GOTEBORG, Sweden — “Borgen” showrunner Adam Price won the $25,000 2018 Nordisk Film & TV Fond Prize for “Ride Upon the Storm,” awarded for the outstanding writing of a Nordic drama series.
Sold by Studiocanal, “Ride Upon the Storm” was described by the prize’s jury as “quite simply a show with a beating heart and soul; for us the plot was almost insignificant; all we cared about was the characters, their emotional life, their troubles and dilemmas.”
Calling the series TV drama “as magnificent and dignified as a Caravaggio or a Rembrandt,” the jury of Italian-U.K. TV executive Walter Luzzolino, of Walter Presents, Swedish actress Sofia Helin and Finnish entertainment journalist Kirpi Uimonen Ballesteros commented that “the fact that such a story could be written, and commissioned by a big terrestrial broadcaster is nothing short of miraculous.”
Produced by Camilla Hammerich for DR Drama, part of Danish pubcaster DR, “Ride Upon the Storm” was aired from Sept 24, 2017. It stars Lars Mikkelsen, Ann Eleonora Jørgensen, Morten Hee Andersen and Simon Sears as a family of priests, ruled by a patriarch father, God-like to the two sons. His favoritism towards one, August, and disappointment with the other, Christian, forces them both into making desperate choices, the synopsis runs.
“It is the most difficult series I have done till now,” said Price of the character-driven drama that explores good and evil and the spiritual journey towards seeking a greater meaning in life. The former head of drama at Danish commercial broadcaster TV2 Denmark, and since 2014 co-owner of SAM Productions, Price has written for television since 1990.
His “Nikolaj and Julie,” broadcast on DR over 2002-2003, received an Emmy, and “Borgen,” also aired by DR, over 2010-2013, which he created and wrote, was sold to more than 80 countries, winning the U.K.’s BAFTA TV Award, the Prix Italia, a Golden Nymph in Monte Carlo, and was named Best Danish Drama Series in the last three years. “Ride Upon the Storm” has been renewed for another season on DR.
“In many ways it was the simplest task ever – all the nominated shows are exceptional examples of Scandinavian storytelling at its best. But we ended up discussing “Ride Upon the Storm” for hours. It was unlike anything we have ever seen before, a bold, original approach to a deeply unfashionable subject, an innovative push that does not mirror the popular formula for fast, slick thrillers,” the jury said.
“We all felt this was a piece of television destined to transform and refresh the Scandi canon,” it concluded at the closing of first day of the 12th TV Drama Vision at the Göteborg Festival.
The nominees for the Nordisk Film & TV Fond Prize were Sweden’s Karin Gidfors and Charlotte Lesche for Geir Henning Hopland’s “The Lawyer,” and Finland’s Rie Jokela, Kirsi Porkka and Jari Olavi Rantala for Jokela’s “Deadwind.” Also in contention: Iceland’s Johann Ækvar Grimsson, Andri Óttarsson and Nanna Kristin Magnúsdóttir for Óskar Thór Axelsson’s “Stella Blómkvist,” and Norway’s Megan Gallagher, Alexander Opsal and Bjørn Ekeberg for Gunnar Vikene’s “Borderliner.”