May 29, 2024

Two is better than one.

Amsterdam-based Skoop Media has closed a deal with Walter Presents on “Evilside” and “Sleepers” for the U.K., Ireland, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The platform will have exclusive VOD rights in these territories.

“We can’t wait for our viewers to delve into these two phenomenal series,” enthused Walter Presents CEO Walter Iuzzolino. 

“These titles are rich with suspense and filled with evocative worldly themes. Our foreign-language drama lovers should prepare for an exhilarating journey across Europe.”

Finnish offering “Evilside” – an Elisa Viihde original combining Live Action Role Play (LARP) with the legacy of Nordic Noir – kicks off with a brutal murder of a teenage boy in a small fishing village. 

God-fearing local residents are quick to point fingers at outcast Johanna (Olivia Ainali) and she needs to prove her innocence. Luckily, detective Ulla Penttinen (Amira Khalifa) doesn’t need much convincing.

“There are universal elements like a murder mystery and bullying, thrown into a somewhat unique setting: a wintry fishing village. I developed the concept thinking about the place where I grew up and that’s where we ended up shooting. It gives the audience both something new and something familiar, and these are some of the elements that helped the show travel,” head writer Aleksi Puranen told Variety

“While writing, we were thinking of the ‘Satanic Panic’ from the ‘90s. There are echoes of that in the series that may give it that an almost pagan feel. Shooting during the midwinter, when the sun barely rises in Northern Finland, worked really well with that too.”

Producer Antti Kaarlela added: “Deep down, ‘Evilside’ is a story about someone who is an outsider in their own community. I think there is something very universal about this.”

Produced by Whatevergroup Oy and Handmade Films in Norwegian Woods, “Evilside” was directed by Jussi Hiltunen, also behind “Arctic Circle” and “Bordertown.”    

Sleepers

“I think it’s the personal touch that makes it unique. It was easy to see that the script, or a part of it, might have happened to someone for real. In my eyes, that takes it to another level,” said Hiltunen. 

“Aesthetically, darkness has always fascinated me. I wasn’t consciously thinking we were making a ‘Nordic Noir,’ I just thought we have interesting elements mixed with a suspenseful story. So let’s make the most of it!” 

Another Walter Presents acquisition, thriller “Sleepers,” leaves dark, snowy landscapes for the Dutch city of Utrecht, where a corrupt cop is pulled into the dangerous criminal underworld. 

With a wife who is a skilled investigator and a group of friends by his side, he must navigate a treacherous landscape of crime and deceit in a high stakes story of corruption and redemption.

Commissioned by Videoland, it’s created by Simon de Waal and Robert de Hoog, with the latter also cast as the lead. 

“The deal with Walter Presents on these two gripping series will guarantee enormous international impact,” added Skoop Media CEO Pim van Collem. 

“We believe that the themes of bullying, crime and community explored in these series will deeply resonate with audiences on a global scale. We are excited to take these viewers on an adrenaline-fuelled rollercoaster of mystery and suspense that will leave them on the edge of their seats.” 

Currently at Mipcom, Skoop Media is also shopping Season 5 of “Mocro Maffia” – starring “Sleepers” actor Robert de Hoog – and Season 2 of “F*** You Very, Very Much,” as well as children’s series “Raspberry Hill” and Norwegian “Flus” and “Kasko.”

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