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Iceland’s Blackport aims for ‘revolution’

SERIES MANIA: The makers of a new Icelandic drama have claimed they aim to stir up a “revolution” by revealing the fall-out from the country’s fishing quota laws.

Gísli Örn Garðarsson

Blackport is an eight-part drama is based on real-life events during the 1980s, at a time when the Icelandic government introduced fishing quotas to protect species that were under threat of over-fishing. But in time, just a few individuals came to control fishing in the region.

Written by Mikael Torfasson, the story centres on a married couple who manage to build a small fishing empire with their friends. But when new fishing laws limit the rights of those in the industry, the community is torn apart by money and power struggles.

The €8m (US$9.58m) series has been commissioned by Icelandic pubcaster RUV, with DR Sales handing international rights. Shooting is expected to begin in February next year.

A coproduction between Vesturport and Turbine Studios, producer/director Gísli Örn Garðarsson presented the series to delegates here in Lille during the Series Mania coproduction pitching sessions.

“We’ve researched it really deeply and have spent so much money on scripts,” he said. “We’ve made it very commercial and very entertaining but there’s a massive undercurrent of what really happened.

“We’re hoping this will be a show that creates a revolution in Iceland and people will watch it and think, ‘We’ve been fucked,’ because it’s so important to us.”

Gardarsson also compared the series to the Black Mirror episode National Anthem, in which the British prime minister is blackmailed into having sex with a pig. “I’m hoping this series will be entertaining and then, at the end, you realise we’re the pig,” he added.

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