recognised for his exceptional instinct in backing original ideas which become international hits. This, coupled with his industry know-how, vision and business sense, puts Rubicon in a fantastic position to further innovate and succeed both at home and abroad. We look forward to creating new, exciting stories together with Ivar.”

    Jacob Houlind, CEO at Banijay Nordic says: “Ivar Køhn has a stellar reputation across the scripted industry globally, and especially here in the Nordics. His knowledge of drama in Norway is second to none, and having already worked with Rubicon on several shows, he is the perfect match to lead the team. I’m looking forward to discovering the future stories and projects the new Rubicon team will create for the local and international market.”

    Banijay Nordic encompasses the region’s very best scripted labels, behind internationally-recognised drama and comedy. Recent and forthcoming credits from around the region include Yellowbird/Jarowskij film, Ur Spår, which launched in theatres in Sweden last week,  Ronja the Robber’s Daughter(Filmlance for Viaplay), A Class Apart (Jarowskij in co-production with Brommamamma, Film I Väst and Nent Group for Viaplay), Bäckström (Yellow Bird for CMore/ TV4), Young Wallander 2 and Playlist(Yellow Bird UK for Netflix), Detective Marie Kallio (Banijay Finland for CMore), and Filmlance’s long-running detective drama Beck (Filmlance for CMore).

    Håkon Briseid, who was announced as CEO in September, took the decision to embark on an alternative role prior to officially joining the business.

  2. Banijay Rights Secures Nordic Scripted Deal With NENT Group’s Viaplay in US

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    Banijay Rights today announces it has signed a comprehensive package deal for more than a dozen of its premium scripted titles with Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT Group), ahead of the launch of its Viaplay streaming service in the US in late 2021.

    The agreement will give Viaplay subscribers in the US access to more than 250 hours of Banijay Rights’ critically acclaimed Nordic drama titles, including Norwegian culture-clash comedy Countrymen, which won the High School Best Series Prize and Special Interpretation Award for Cast at Canneseries last month.

    The extensive scripted deal was brokered by Matt Creasey for Banijay Rights.

    Matt Creasey, EVP Sales, Acquisitions and Coproductions – World (excluding EMEA), Banijay Rights, said: “Our catalogue contains a stunning range of premium stand-out Nordic titles including Norwegian sensation Countrymen and Swedish drama A Class Apart, and we are thrilled to be working with NENT Group to ensure this package deal will become a cornerstone of Viaplay’s launch in the US.”

    Countrymen (8 x 60’) sees four men with dubious plans move to a farm in the rural Norwegian countryside where, more or less against their will, they end up as the founders of Norway’s first halal cheesemaking business. Countrymen is a production from Banijay Norwegian label Rubicon for public broadcaster NRK in coproduction with Arte France.

    The deal also includes A Class Apart (8 x 60’), a drama series from Banijay Swedish label Jarowskij. The series is set at Sweden’s top ranked boarding high school which is home to a secret society for the most affluent students, the Zebra Club. On the night of the new semester, the selected few indulge in the hazing of two new members. The following morning, one of them is found dead.

    Both A Class Apart and Countrymen will be premieres in the North American market.

     Among the other titles from the Banijay Rights catalogue included in the agreement with NENT Group are two seasons of Jarowskij thriller Black Lake (16 x 60’) and Dystopia (8 x 60’); seasons one to five of crime drama Gåsmamman (42 x 60’), from Banijay Nordics; the first two seasons of Swedish science fiction drama Real Humans (20 x 60’), from Matador Film and SVT; seasons one to six of Jarowskij TV4 series Solsidan (60 x 30’); The Councilman (10 x 30’) from Rubicon; and seasons one to nine of The Sandhamn Murders (15 x 60’ and 4 x 120’), produced by Filmlance International in coproduction  with TV4, C More, ZDF, ZDF Enterprises with Endemol Shine International, TV2 Norge, DR and YLE.

    In the US, Viaplay will also show the first two seasons of Swedish crime sensation Wallander (26 x 90’) from Banijay label Yellow Bird; and seasons one and two of Wallander UK (6 x 90’), which Yellow Bird coproduced along with Left Bank Pictures, TKBC with Masterpiece, TV4, Film i Skåne and the Copenhagen Film Fund. High-end crime drama Wisting (10 x 60’), from Cinenord and Good Company Films in coproduction with Viaplay, Degeto Film, TV3 Norway and Ripple World Pictures, also forms part of the NENT Group deal, as well as the first two seasons of The Third Eye (20 x 60’), from Banijay Nordics, and Yellow Bird’s The Truth Will Out (8 x 60’).

  3. Rubicon Unveils Countrymen for NRK

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    Banijay today announces Countrymen, a new scripted series from Norwegian label, Rubicon, for public broadcaster NRK, in co-production with Arte France and distributed internationally by Banijay Rights.

     

    Countrymen sees four men with dubious plans move to a farm in the rural Norwegian countryside. More or less against their will, they end up as the founders of Norway’s first halal cheesemaking business.

     

    The 8-part series is created and written by award-winning director and screenwriter, Izer Aliu (Hunting Files), along with Rubicon’s Anne Bjørnstad. The lead actors are Nader Khademi (Ninjababy, Beforeigners, Homeground, Witch Hunt), Ayaz Hussain (Kasim Bæder), Jonas Strand Gravli (Ragnarok, Wisting, July 22) Arben Bala (Exit, Lilyhammer) and Erika Strand Mamelund.

     

    Anne Bjørnstad, Creative Director at Rubicon comments: “This metaphoric concept will get people talking here in Norway, and also resonate with global audiences. This high-quality series has been elevated with Izer Aliu writing and directing, and we are proud to create characters which are so brilliantly portrayed with warmth and humour by our cast.

     

    One of Norway’s leading drama production companies, Rubicon, is behind a slate of original scripted productions, and recently announced Håkon Briseid has been appointed as CEO, joining early next year.

     

    Credits include Beforeigners, which is available across HBO Europe territories, and via HBO Max in the U.S. Season two will launch later this year with Paul Kaye (Game of Thrones), Ann Akin (I May Destroy You), Jade Anouka (Cleaning Up), Billy Postlethwaite (Chenobyl), and Philip Rosch (The King) joining the cast.

     

    Other credits include coming-of-age story Nach for Discovery Nordic, distributed by Banijay Rights.Rubicon and its creative leaders Eilif Skodvin and Anne Bjørnstad are also behind global success Lillyhammer, and The Councilman, which was adapted for the Dutch market.

     

    Banijay is home to the world’s best scripted producers, with over 50 diverse, award-winning labels across the company’s footprint in the UK, US, Australia, Germany, Benelux, Iberia, Israel, Italy, Poland, Russia, India and across the Nordics.