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Euro pubcasters back Icelandic crime series

German pubcaster ZDF and its commercial subsidiary will coproduce Icelandic crime drama Trapped, while five other European channels have pre-bought the show.

Dan MarchTrapped comes from Icelandic filmmaker Baltasar Kormákur, and is planned as a 10x60mins series for RUV. It follows the murder of an unidentified man in small town near an Icelandic fjord, which is cut off from the outside world after a powerful blizzard.Kormakur is producing and directing via his RVK Studios banner.

ZDF and ZDF Enterprises, which is separate to but wholly-owned by the pubcaster, have now come on board as coproducers. Filming is due to begin this winter in Iceland, with actor Ólafur Darri Ólafsson (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, True Detective) cast as the lead.

Dan March’s US-based distributor Dynamic Television is a coproducer and has international sales rights. Presales revealed today are to Scandinavian pubcasters SVT, NRK, YLE and DR, and France Télévisions.

“ZDF and ZDF Enterprise have a long history of coproducing outstanding crime dramas from Scandinavia and by coming on board they’ve demonstrated an extraordinary confidence in ours and RVK’s vision for the series,” said March (pictured), founder and managing partner, Dynamic.

“We’re also excited to have such prestigious broadcast partners as France Télévisions, SVT, NRK, DR1 and YLE to ensure Trapped will be seen by prime time audiences throughout Europe.”

March is executive producing the show along with Klaus Zimmerman, the former co-CEO of French drama house Atlantique Productions, with Sigurjon Kjartansson and Clive Bradley writing the scripts.

March launched Dynamic last year after exiting Echo Brigde Entertainment, where he was international distribution chief.

Producer RVK is an Icelandic drama producer that formerly went under the guise of Blueeyes Productions (Jar City, Contraband). It is best known as a film producer, but has branched out into TV production, and besides Trapped also has a US adaptation of web game EVE Online in development.

Kormákur heads the company as chairman, while managing director Magnus Vidar Sigurdsson counts movies, documentaries, non-scripted series and TV dramas among his credits.