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ZDF bringing new Scandi drama to market

Germany’s ZDF Enterprises is launching Arne Dahl at MIP, the latest dark crime drama out of Scandinavia.

The drama show, which is produced by Sweden’s Filmlance and ZDF, is based on a series of crime novels following an elite Swedish police force. Where Forbrydelsen (The Killing) and the Millennium trilogy were, essentially, based on one police officer or investigator, Arne Dahl follows an entire team.

“Now we’ve created a team series; eight people with back stories. Now you feel this body of police with a structure and hierarchy and you know their stories,” says Nadermann, executive director for coproduction and drama, ZDF Enterprises.

The five novels have been turned into 10x90mins series to make sure no narrative is cut. “The shows are very complicated but they have big themes and messages,” Nadermann says. “It’s dark, it’s Scandi crime drama, so you’re facing the devil. But the way they deal with this is very human.”

German distributor ZDF Enterprises hopes that it will become the next Forbrydelsen.

“Scandinavian crime drama is now a brand,” says Peter Nadermann, executive director for coproduction and drama, ZDF Enterprises. “When I started ten years ago I knew it was a good idea to bring Scandi crime drama to Germany, we’ve got the same bad weather, but now I’m glad it’s coming to international regions and Arne Dahl is something new.”