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Cineflix Rights acquires new Icelandic scripted series The Minister from Sagafilm Eight-part political drama stars Ólafur Darri Ólafsson

Mar 21, 2019

Cineflix Rights, the UK’s largest independent TV content distributor, has acquired the gripping new political drama The Minister, starring Ólafur Darri Ólafsson (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Trapped, True Detective, The Missing), from leading Icelandic producer Sagafilm.

The Minister (8x60’, Sagafilm for RUV Iceland) centres on Benedikt Ríkhardsson (Ólafsson), who takes a unique approach to politics, surfing a wave of popular discontent with the establishment that earns him the support of Icelanders, leading him to become Chair of the Independence Party and the country’s Prime Minister. However, Benedikt is suffering from an underlying bipolar disorder. As it progressively worsens, the Prime Minister’s team and their allies are forced to endanger both the stability of the government and their private lives; some hide the illness while others abuse it.

Alongside Ólafsson, the cast includes Aníta Briem (Salt and Fire, You, Me & The Circus) as Benedikt’s wife and TV news station chief Steinunn Þorgeirsdóttir; Þuríður Blær Jóhannsdóttir (The Swan, The Flatey Enigma) as Hrefna Hallgrímsdóttir, political advisor to the PM; Thor Kristjánsson (The Swan, Dracula Untold) as Hallgrímur Tómasson (Grímur), Benedikt’s closest ally in the Party; Elva Ósk Ólafsdóttir (Trapped, Brave Men’s Blood) as Valgerður Oddsdóttir (Vala), Chair of the PM’s coalition party; and Oddur Júlíusson (1991) as TV news reporter Óttar Blöndal.

The Minister is written by Birkir Blær Ingólfsson, Björg Magnúsdóttir, and Jónas Margeir Ingólfsson. The series is directed by Nanna Kristin Magnúsdóttir, who won multiple awards for her short film Cubs and Arnór Pálmi Arnarson, who directed the award-winning series Ligeglad. The producer is Anna Vigdís Gísladóttir and the line producer is Birgitta Björnsdóttir. Executive Producers are Hilmar Sigurðsson, Kjartan Thor Thordarson, Thorhallur Gunnarsson, and Ólafur Darri Ólafsson.

Julien Leroux, SVP, Global Scripted Co-Productions, Cineflix Media, who brokered the deal said: “The Minister sits alongside the best Nordic dramas of the past few years and reflects the new world of populism. It has a taut plot which follows the rise of a populist, but flawed, politician and how his team deals with the impact of his behaviour on the traditional political system and their ability to govern. And it has a strong cast led by internationally recognised, critically-acclaimed star Ólafur Darri. We are thrilled to be partnering with Sagafilm on a project which feels so timely and relevant and we look forward to rolling out more details of the series shortly at Series Mania and MIPTV 2019.”

“We are delighted to be working with Julien and the team at Cineflix Rights to bring The Minister to a global audience. The charm and charisma that Ólafur Darri brings to the conflicted character is unique and we are extremely excited to see how his unorthodox way of doing things touches viewers around the world.” added Sagafilm’s CEO, Hilmar Sigurðsson.

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About Cineflix Rights
Cineflix Rights is the UK’s largest independent TV content distributor, providing premium programming from leading international producers to more than 500 broadcasters and platforms worldwide. Our diverse catalogue spans the full range of factual genres, as well as scripted series and formats. Established in 2002, Cineflix Rights is based in London and part of the Cineflix Media group of companies. 

About Sagafilm 
Sagafilm is the leading independent production company in Iceland for TV, Commercials, and Feature Films with over 40 years of experience. Recent projects include TV drama series Flateyjargátan (The Flatey Enigma), Stella Blómkvist (Viaplay Original Series), CASE (Netflix Original Series), Pressa (Cover Story), Svartir Englar (Black Angels), Rettur (Court), Astridur, and cult comedy series Næturvaktin, Dagvaktin and Fangavaktin (The Night Shift, Day Shift and Prison Shift). Sagafilm has also produced the feature films Víti í Vestmannaeyjum (The Falcons), Bjarnfreðarson (Mr. Bjarnfredarson), Köld slóð (Cold Trail), Fiskar á þurru landi (Fish Out of Water), and co-produced Dead Snow: Red vs. Dead and Nova Zembla. Sagafilm’s factual and documentary department work regularly for SVT, NRK, YLE, ARTE, and BBC, the most recent project Out of Thin Air was made for BBC Storyville, RUV, and Netflix. TV series by Sagafilm have won the Icelandic Academy Awards "Eddan" for Best Scripted Series a record 10 consecutive times.

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