Helsinki Script 2017


How does one create hooking series with a say of today’s complex society? Creators and commissioners of prize winning and popular series Nobel, Mammon, Skam, The Bridge, Line of Duty and Homeland shared their strategies with the audience.


Nobel (NRK) writer Mette M. Bølstad starts with mapping out the facts about her characters to then find the dynamics of the story.  Both Mette and Line of Duty (BBC) writer Jed Mercurio talked about how mathematical the creating process is. Even the gender of his characters Jed might decide on rather late.


All the successful writers on the Helsinki Script 2017 stage mentioned research as an important tool. Vegard and Gjermund Eriksen talked about the specifics in doing political research for their Emmy awarded series Mammon (NRK) together with scriptwriter Miira Karhula. As a former journalist research is self evident to Miira.


Today the Norwegian web series Skam (NRK) is remade in multiple territories. In Helsinki producer Marianne Furewold and actress Josefine Pettersen talked about the authenticity factors of the original series. A deep research was made on the young target group in a series that came to reach all ages all around the globe. Hyppe Salmi (Yle) talked about the research of youth with mental issues for web series Mental.


When creative executive Gabor Krigler remade the Finnish Series Easy Living for HBO Hungary he turned it into an allegory of today’s society in his homeland. Head of Content Ran Tellem, won an Emmy for Homeland, the US remake of the Israeli series Prisoners of War. Ran stressed the writer’s inner motivation to tell a story.


In 2017 The European Script Awards (former Prix Genève) moved from Berlin to Helsinki. Iranian-German Ali Soozandeh was awarded for best TV movie Tehran Taboo and Norwegian Hans Christian Storrøsten for best series Monster.  Well deserved and congrats!

AGENDA 2017:



08.45    DOORS OPEN




British, Norwegian and other international themes. Excerpts from: Bordertown, Downshifters, Living with my Ex, Morbid Stories, Hooked, Lola Upside Down, Love & Order, Mental, Black Widows, Nurses, Wingman.  True or False: Fiction has never been easier to mix with real life than in the age of social media and online drama. Get your phones ready, Hasbeen has a question for you!



The Israeli series Hatufim was commissioned by Ran Tellem, who then got an Emmy for its US remake Homeland. He also saw through how the touching Israeli series Yellow Peppersturned into the BBC series The A Word. HBO’s Gabor Krigler is working on the third season of FInnish series Easy Living for Hungarian audiences. How is the international drama traffic changing?



Heavy Water War was a global success and so was Mette’s recent miniseries Nobel, which won both Prix Europe in 2016 and the Nordic Script Prize in 2017. Mette’s Norwegian stories move in present time, in war zones or near history. They are both popular and make an impact. Her writing might start with plot and end with creating emotional movements.  What is her working process of engaging and challenging us?



The script of the funny and serious web series Mental (Sekaisin) is based on actual experiences by young ones with severe mental problems. The combination of a fiction series and an online aid service proved very important in Finland. What was the play between real and unreal and how did the young create create their fictional characters? Speakers: writer-producer Jani Pösö, Yle executive producer Hyppe Salmi and actor Elias Westerberg.



NRK web series Shame/Skam was created for a young Norwegian target group, but turned into an emotional Nordic sensation for all ages. How did the long research build up the famous feeling of authenticity? How did the young cast learn to handle intensive shootings and the international buzz? Josefine Petterson has 1.4 million followers on her private instagram account. How does she maintain her personal integrity when viewers are so touched by the authenticity of her character Noora? Speakers: producer Marianne Furevold and actor Josefine Petterson.


12.00      LUNCH AT VENUE



Scandinavian series strategies of today are discussed by Katrina Vogelsong, TV2 Head of Drama, Anna Croneman, SVT Head of Drama, Tone Rønning, NRK International drama commissioner and  Lars Blomgren, CEO of Filmlance, main producer of The Bridge and its remakes. Everybody is talking about post Nordic Noir. But the Nordic drama has always been so much more than dark crime stories. What is bubbling now and why?




