Comments Off on Yellow Bird Appoints Elin Kvist as VP/Creative Director
Swedish scripted company Yellow Bird, part of Banijay Nordic, today announces it is bolstering its senior management team, with Elin Kvist joining as VP/Creative Director. She will begin the position in January 2024.
Kvist joins from Stockholm-based company FLX, where for three years she has held the post as Head of Drama. The label is behind numerous scripted series, feature films, non-scripted series, and commercials. Notable scripted successes include The Dark Heart, helmed by Gustav Möller, Blinded by Jens Jonsson, and Surburbia, directed by Henrik Schyffert. FLX is also set to release upcoming series Marked for Life, directed by Felix Herngren and Henrik Björn, The Breakthrough, directed by Lisa Siwe, and Stenbeck, helmed by Goran Kapetanovic. Prior to her time at FLX, Kvist spent six years at broadcaster TV4, rising to become Head of Development, Drama.
Elin Kvist comments: “I’m incredibly excited to join Yellow Bird, which has always been a strong producer of high-quality and impactful drama in the Nordics. Whilst there is a lot happening in our industry, the company is well-positioned to continue creating powerful series and films, and to further ramp up the collaboration with the international creative community. I’m really looking forward to joining the next phase of the company’s growth and to achieve great things together with the team.”
Jakob Feeney, CEO at Yellow Bird comments: “Elin’s appointment marks the next step in Yellow Bird’s evolution. There have never been higher expectations on us as producers, both from broadcasters and audiences across platforms, to deliver scripted content with a wide reach that leaves a lasting impact. With Elin joining Yellow Bird, she brings the energy and vision to elevate our scripted slate in Sweden and internationally to the next level.”
Yellow Bird credits include a TV drama prequel to Jo Nesbø’s highly acclaimed, fast-paced corporate thriller Headhunters for CMore, a third run of crime drama Bäckström, as well as well-known hits Threesome and The Truth Will Out. Earlier successes include Millennium Trilogy, Occupied, Rebecca Martinsson and over 30 Wallanderfilms.
Comments Off on Jakob Feeney Steps Up to Lead Yellow Bird Sweden
Banijay Nordic today announces new senior leadership at Swedish scripted label Yellow Bird, with Jakob Feeney stepping up to become Chief Executive Officer, taking up the role on November 1st.
Feeney has been Head of Business Development at Yellow Bird since January 2022. Prior to his time at the company, he held numerous positions in the film and television industry, including CEO and COO at Film Finances Scandinavia, as well as senior roles at Bonnier Broadcasting and DLA Piper. He initially launched his career as a freelance film producer in 2006.
At Yellow Bird, Feeney will oversee the company’s high-profile slate for the local and international market, and seek new business opportunities, leading the company’s team of in-house creative producers. He will report to Banijay Nordic’s CEO, Jacob Houlind, and the region’s Head of Scripted, Johannes Jensen.
Yellow Bird credits include a TV drama prequel to Jo Nesbø’s highly acclaimed, fast-paced corporate thriller Headhunters, which wlll launch on CMore next week, a third run of crime drama Bäckström, and second season of Threesome, which is currently on air, and fresh from a Kristallen win for Samuel Fröler as Best Supporting Actor on series two of The Truth Will Out . Earlier successes include Millennium Trilogy, Occupied, Rebecca Martinsson and over 30 Wallander films.
Other recent deals include a co-production with Yellow Bird UK on forthcoming Netflix series Playlist, along with an English-language version of hit series The Truth Will Out, which will be developed in the US by Endemol Shine North America, with Emmy-winning director/producer Joe Berlinger attached to the project.
Jakob Feeney comments: “With the ever-growing demand for Swedish content, plenty of projects in the pipeline, a portfolio of returning hits, and a brilliant team of in-house producers, there are significant opportunities ahead for Yellow Bird. I’m hugely excited to step up and lead the company into its next phase, futher growing the creative environment it is so well-known for.”
