The series is the Danish pubcaster’s first international co-production with ARTE (France) and Price’s own shingle SAM Productions jointly headed with writer Søren Sveistrup (The Killing) and producer Meta Louise Foldager, with the backing of StudioCanal. SAM is co-producing via its Danish arm SAM Productions Aps and French arm SAM Le Français.
Price explained his vision in a statement: “I have always been fascinated by the concept of faith as a catalyst for human’s actions. In the last 10-15 years, we have seen an intensification of the situation between the great world religions, which affects international politics and everyone’s daily life.”
Piv Bernth, Head of Drama at DR added: “Faith is a subject of fierce debate because it engenders strong feelings and beliefs and means a lot to so many of us. It takes courage to make this theme into a drama series, but it seems like an obvious task for a Public Service Broadcaster such as DR to be doing this.”
Olivier Wotling, Head of Drama at ARTE France also said. “Our drama department has been ground-breaking in promoting Danish and Scandinavian TV series, and one of our main goals today is to support the production of European fiction and to engage in international co-productions with prestigious partners such as DR.“
DR has commissioned two seasons of 10 episodes of Rides Upon the Storm, set to start filming in 2016, with a delivery in 2017. StudioCanal handles worldwide distribution.
Three questions to producer Camilla Hammerich:
Why is the English title Rides Upon the Storm not as directly linked to faith and religion as the Danish title Herrens veje?
Camilla Hammerich: It is actually – but in a slightly more intricate way. The equivalent of the Danish title would be the line: ‘God Moves in a mysterious way’. That line comes from a poem by William Cowper from 1773, which goes:
God moves in a mysterious way.
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm…
Faith is very important in today's world, but confronting different religions and faith can be extremely dangerous as France, Denmark, among others, have experienced. How will the show deal with this?
CH: The creators are interested in exploring what faith means to the individual person – and how faith motivates our choices. The series is rooted in the Danish church, following a family who has been priests for generations. It is not the intention of the series to provoke or confront specific religions, but to explore and discuss what faith and spirituality mean to us.
Rides upon the Storm is quintessentially a DR project with the one vision from Adam Price and double story concept, mixing a family drama with the ethical layer. But this is also a step in a new direction with strong French co-production partners-Studiocanal and ARTE. How is this new partnership going to be reflected on the creative/artistic side?
CH: We regard the co-operation with Studio Canal and ARTE as an inspiring dialogue besides their substantial economic contribution to the series. But the creative decisions are like in the other DR drama production series made by the creative team in DR.