Four workshops were arranged in connection to Helsinki Script. Some share their best ideas on stage. Writer Sami Keski-Vähälä summoned Finnish writers, producers and commissioners to a dialogue on the future of Finnish drama. Series commissioners from Yle, MTV3, Nelonen, Elisa have met with producers and writers. Let’s hear there constructive ideas!

City of Helsinki Senior Advisor Taina Seitsara invited big companies and audiovisual media experts to a workshop on the theme of future virtual reality narration. Filmmaker and Researcher Synes Elischka dispels some of the VR myths.



Greetings from the scriptwriting workshop: Norwegian brothers created Mammon, a success series about two brothers and domestic corruption, politics and media, which HBO remade. How were personal experiences and real life politics fictionalized? In Finland a journalist turned to fiction to find new truths. Her fresh MTV3 series Welcome to Texas is based on interviews with criminals. Speakers: writer Gjermund Eriksen, producer Vegard Eriksen Stenberg and journalist/writer Miira Karhula.





The winner(s) of the EATC European Script Award will be announced, awarded and presented. On stage key speakers and Louis Heinsman, Chair of EATC and Head of NPO International Relations, Holland.



Jed Mercurio is one the few American type showrunners in UK. In May 2017 the 4th season of his cop corruption saga Line of Duty glued 10 million viewers to BBC and was praised for its “canny genius” by The Telegraph. New characters and ethical dilemmas are introduced every season. How does Jed create, cast and finish off his characters and keep the quality season after season? What lies and truths in today’s world make his pen fly and what is the UK version of showrunning really about?




Adventure and philosophy shake hands in US series Westworld, American Gods, Game of Thrones and Twin Peaks – the Return. Young audiences are fast, active, global online and not afraid of any genres. European series are still mostly realistic. Is it time to give concept world building series a new chance? New speaker joining the panel: scriptwriter Minna Panjanen, who writes both fantasy and scifi.



Andrea is the long time moderator of Helsinki Script’s partner festival GIFF in Gothenburg. What happened today in Savoy Theatre and what thoughts might travel on?






City Hall Restaurant, Sofiankatu 3 A

2017 Guest Speakers

Jed Mercurio

How the characters of Line of Duty managed to glue 7,5 M to BBC

Jed Mercurio is one of the few UK script-writers to work as an American-style showrunner. His most recent credit, Line of Duty, is the most watched BBC2 drama series in the multichannel era. His other credits include Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Critical, Strike Back, Bodies, The Grimleys, Invasion:Earth and Cardiac Arrest. Line of Duty and Bodies are both winners of the Royal Television Society Award for Best Drama Series, and Mercurio has been nominated four times for a BAFTA Award, three times for a Writers’ Guild Award and four times for the Royal Television Society Award as Best Drama Writer. Mercurio is a former hospital physician and Royal Air Force officer, having originally planned to specialise in aviation medicine.

Gabor Krigler

Remaking Finnish series for HBO

In 1999 Gabor heard the siren call of TV drama and ended up on the writing staff of a daily soap at Grundy UFA. Having emerged to the level of story editor, he burnt out quickly and left after 4 years of hard labour. Based on his experiences, he wrote a book on TV writing and was subsequently invited to teach scriptwriting and dramaturgy at various institutions, among them the prestigious University of Theatre and Film Arts in Budapest. In 2006, he co-founded a script consulting firm and spent the following years as a hired gun, doing script editing and writing. Gabor was offered the job of script development executive at the fledgling Local Original Production department at the Budapest office of HBO Europe in 2010. Since then he has been promoted to Creative Executive, which means he is responsible for all creative aspects of development and production on all Hungarian HBO shows as a producer, the latest being the third season of Golden Life, a crime thriller/family drama. In this role he also assisted in the launch of original production for HBO Europe in the Adria region.


