The ambitious Swedish and Finnish TV series The White Wall reunites some of Scandinavia’s top talents including Aksel Hennie and Vera Vitali.
The event series currently in production, is the first full collaboration in modern times between the Finnish and Swedish pubcasters Yle and SVT, who contributed 40/60 to the financing.
“The White Wall financing model is a new opening for Yle and first production of this kind of equal partnership starting from the development stage,’ commented Jarmo Lampela, Yle Head of Drama. Anna Croneman, SVT head of Drama said: “We have previously co-produced for example Bron (The Bridge) with the Danish public service organisation DR, but this is the first time we have made a large production with our Finnish counterpart Yle. We will see more of this collaboration in the future as it is a way for public service to meet the competition from SVOD players.”
Nice Drama in Sweden is producing with Finland’s Fire Monkey, headed by seasoned producer Roope Lehtinen (Black Widows) and writer Mikko Pöllä (Black Widows, Easy Living, The Angry Bird Movie). World distributor DRG just boarded the project.
The 8x45’ The White Wall was co-created by writer/director Aleksi Salmenperä (A Man’s Job), Pöllä and Lehtinen. Pöllä, Salmenperä co-wrote the show with Laura Suhonen (Hooked), Timo Varpio, Lisa Ambjörn and seasoned Swedish screenwriter Björn Paqualin (Hassel, Occupied). Salmenperä directs together with his Swedish counterpart Anna Zackrisson (The Restaurant/Vår tid är nu).
Besides Aksel Hennie and Vera Vitali, the stellar cast includes Ardalan Esmaili (The Charmer, Greyzone) Anna Paavilainen (Idiomatic), Border’s co-stars Eva Melander and Eero Milonoff, Staffan Göthe (Gentlemen & Gangsters), Claes Ljungmark (Follow the Money, Arne Dahl), and Karen Bryson (Safe, Shameless).
The suspense drama with sci-fi elements is set in present time. A strange white wall is found deep underground, at the mining site of the world’s largest nuclear waste depository. Project director Lars Rapp (Aksel Hennie) wants to keep it a secret, but rumours spread quickly in the small town that has sprung up around the site. Lars and his team soon realise that the wall is not made of any material known to man. He has to decide whether his team should leave the wall alone or try to see what’s behind it.
Speaking to nordicfilmandtvnews.com, Lehtinen said: “The core of the series is human kind’s search for truth, be it on a religious or scientific level. Today, we feel we know everything, but do we? With DNA, we can control a lot, but how much should and can we mess with that? Nuclear waste poses the same kind of questions. We believe the bedrock in the Northern sea is the safest place to store it, but what effect will it have in 100,000 years on our distant descendants? “
Lehtinen continues: “Besides the deeper metaphysical questions it raises, the series is very much a character-driven drama, in which each character tries to find happiness and the meaning of life.”
Dave Clarke, DRG’s EVP of Content said: “The White Wall is set to be one of the most exciting and ambitious scripted series to come out of Scandinavia in recent years. Its unique storyline, containing universal themes about relationships and human curiosity, high production values and superb cast will definitely get the series noticed. It will also surprise those who assume that only traditional Scandi Noir can succeed internationally.“
The project will be launched at Miami’s global content market NATPE. Delivery is set for the fall 2020.