Jacob Houlind, Chief Executive Officer at Banijay Nordic says: “During his time so far at Yellow Bird, Jakob has excelled in his role, bringing a huge amount of energy, and we’re looking forward to seeing him further build the business as CEO. I’m confident Jakob will expand Yellow Bird’s name as a major international scripted label, encouraging alliances with top creatives and script writers, collaborating with the best in the industry to produce high-end, premium drama for both linear broadcasters and streamers.
Johannes Jensen, Head of Scripted at Banijay Nordic says: “Yellow Bird has an outstanding reputation across the region, and beyond, for producing a fanastic portfolio of local and international hits. Jakob is familiar with the business and we are thrilled to further foster his talent with this promotion, leading the team and reinforcing Yellow Bird’s position as a strong scripted label and market leader.”
The wider Banijay Nordic group encompasses the region’s very best scripted labels, behind internationally-recognised drama and comedy. Recent and forthcoming credits from around the region include Fallen (Filmlance for CMore), Dance Brothers (Endemol Shine Finland for Netflix), Ronja the Robber’s Daughter (Filmlance for Viaplay), Countrymen (Rubicon for NRK), A Class Apart (Jarowskij in co-production with Brommamamma, Film I Väst and Nent Group for Viaplay), Detective Marie Kallio(Banijay Finland for CMore), and Filmlance’s long-running detective drama Beck (Filmlance for CMore).
Feeney replaces current CEO Stefan Baron, who has decided to step down and leave the company. Baron first joined as Head of Business Development in 2018 and became CEO in November 2020.
Comments Off on Måns Mårlind Dreams Up Nick Cave and Thåström into Before They Were Gods
Acclaimed Swedish label, Yellow Bird, a Banijay company, today announces a partnership with award-winning director/ screenwriter Måns Mårlind, and animation company Brokendoll to develop Before They Were Gods, a new animation series for the international market.
Created by Måns Mårlind (Midnight Sun, The Bridge), with the support and backing of legendary musician and writer Nick Cave and Swedish rock star Thåström, Before They Were Gods is a story of a friendship between the two stars as young teenage boys, both completely unaware they will turn into major rock gods in just a few years. The series is about their search for the ultimate truth, everlasting beauty, and cheap wine. Sometimes they find it, but mostly not. Always there, close to them both, is the promise of endless love in the form of the mysterious and beautiful Linnea who they have both deeply fallen for.
At just 14, they speak like idealistic adults with a discourse bordering on the philosophical. Thåström is a harsh existentialist, political and speaks succinctly. Cave is the opposite, a struggling Dionysian agnostic, and a romantic dreamer who swims in words. It’s set in Sweden, but all dialogue is in English.
Måns Mårlind says: “This is a dream project that literally came to me in a dream. While asleep, I watched two of my musical heroes as young teenagers, drinking cheap beer while discussing love and the meaning of life. I woke up writing and have been trying to catch up with them ever since.”
Nick Cave says: “Since I was never in Sweden in 1971 and haven’t ever met Thåström, I am obviously intrigued to find out what we never did.”
Thåström says: “I always wanted to be a cartoon hero.”
Stefan Baron, CEO of Yellow Bird says: “Cool and darkly funny, Before They Were Gods will be a unique feel-good animation series for the international market. Måns Mårlind is leading the creative charge, and with the full support of legendary rock stars Nick Cave and Thåström, this is set to be an authentic adventure, with a killer soundtrack and storyline to attract audiences worldwide.”
Arvid Steen, Creative Director Brokendoll says: “Creating a believable art style for adult animation is the holy grail for any animator trying to break new ground. Måns’ vision to bring the grittiness, detail, and richness of old Swedish comics into the musical worlds of Cave and Thåström is the perfect way to do it.”
Nick Cave, born in 1957 in the small Australian town of Warracknabeal, has become one of the most iconic artists of our time. Forming Birthday Party and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds in a post-punk era, Cave has been performing music for more than forty years. His latest album with the Bad Seeds, Ghosteen, has been widely received as his best work ever. Cave’s body of work also covers a wide range of media and methods of expression including film score composition, ceramic sculpture and writing novels. Over the last two years his Red Hand Files website and ‘Conversation With’ live events have seen Cave exploring deeper and more direct relationships with his fans.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds is currently performing a 34-date tour across key cities such as London, Berlin, Helsinki, Zagreb, Gothenburg and Paris. His latest film, This Much I Know To Be True, directed by Andrew Dominik went to cinemas worldwide in May, following its critically acclaimed world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival.
