25 OCT 2021

Portugal and Iceland unveil its first coproduction "Cold Haven”

The drama is produced by the Portuguese production company SPi and the Icelandic Glassriver, and it's led by public channels RTP and RÚV.

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José Amaral from SPi and Hörður Rúnarsson, from Glassriver

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Portugal and Iceland can seem two countries totally different but however, there is a story that crosses them, there really is a strong Portuguese community living in the Vestmanna Islands in Iceland, working in the fish preparation industry and that is the story of Maria, the protagonist of "Cold Haven”, the first coproduction between both countries led by Portuguese independent production company SPi and the Icelandic Glassriver.

“'Cold Haven' was born out of an original idea by Portuguese authors Joana Andrade and Filipa Poppe, joined by Icelandic scriptwriter Sveinbjörn Baldvinsson, who wanted to show the reality of Portuguese emigrant communities, but also tell a mystery drama story in a 'nordic noir' fashion. Thus came the story of Maria, a Portuguese woman who moves to the Vestmanna Islands in Iceland with her daughter in search of a better life, and Soffía, the Icelandic policewoman in charge of investigating her mysterious death", Hörður Rúnarsson, executive producer from Glassriver and José Amaral, executive producer from SPi, exclusively to Señal News.

"Cold Haven” combines the warmth brightness of Portugal and the cold harshness of Iceland to tell the story of a Portuguese woman who goes to Iceland in search of a better life, but is found dead in the snow only 6 months after arriving, leaving Soffía, the Icelandic detective in charge of her case, with the biggest dilemma of her life: will she follow her heart or perform her duty?.

The public channels of Portugal (RTP) and Iceland (RÚV) took partnership in the 8-episode drama/crime series that will be shooting by Spring of 2022. “'Cold Haven' was not the original title, but it was later chosen because it condenses, in a simple sentence, the idea of the series: a need of finding shelter, of achieving safety, for a place to grow and prosper, but those efforts ending up being futile and taking you to a darker, colder, place and reality. It brings us both to the coldness of Iceland, where it mainly takes place, but also to the disappointment of a broken dream and the shattering of a false sense of new-found security", explained Rúnarsson and Amaral. "We think it is both simple and complex enough to be interpreted worldwide the way we want it to be interpreted, plus adding a mysterious aura to the story.", they said.

“Cold Haven”  has been having a very interesting market circuit and MIPCOM was no exception. "A few months ago, we had the opportunity of pitching the project in Series Mania, which got us quite a bit of attention and sparked some conversations which were continued in MIPCOM. But more important than that, MIPCOM allowed for RTP´s and RÚV´s programming directors, José Fragoso and  Skarphéðinn Guðmundsson, to meet for the first time ever and discuss some subjects concerning the coproduction. This was an unprecedented event between the two countries and will surely open a lot of doors, not only for this particular project, but in general.", they  concluded.

By Romina Rodríguez