17 FEB 2023

Viaplay Group commissions first Dutch film and will produce a new Polish original

Both titles are scheduled to premier on the platform this year.


Viaplay will premiere its first Dutch film in late 2023. The company has also commissioned the eight-part Polish dramatic comedy “Stroke," also scheduled to premier exclusively on the platform this year.

The writers for Viaplay's first Dutch film are Lotte Tabbers and Isis Mihrimah Cabolet, while Halal's Gijs Kerbosch serves as producer alongside Kennard Bos, who will contribute as executive producer for Viaplay Group. The film is sold internationally by Viaplay Content Distribution. The leading roles for the program are Jacqueline Blom, René van Zinnicq Bergman, Georgina Verbaan, Barbara Sloesen, Kiefer Zwart  and Stefanie van Leersum. Directed by Michael Middelkoop as his debut feature and produced by HALAL, the shooting of the film is underway in Amsterdam and the title is to be announced at a later stage.

The comedy is set around Christmas dinner where nothing goes as planned. The title follows a dysfunctional family in the two weeks leading up to the annual festive dinner. The title joins the catalog a year after Viaplay launched in the Netherlands. Other titles previously announced by the platform are "Roombeek," "The Hunt for Jasper S.," "Something Stupid" and "The Guilty" as its first scripted Dutch Viaplay Series.“Our first Viaplay Film in the Netherlands is a relatable story of the joys of family celebrations, and the disappointment when nothing goes as planned,” Filippa Wallestam, Viaplay Group Chief Content Officer said. “We already have 1.2 million Dutch subscribers, and this year will be key in establishing Viaplay’s position as the home of premium storytelling in the Netherlands. This sharp comedy with its top-quality cast will be a memorable addition to our Dutch scripted slate.”

"Stroke" is directed by Paweł Demirski, Rafał Skalski and Antonio Galdamez. The series is produced by Maciej Kubicki at Telemark, with Viaplay Group’s Małgorzata Jurczak as executive producer. The title follows Viaplay's first Polish scripted commission, the true crime drama ‘Murderesses’, inspired by a book by Katarzyna Bonda, one of Poland’s most popular crime writers. Alongside its line-up of local, Nordic and international films and series, Viaplay offers Polish viewers premium live sports such as Premier League, Formula 1, Bundesliga, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League, KSW, and NHL, among others..

“I came up with the idea for this series in spring 2019. No-one had yet heard of the coronavirus pandemic, but there was already a feeling in the air, in cinema and theatre, that things were somehow burning out,” Paweł Demirski said. “The main character in ‘Stroke’, Jacek, offers another view on the world – one of vitality, of believing that the best is yet to come and that the last word has not yet been said. I am glad that we could turn this idea into a series together with Viaplay.”

Starring Jacek Poniedziałe as a Warsaw bon vivant and popular TV host whose life is suddenly turned upside down, "Stroke" is created by acclaimed playwright and screenwriter Paweł Demirski. The title follows Jacek (Jacek Poniedziałek), a restaurant critic, TV celebrity and the gay king of Warsaw (“the only city in Poland”, as he calls it).  A stroke changes everything, and Jacek is forced to reassess his priorities and to reinvent himself on a dramatic scale.The supporting cast includes Marta Malikowska (‘Blinded by the Lights’), Marta Nieradkiewicz (‘Floating Skyscrapers’), Konrad Eleryk (‘Furioza’), Jan Sobolewski, Monika Frajczyk and Rafał Maćkowiak, with Polish screen legends Anna Seniuk (‘Lalka’) and Jerzy Bończak (‘With Fire and Sword’) appearing as Jacek’s parents.

“Jacek Poniedziałek undergoes such an extraordinary physical metamorphosis for ‘Stroke’ that Polish viewers may not recognise him – but we want Viaplay’s storytelling to be unmistakable,” Filippa Wallestam, Viaplay Group Chief Content Officer said. “Our aim is to work with the country’s biggest talents – both famous and undiscovered – to present stories that have not yet been told. I believe ‘Stroke’ will be a big hit among Viaplay’s viewers and will help us attract many new ones.”