Josefine Frida Pettersen

Creating Noora, who embraces millions online

Josefine Pettersen (born in 1996) is a Norwegian actress, who made her international break-through as Noora in the Nordic multi-awarded hit series Skam (Shame). The drama series was originally produced as an online series your youths, but embraced all ages in all Nordic countries. In 2016 Pettersen was Gullrutten (Norwegian Emmy) nominated as best actress for her role as Noora in Skam. Petterson debuted in 2014 in the NRK comedy series Neste sommer (Next Summer). In 2017 she plays Samantha Fox in the musical  Robin Hood – Rai Rai i Sherwoodskogen at Trøndelag Theater. Photo: Daniel McStay

Mette m bølstad

Mette M. Bølstad

The process behind the popular and award winning Nobel

Mette M. Bølstad is the main writer of Nobel (2016) featuring Norwegian soldiers returning from Afghanistan. The series was a blockbuster at home and won both the Prix Europe for Best Mini-Series and the Nordic TV Prize for Best script. She co-wrote The Saboteurs / The Heavy Water War (2015) and wrote he Half-Brother (2013) on Lars Saabye Christensen’s novel. Both period series hit viewing records in Norway and travelled globally. Her feature film credits include King of Devil´s Island starring Stellan Skarsgård. Bølstad has also written for Radio, BBC4 and The Bush Theatre and has worked as a script consultant for the Norwegian Film Institute and the European Script Fund. She is educated at the Central School of Speech and Drama – New Writing in London.

Lars Blomgren

Managing Director, Producer, Executive Producer and Chairman for Scripted Exchange, Endemol Shine Group

Lars Blomgren is co-founder and Managing Director of Filmlance International AB, which is part of the Endemol Shine Group. He is also Chairman for Scripted Exchange for the Endemol Shine Group. He has been a member of the European Film Academy since 2011.

Lars has produced or been Executive Producer of some 65 titles including “The Tunnel” and the US-Mexico remake “The Bridge 1” and “The Bridge 2”. With a large European network, he is very involved in the financing process for most of the company’s projects. His recent works as an executive producer includes the fourth season of Bron/Broen, new seasons of Beck, The Sandhamn Murders and Spring Tide in production in addition to the feature film Money Problem.

Anna Croneman

From Emmy nominated producer to Swedish Head of Drama

Anna Croneman has over 30 productions to her production credit. The International Emmy award nominated mini series Kronprinsessan (The Crown) led her way into TV drama in 2005. Anna has also held various industry positions such as vice chairman of the Swedish Film Institute’s Board of Directors and President of the Swedish Film & TV Producers Association’s film section. She is currently Head of Drama at Sveriges Televison / SVT.

Ran Tellem

The orginal Homeland and other brave deals

Ran Tellem has played a pivotal role in shaping and pioneering Israeli TV landscape, both in terms of importing stand-out international properties and exporting its domestic content to other parts of the world. As such, he has built a reputation as a development executive with courage and conviction. He studied cinema and script writing at the Tel-Aviv University, and his short film “second-watch” about the relationship of an Israeli and a Jordanian soldier was nominated for a student’s Oscar award. Credited with overseeing some of the most impactful television series in Israel in recent times, most notably, Prisoners of War which became the Emmy® and Golden Globe® triumph Homeland for which Tellem was personally awarded an Emmy for his role as executive producer. Having served as Keshet’s VP Programing since 2007, and promoted to SVP Content in 2014, he was in charge of all Keshet shows on air, including format acquisitions and development for both local and international audiences.

Gjermund S. Eriksen

How to use own and political experiences in TV drama

Co-showrunner, writer and creator of Mammon 1 & 2 (2014-2016), a legal series Aber Bergen (2016) and currently developing/writing two new thriller-series. Gjermunds background is from studying English/American and Nordic literature, Rhetorics and Culture-studies at the University of Oslo, were he for a short while also worked as a teacher in Culture studies and Project Management. All though he studied to become a film/tv writer, he had to work for a living, and for 10 years he worked in the advertising- and communication industry as planner, creative and strategist, with long and short titles, and ended up as both Chief Creative Officer and Chief Operatiing Officer before he finally got out of it. But it gave experience and knowledge of into politics, media, finance and consumers – and most of all into human behavior.