Thåström, also born in 1957, was raised in the working-class Swedish suburb of Högdalen, Stockholm. He played in Sweden’s most famous punk band Ebba Grön, new wave group Imperiet and industrial band Peace, Love and Pitbulls. Since 1989, Thåström has continued to perform and create music, both in a solo capacity and in various bands. In 2021 he released his tenth album entitled Dom som skiner(Those Who Beam), loved by both audiences and critics. Thåström just completed a sold-out tour across Scandinavia and will be a special guest with The Rolling Stones in Stockholm this July.
Måns Mårlind is well-known for both writing and directing, behind the award-winning Midnight Sun, which has sold to more than 120 territories worldwide, and critically acclaimed series Bron (The Bridge), which has been shown in 161 countries and remade in five territories. He has also directed feature-length films, including Swedish feature Storm, the Hollywood feature Shelter, starring Julianne Moore, and the Hollywood blockbuster Underworld: Awakening, pulling in over $160 million in the box office. His latest work is the TV series Shadowplay (The Defeated) starring Taylor Kitsch, Nina Hoss, Tuppence Middleton, Michael C Hall and Sebastian Koch which he wrote, directed and co-produced. Mårlind is represented by Zero Gravity, with Agentfirman covering Scandinavia.
Acclaimed Swedish company Yellow Bird is behind a raft of award-winning local and international hits, including Millennium Trilogy, Young Wallander, Rebecca Martinsson, Headhunters, Occupied and Bäckström. The company is part of Banijay’s network of over 50 scripted labels, led by Lars Blomgren, working across UK, US, Mexico, Australia, Nordics, Germany, Benelux, France, Iberia, Israel, Italy, Poland, and India.
Brokendoll is an award-winning creative studio with offices in Stockholm, Sweden, and San Francisco, USA. Brokendoll’s creative directors and producers have worked across both long and short form entertainment IP, including the Oscar winning Searching for Sugarman, Her, The 100-Year-Old Who Climbed out the Window, Disappeared, as well as the ground-breaking adult animation series Myggan.
Comments Off on Banijay Rights Sells Bäckström to AMC Networks’ Acorn TV in US and UK
Global distributor Banijay Rights, today announces Swedish crime thriller, Bäckström, will return for a second season. Meanwhile, series one has been picked up by AMC Networks in the UK, Canada and US, for its streaming service, Acorn TV.
The crime drama series centres around detective Evert Backstrom, a man famous for having solved 99% of all cases he has taken on. Bäckström, is produced by Yellow Bird for C More and TV4 in co-production with Film i Väst and ARD Degeto.
Series 1 (6 x 45’) is based on Leif GW Persson’s novel, Can You Die Twice?. When a bullet ridden skull is found in the Swedish archipelago, DNA-results confirm it belongs to a victim of Thailand’s 2004 tsunami. Bäckström is faced with an inexplicable mystery that even he could not have imagined. Can you die twice?
Bäckström’s aversion for bureaucracy, the rules, bosses, colleagues, and well, fellow human beings in general, is rooted in his self-image of being a genius and the only investigator in the world worthy of the name. His role as a criminology expert on the TV show ‘True Crime’ has made him a minor celebrity among everyday citizens as well as the ‘riffraff’. He’s adored and despised in equal measures. He leaves chaos and resentment in his wake, but people put up with it because his track record for solving murder cases is unparalleled in… well, the world.
Premiering on 8th February in the UK, Bäckström, will be available to North American audiences later this Spring.
Bäckström series 2 was recently announced in Sweden, with filming due to commence in Spring. This time the case is connected to a macabre music box, which it seems to rest a curse on. The six-part second season will be largely based on Leif GW Persso’s novel, The Sword of Justice, with Kjell Bergqvist playing the lead once again.
