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High in the North: New Finnish Series

19.02.2018 - Aleksi Delikouras, Heikki Kujanpää, Max Malka, Alison Norrington, Mikko Reitala

Short format series are becoming increasingly popular as new media outlets enable alternative forms of storytelling while giving greater autonomy to filmmakers to promote their work. But how can one stand out and sustainably reach the intended target group in the vast jungles of web and TV? The makers of two brand new Finnish short series, Nerd: DragonSlayer666 and Blind Donna, unravel an uncompromising approach to telling fresh stories – involving links to the professional online gamer scene – as well as playing with genre elements and joyfully breaking their clichés. Funded by the local public broadcaster high up in the north, the teams behind the series share their tailored marketing and online distribution strategies, partly adapting the extremely popular model recently used for the Scandinavian hit series Skam.


Aleksi Delikouras

photo of Aleksi Delikouras
Aleksi Delikouras is an author, script writer and film director from Helsinki. He is the creator of the TV series NERD: DRAGONSLAYER666, a comedy about a teenage gamer who is forced to step into the outside world. The series is based on Delikouras’ own bestselling novel series which was shortlisted for the Finlandia Junior Prize in 2012 and the Anni Polva Prize in 2017. His show won the Finnish Television Academy’s Golden Venla for Children’s and Youth TV Series in 2017.

Heikki Kujanpää

photo of Heikki Kujanpää
Heikki Kujanpää is a director and writer. After graduating from the Theatre Academy Helsinki, he co-founded the Q Theatre, one of the most important independent theatres in Finland. His short film A SMALL PILGRIMAGE won several international prizes. His first feature FALLING ANGELS won three national Jussi Awards; his second feature LAUGH OR DIE will be out in March 2018. He has written several screenplays and stage plays; DONNA is his first TV series writing credit.

Max Malka

photo of Max Malka
Max Malka joined Helsinki-based Dionysos Films in 2013. Her producing credits there include the children’s film TATU & PATU, a national hit in 2016 with 335,000 admissions, and the 2017 web series NERD: DRAGONSLAYER666, a huge success with young audiences that recently won the Finnish Emmy and is going into two more seasons of production. She is also producing a feature by writer-director Miia Tervo for release in early 2019. All of these productions are with debut directors.

Alison Norrington

photo of Alison Norrington
Alison Norrington is a writer/producer and the CEO and founder of Storycentral, a London-based entertainment studio that incubates transmedia properties with global partners in film, TV, publishing, advertising, branding and gaming. She is a best-selling novelist and playwright, as well as a PhD researcher with an MA in Creative Writing and New Media. Over the past 20 years, she has provided consulting and talent development support for numerous broadcasters and film schools.

Mikko Reitala

photo of Mikko Reitala
After graduating from the Theatre Academy of Helsinki, Mikko Reitala worked for many years as an actor in films, television and theatre. He has written more than 40 episodes for sitcoms and six original miniseries for television. In addition to working for the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE Finland as a script editor, he has written and directed several stage plays and published two novels. He is currently working on two feature film scripts.