10.00     Welcome Words by hosts Liselott Forsman and Dominic Schreiber


10.05     Tatjana Samopjan: Fire in the Eyes – From Generic to Authentic Storytelling


“Are your eyes a projector or a camera? All the storytelling skill, experience and craft in the world is not worth much if the story is not burning with the fire of clear vision and deep insight. These are developed in life, not in the writers’ room. The presentation explores how the vibrancy of lived experience and the quality of perceptions influence the reach, depth, and resonance of the stories we create.“

Series specialist Tatjana Samopjan’s lectures are popular all our Europe. Her fresh show opens in Helsinki.


11.00     How Norwegian Drama Series Dared and Made It


What makes Norwegian series stick out and where are they heading? What are the creative and commissioning processes behind series that create new narrative forms, go diverse without stereotyping, charm audiences and win international prices?  Kari Moen Kristiansen (Executive Producer, Viaplay Group), Jan Strande Ødegårdstuen (Head of Innovation, NRK Drama) and Margerete Kåset (drama consultant/story producer, TV2 & Viaplay Studios) and scriptwriter-director Kenneth Karlstad might have some answers.            (Unfortunately Kenneth Karlstad had to cancel 7.6.)


11.30     Sally Phillips, Anita Briem and Alexander Karim – Beloved Actors as Inventive Script Writers


Twenty years ago, British actress Sally Phillips broke new ground with the female led, Emmy awarded sketch series Smack the Pony and became an expert in analysing society through humour and characters. Swedish actor Alexander Karim co-wrote his first series Familjen Babajou in 2009 about a family fleeing Idi Amin’s Uganda. After 60 leading roles, and parallel to his acting he’s creating scripts again. After performing in big international productions Anita Briem returned to Iceland to create the celebrated dramedy series As Long as We Live (2023). What drove three internationally acclaimed actors to writing? How do they create characters, structure stories and challenge the industry? What representation gaps should be filled today?

12.05     Music and Dance as Narrative Elements in Dance Brothers and Kids in Crime


Norwegian writer and director Kenneth Karlstad has a background in music videos and today his writing is constantly nourished by music. Having overcome his aversion towards structure, he wrote the short format series Kids in Crime (2022), which won the NFTVF price for best Nordic series script in February. How does he write his visual scripts? The Finnish short format series Dance Brothers (2023) is directed by Taito Kawata who also is a music video professional. How did he and scriptwriter Reeta Ruotsalainen deal with dance as narrative and visual elements? And what is the magic of Nordic short format series today?            (Unfortunately Kenneth Karlstad had to cancel 7.6.)






13.30     Developing Series with Nordic Peers


Since 2022 Nordic Film & TV Fund and partners yearly summon mentors, script writers and creative producers to the Nordic Script lab. The grande finale of the inauguration round is in early June in Helsinki. Scriptwriters Norwegian Mahmona Khan, Swedish Johanna Ställberg and Finnish Ilja Rautsi and Danish mentor Adam August reflect on developing scripts in small Nordic peer groups.


Danish coach and scriptwriter Valeria Richter had an idea for a sci-fi series that takes place in Denmark and Finland and was introduced to Finnish writer and fellow sci-fi expert Minna Panjanen. What were their joys and challenges when co-writing the appreciated series Next of Kin (2022)? What learnings do they want to share to inspire the next round of Nordic Script and other Nordic networking?


14.05     Fictionalizing an Ongoing War in Ukraine and the Near Past in Finland


Today national and personal traumas are fictionalized faster than ever before. The anthology series Those Who Stayed is the first international production in Ukraine since the start of the war. The script is inspired by real persons who stayed in Kyiv after Russia’s attack. Head of Development and Co-production Kateryna Vyshnevska talks about fictionalizing close-to a scary real-time and how humour can unite hope and despair.


Finnish scriptwriter and director Matti Kinnunen is known for diving deep into structural problems in society. He received his second nomination for the Nordic series script price with his series Invincibles (2022). The series deals with the Finnish banking crises in the early 1990’s and is based on true events. How does one fictionalize things that are near and debated persons?


14.30    European Panel:  AI the Storyteller of the Future?


Visionary series expert Tatjana Samopjan talks with updated audio-visual experts about our AI reality today and tomorrow. How will creating, commissioning, and copyrighting change, not to mention our mindsets?


Panellists: Robert Franke (Vice President Drama, ZDF Studios), Leif Holst Jensen (Dean of TV & Games, INN University), Sami Kallinen (Founder, 8-bit-sheep), Gerhard Maier (Artistic Director, Seriencamp), Kataryna Vyshnevska (Head of Development and Co-productions, FILM.UA Group).


15.10     David Farr : Suspense Depth and Drama Forms that Nourish One Another


British writer-director David Farr masters multiple fictional forms. What insights has he brought with him from his successful stage work to his international films and series (The Night Manager, Hanna)? How do you build agent characters with multiple identities, suspense in non-action scenes and psychology in action-scenes? Where does he experience most creative freedom and what will creativity mean in the future?


15.40    David, Sally, and Dominic: What next for drama creators in an era of Post Peak TV and AI?


Where is the world of stories heading? David Farr is joined on stage by two British colleages, actor-writer Sally Phillips and producer Dominic Schreiber. What  winds do they feel blowing and what do they want to happen in the drama series industry tomorrow?


15.55     Andrea Reuter: Helsinki Script 2023 in 5 Minutes


Producer-consultant Andrea Reuter is a well-known moderator on many international film and series stages. Since the first Helsinki Script, she has summed up the day in the end. What insights of the day should be taken further to other events?