Comments Off on Yellow Bird U.S. Locks Rights for Krystal Sutherland’s A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares
Yellow Bird U.S., a Banijay Group company, today confirms it has optioned the rights for A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares, the second title from Krystal Sutherland. The planned TV series adaptation will follow the novel’s humorous and moving story about finding the courage to face our deepest fears.
17-year old Esther Solar believes everyone in her family has been cursed with a Great Fear: a debilitating phobia that will ultimately kill them. Her father is agoraphobic, her mother is obsessed with avoiding bad luck, and her brother is petrified of the dark. As for Esther, she is yet to discover hers, and is determined to try and avoid it by carefully cataloguing every possibility in the eponymous “semi-definitive list”. However, her plan is soon upturned when her childhood crush, Jonah, discovers the list, uncovering her secret and convincing her to tackle each and every fear, including the one she was yet to consider… love.
Krystal Sutherland comments: “I am so thrilled that Esther’s story has found its home at Yellow Bird. From the moment I first spoke with Marianne and the team, I was struck by how deeply they understood the characters and the story. I can’t wait to watch them bring it to life on screen.”
Marianne Gray, Executive Producer, Yellow Bird U.S. comments: “I was immediately so impressed by how insightful the writing is. Krystal has an incredible voice and a rare ability to explore difficult themes, including mental health and generational trauma, with heart, humor and hope.”
A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares is being developed and produced by Yellow Bird U.S., with Marianne Gray and Gil Goldschein executive producing. Launched in 2018 as a joint venture between Yellow Bird Sweden and Bunim/Murray Productions, Yellow Bird U.S. is focused on developing premium, character-driven dramas for the U.S. market. Since its introduction, the business has optioned bestselling novel, The 7 Keys, from Swedish internet security expert, Åsa Schwartz, and I Found You, from Lisa Jewell.
Sutherland’s first novel, Our Chemical Hearts, is also currently being adapted as a feature – she is repped by UTA and Yellow Bird U.S. by WME.
Comments Off on Yellow Bird UK Triggers Book Options on Spotify Untold
Yellow Bird UK, a Banijay Group company, has optioned the screen rights for Spotify Untold (Spotify Inifrån), the gripping and relevant tale of the secretive start-up that evolved to become one of the world’s leading music services, Spotify. Penned by Sven Carlsson and Jonas Leijonhufvud, and published by Albert Bonniers Förlag, the novel is currently in development for a limited series.
Based on tell-all-book, Spotify Untold, the drama will examine how a secretive start-up wooed record companies, shook the music industry to its core, and conquered Wall Street. A tale of tech entrepreneurship, this is a journey beset with egos, obstacles, and betrayal.
Central to the series is Spotify’s turbulent journey into the US market; a chess match between the new kids and the old guard, with Steve Jobs himself stepping in to frustrate their progress. The Swedes had a secret weapon in the form of playboy billionaire and Napster founder, Sean Parker. Jobs, meanwhile, sent in ally and music guru Jimmy Iovine to poach Spotify’s employees to Beats Music, soon to be Apple Music and Spotify’s primary rival. With a number of other obstacles along the way, the show taps into the cut-throat and rapidly evolving industry in which this major player sits as the kingmaker.
Berna Levin, Executive Producer, Yellow Bird comments: “Spotify Untold is the ultimate tale of achieving the impossible and unimaginable. A modern-day David vs. Goliath set in the dynamic arena of the music industry, this is the true story of youth challenging the establishment. With reality trumping fiction at every turn, we will explore one of the greatest and most surprising technological advancements of our time.”
Jonas Leijonhufvud, co-author of Spotify Untold: “We’re very excited. The rise of Spotify is one of the greatest stories to come out of Sweden in the past ten years. It’s a saga of a young founder who came out of nowhere and beat Apple at their own game.”
Sven Carlsson, co-author of Spotify Untold: “The Spotify story is a drama at the highest levels of tech, music and finance. It’s perfect for the screen and Yellow Bird is the ideal partner, with their strong track record in making Nordic stories come alive on the international scene.”
The series will be developed and produced by Yellow Bird UK, with Berna Levin serving as EP and Luke Franklin as Producer. Carlsson and Leijonhufvud will consult on the project. The rights were sought from Eleonoora Kirk at Bonnier Rights.