Katrine Vogelsang

Danish TV2 top series Seaside Hotel, Rita, Dicte

Formerly, Katrine Vogelsang worked as an in-house producer at DR-drama, producing among others “Summer” and “Happy Life” as well as the 24 episode family drama “The Pact”. Katrine has been Head of Fiction at TV 2 Denmark since 2011, where she has spearheaded the development of series like ‘Rita’, ‘Dicte’ and ‘The Seaside Hotel’. Moreover, she has produced a number of family Christmas calendars, most recently ‘The Christmas Wish’. In the past two years TV 2 has produced a growing amount of fictional shows because of its increased success in securing external funding of television series, as well as funding for film projects, of which Katrine is in charge.

Marianne Furevold

The success of Skam was no coincidence

Marianne Furevold  is the producer of the multi-awarded  web-drama series SKAM, who tuned out to be one of the most watched drama series in Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland in 2017.  Marianne has worked in NRK for many years ,primarily with kids and youth programs. She has been working on various project as a producer, script doctor, writer, journalist and presenter, both  in television and radio. She is educated as an actor from LIPA, Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.

Vegard S. Eriksen

How to revamp a series when going for season two

Executive producer “Home ground”, 10 episodes starting shooting March 2017. Showrunner, producer and creator of Mammon 1 & 2 (2014-2016), Executive producer Mammon season 3 (2017- ),  Producer of Sky Blue (2007-2010), the highest share as TV series in Norway until Heavy water was screened 2015. Also the series  Brothers (2010-2011) mini-series as a producer. Vegard has been working as head of Drama 2014 (NRK) during the production of Eyewitness (2014) mini-series and Struggle for Life (2014) 2 seasons. Vegard`s background is as Cand. Philol. From the University of Trondheim, but is also educated as a teacher from his early years. His skills within TV drama and production have been as editor within all genres, before directing several documentaries, then developing Drama series and finally ending up as Executive producer in NRK.

Tone Rønning

Commissioning Lillehammer, Heavy Water War and Nobel

Tone Rønning . Commissioning editor and Executive Producer in NRK in the last decade, for dramaseries like NOBEL, THE HEAVY WATER WAR, VALKYRIEN and LILYHAMMER. Most of these series that have traveled to Netflix. Before that director, producer, writer in most genres, a lot for kids, which is still my favorite audience. Been working at filmschool and running workshops in visual storytelling in Asia, Europe and the Arab world.

Sami Keski-Vähälä

Promoting writer-commissioner dialogues

Sami Keski-Vähälä (44) is a Finnish scriptwriter and playwright. As a playwright, Sami is known for the political satire written for Ryhmäteatteri and National Theater, together with Esa Leskinen. The Overcoat premiered 2008 and has been one of the most famous stage plays in the 21st century in Finland. The same writers wrote Continuous Growth (2012) and it was awarded in Fringe Festival with Best New Play Award. The Fourth road for the National theatre got Thalia Award in 2015. Sami has also worked on television and has written several feature films directed by Mika Kaurismäki (Haarautuvan rakkauden talo ja Tie Pohjoiseen) and Jill and Joy -films directed by Saara Cantell. Sami is currently working as developer of scripted entertainment at the production company Funfar and has been a chair of the Finnish playwrights and scriptwriters guild since 2015.


Jani Pösö

Web series Mental combines entertainment with online help

Jani Pösö is an experienced writer, a producer and entrepeneur.
Jani started his career as a professional writer on record and restaurant reviews, already in late 1980 ́s. His career includes 20 years experience in advertising as a senior partner, a creative director and a copywriter. He has wide experience in different fields of storytelling and marketing industry e.g. managing fashion brands, designing game identities, producing music, theatre, events and clubs, being a freelancer journalist, musician, marketing manager, record store salesman and The King of Candyland. His work has been shortlisted and awarded in e.g. Sundance Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, Prix Europa, Eurovision Creative Days, Mobile Marketing Awards, CICFF, Jussi-Gala, Venla-Gala, Prix Europa, Tampere Film Festival, Popoli e Religioni Film Festival and Darryl’s Hard Liquor and Porn Film Festival. Jani has one wife, two kids and three small sailing boats.

