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Germany’s Seven.One joins Euro copro based on MS Estonia maritime disaster

Maritime disaster drama Estonia

Seven.One Entertainment Group in Germany has joined broadcasters from Sweden, Finland and Estonia on a drama series about the sinking of Baltic ferry MS Estonia, one of Europe’s worst maritime disasters of the 20th century.

Estonia (8×60′) is currently three weeks into shooting, with production led by Finland’s Fisher King in coproduction with Swedish outfit Kärnfilm, Panache Production of Belgium and Estonian Amrion Oü. It marks the first-ever Finnish-Swedish-Estonian coproduction.

Seven.One Entertainment Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of ProSiebenSat.1 Media, has taken rights for German-speaking territories. It joins C More in Finland and Sweden, Sweden’s TV4, MTV in Finland and Telia in Estonia on the series, which is being distributed by Beta Film in Germany.

Helmed by Swedish director Måns Månsson, whose credits include Chernobyl and Snabba Cash, and Finnish director Juuso Syrjä (Bordertown), the drama captures the sinking of the MS Estonia on September 28, 1994, which claimed the lives of more than 850 people.

Departing from Tallinn on its way to Stockholm on September 27, 1994, with almost 1,000 people on board, the ferry was caught in a severe storm in the Baltic Sea. Within one hour, the MS Estonia sank in Finish waters, the cause remaining subject to speculation.

The character-driven fiction series tells the story of the tragedy through the eyes of survivors, rescuers, family members, politicians, investigators and journalists.

Fisher King is part of Beta Nordic Studio (BNS) and serves as an umbrella for Beta’s production activities in the Nordics. The series is shooting in the world’s most advanced indoor water stages located in Belgium, and will continue in Turkey, Finland, Sweden and Estonia.

Its cast includes Katia Winter (Dexter), Jussi Nikkilä (Love & Other Troubles), Peter Andersson (Jack Ryan), Arndt Schwering-Sohnrey (Inglorious Basterds) and Pelle Heikkilä (Invisible Heroes).

Henrik Pabst, chief content officer of Seven.One Entertainment Group, said: “The sinking of the MS Estonia is one of the great unsolved tragedies of recent times and thus offers plenty of room for conspiracy theories. This is gripping material that moves anyone who comes across it.

“Director Måns Månsson tells the story through powerful images from the perspective of survivors, journalists and investigators. Having already had a veritable hit on ProSieben and Joyn with Månsson’s series Chernobyl, I’m delighted that we can also present his new project Estonia to our viewers and users on our platforms.”

Martin Håkansson, CEO of BNS, said the series “sets new standards for Scandinavian productions.”


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