Hyppe Salmi

Commissioning game changing online project

Hyppe Salmi has been working as an executive producer for young audiences, targeting mostly for teens. She is fascinated about the storytelling, no matter the genre or the platform. Curiosity drives her forward.  Last six years Hyppe has been working with a small but enthusiastic team in Finnish Broadcasting Company reforming teens television content into on-line services. They serve the audience all year round and publish content daily. The team has succeeded to create a firm fan base in social media platforms and have had several big hits too. Hyppe  is especially proud of the award-winning transmedia series #lovemilla and Yle´s game changing campaign Mental. Mental combined daring drama, social media influencers and a helpline service to help teenagers and young adults with their mental health problems. It was a great example that storytelling can be meaningful, benefit the society and at the same time entertain and emphasize your feelings. Hyppe is looking forward for innovating new types of storytelling to the social media platforms.

Elias Westerberg

Successful TV, online and film actor

Elias Westerberg is a 22 year old finnish actor, who lives in Helsinki. He has been working in television and film for the past two years  and at the same time he has been studying theatre. Latest works: Mental (Teemu Nikki, 2016), The Other Side of Hope (Aki Kaurismäki, 2017) The Unknown Soldier (Aku Louhimies 2017)


Louis Heinsman

European Alliance for Television and Culture (EATC)

Louis Heinsman (Apeldoorn, 1952), studied Sociology and Mass Communication at Nijmegen University. In 1981 he joined Netherlands Public Broadcasting, were he worked in several capacities, most recently as Senior Advisor International Relations. In 1987 Louis was one of the founders (and since 2008 President) of the European Alliance for Television and Culture (EATC), that tries to stimulate the development of audiovisual culture in Europe, by encouraging new authors towards careers in television fiction. During three decades its main tool to motivate and celebrate these new writers was the organisation of the Prix Genève(-Europe). Recently the EATC decided to join forces with Helsinki Script and to announce the winners during this event exclusively dedicated to scriptwriting under a new name: the European Script Awards.

Miira Karhula

Combining journalistic and drama skills

Miira Karhula is a Finnish screen writer, director and journalist. She has studied writing for film and television in the University of Texas, Austin, USA. Karhula has worked as a head writer in about ten drama series in Finland, and many of her work have been drama comedies. She writes weekly political satire Doctor Raimo – Therapist of the state for Yleisradio, Radio Suomi. Karhula’s latest work as head writer is a crime family drama Breakwater (premier on Cmore, 2017). The story of Breakwater is told from the point of view of a crime league working in the Eastern Finland, and it’s realistic approach is based on a profound research and interviews.

Andrea Reuter

Gotenburg TV Vision, Project Manager

Stockholm based Finlandswede Andrea Reuter works as a freelancing moderator and project manager. Amongst her regular customers are Göteborg Film Festival, where she at the Nordic Film Market prepares and moderates the annual two day seminar TV Drama Vision as well as the works in progress, and the Swedish Film Institute (where she worked for the International Department 2009-2011 as well as 2015).

Minna Panjanen

Serious scriptwriter and series nerd

Minna Panjanen is a screenwriter and content marketing professional. She has worked as an inbound content creator at BUFO Ab and Flik Media Group. Previously, Minna worked in several feature and television productions. She graduated from the University of Salford with an MA in Screenwriting. Also a nerd.

Liselott Forsman

Helsinki Script moderator and organizer

Liselott Forsman works as executive producer of international drama at Yle. She is the head of the Eurovision Fiction Expert Group and a long time Northvision co-producer. Her MA combines film, drama and TV studies. She has a background in fringe theatre and radio drama, in heading and producing fiction, culture and children’s programming. She’s been a speaker and moderator at film and TV forums on five continents and lectured at European master educations. She’s an advisory board member of French Series Mania and Swedish GIFF TV Vision and a recurring jury member or C21, Rose d’Or, Emmy and global Input. She is a founding member and the artistic director at Helsinki Script.

2017 Gallery