Pictured: Lydia McGuinness (Ciara), Dónall Ó Héalaí (Shane) and Kieran O’Reilly (James) on the set of North Sea Connection in Galway.
RTÉ continues to be the home of quality Irish drama with filming now underway in Galway for a new drama thriller series, North Sea Connection.
The brand new six-part drama series features an exciting Irish, Nordic and international cast including Lydia McGuinness (Sing Street), Kerr Logan (Game of Thrones), Sinéad Cusack (‘V for Vendetta’), Alida Morberg (Black Lake), and Claes Ljungmark (Borg vs. McEnroe).
The brand new thriller is produced by Irish production company, Subotica and MOPAR Studios for NENT Group and co-produced by RTÉ, in association with Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland, with support from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI), and The Western Regional Audiovisual Producers Fund (WRAP), and distributed by A+E Networks® International. It will be broadcast on RTÉ One and streamed on RTÉ Player and NENT Group’s Viaplay streaming service in 2022.
The drama transports viewers to the stunning scenery of Ireland’s west coast which conceals a dark terrifying secret. Lead character Ciara (Lydia McGuinness) confronts the dramatic consequences of her brother Aidan’s (Kerr Logan) decision to transport drugs at sea. Threatened by a cartel and with a Swedish police officer (Alida Morberg) closing in, Ciara’s plans lead her family into a world of unpredictable and dangerous events.
With multiple international partners, this production is a significant and high-profile project for RTÉ and provides an opportunity to showcase Irish talent – from both sides of the camera – on the international stage, including Tristan Orpen Lynch and Aoife O’Sullivan from Irish production company Subotica. The production is bringing significant investment to Ireland’s rugged west coast and is funded by a number of Irish partners, including Screen Ireland, BAI, and the WRAP (Western Region Audiovisual Producers) fund.
David Crean, Acting Head of Drama, RTÉ said: ”RTÉ is proud to be working with Irish and international co-production partners to showcase Irish talent on the international stage and to deliver more drama to Irish audiences. This series has an excellent cast, crew, and a stunning location; it’s going to be a real treat for both Irish and international audiences in 2022.”
Tristan Orpen Lynch, Subotica said: “We are delighted that season one of North Sea Connection is now in production with such a great cast and crew. It is a truly original drama set in the stunning West Coast of Ireland and made possible by Screen Ireland, RTÉ, and BAI, along with our international partners. We look forward to bringing this story to Irish audiences and continuing growing Ireland’s output and reputation for quality drama production with International audiences.”
Andrew Byrne Television Project Manager Screen Ireland said: “We are delighted that North Sea Connection is now in production with such a talented cast, crew, and team attached. It is a further regional investment for Screen Ireland and we look forward to seeing some of Ireland’s stunning west coast on screen in what will be a thrilling international drama”.
Filippa Wallestam, NENT Group Chief Content Officer: “The combination of high-stakes drama, top talents on both sides of the camera, and of course a Nordic twist gives this series the ingredients of a top-drawer thriller. Viaplay’s storytelling knows no borders and with its unique setting, ‘North Sea Connection’ will be a compelling addition to our fast-growing international slate.”
Jessica Pope, Creative Director, MOPAR Studios added: “North Sea Connection is an emotional and entertaining drama about a resilient, traditional west coast Irish fishing family, wrapped around an exciting thriller story. It’s about the fall and rise of the Kennys and their struggle to survive while being dragged into the world of drug running. It’s a story about organised crime coming to a small, out-of-the-way community and threatening to overwhelm it and we can’t wait to bring it to life.”
North Sea Connection is written by Mark Greig (‘Bulletproof’) and directed by Paul Murphy (‘Red Election’) and Hannah Quinn (‘The Stranger’). The series is executive produced for Viaplay and Ireland’s RTÉ by Jess Pope, Christian Alveborg, William Diskay, and Jonas Fors at MOPAR Studios, Jon Petersson at Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT Group), David Crean at RTÉ, Andrew Byrne at Screen Ireland, and Tristan Orpen Lynch and Aoife O’Sullivan for Subotica. Nell Green (‘You Were Never Really Here; ‘Medici’) is producing the series. International distribution is by A+E Networks® International. Funding for the series has been provided by Screen Ireland, the Broadcasting Authority Ireland (BAI), and Western Region Audiovisual Producers (WRAP) Fund.
ABOUT RTÉ DRAMA
RTÉ will deliver almost 40 hours of brand-new drama in 2021 and 2022. Crime drama Hidden Assets filmed in Limerick hits screens later this month, following on from the huge success of Irish crime drama Kin which has attracted huge audiences at home and has already been acquired by a number of international outlets.
Other previously announced high-quality dramas on RTÉ in the coming months include Smother, filmed in County Clare and back for a second series. This year we can also look forward to a series of quality RTÉ co-productions, including comedy-drama series The Dry written by Nancy Harris, and Conversations with Friends based on the book by Sally Rooney (author of Normal People). And of course, viewers can also look forward to plenty more action from Ireland’s favourite drama Fair City, with the residents of Carrigstown continuing to share their lives with us every Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings.
Established in 1998, Subotica is one of Ireland’s leading film and TV production companies working with writers, directors and co-producers in the development and production of content for cinema and television. While based in Dublin, Ireland, the company operates globally and has worked in co-production with numerous countries, financiers and sales agents. The company also provides global financing solutions for productions through its network of international contacts and knowledge of tax incentives and film funds.
About Screen Ireland
Screen Ireland’s mission is to support and promote Irish film, television and animation through fostering Irish artistic vision and our diverse creative and production talent, growing audiences, and attracting filmmakers and investment into the country.
About Broadcasting Authority Ireland (BAI)
The BAI is the regulator of broadcasting in Ireland, responsible for licensing radio and television services additional to those provided by RTÉ, TG4, the Houses of the Oireachtas Channel and the Irish Film Channel and provides and awards funding for programming and archiving relating to Irish culture, heritage and experience under the Broadcasting Funding Scheme. The company supports the development of the broadcasting sector in Ireland and seeks to foster and support the understanding of media including co-operation with broadcasters and educationalists.
About the Western Regional Audiovisual Producers Fund (WRAP)
The Western Region Audiovisual Producers Fund (WRAP) is a Regional Fund committed to strategic investment on commercial terms that generates economic impact, supports local talent, creates sustainable employment, builds the audio-visual infrastructure and contributes to the culture and language of the West of Ireland. WRAP is an initiative of the Western Development Commission and Galway Film Centre in association with the local authorities of Clare, Donegal, Galway City, Galway County, Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo and Údarás na Gaeltacht.
Nordic Entertainment Group AB (publ) (NENT Group)’s Viaplay streaming service is available in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. Viaplay will launch in the US in 2021 and the Netherlands and the UK in 2022, followed by Canada, Germany, Austria and Switzerland by the end of 2023. We operate streaming services, TV channels, radio stations and production companies, and our purpose is to tell stories, touch lives and expand worlds. Headquartered in Stockholm with a global perspective, NENT Group is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm (‘NENT B’).
About MOPAR Studios
MOPAR Studios is an exciting Nordic production house that brings to life gripping TV drama for a global audience. The studio brings together enthusiastic teams of creatives that represent the very best of Nordic and international talent to develop and deliver stories that reflect the social issues of today’s world. MOPAR Studios’ Red Election is currently airing on Viaplay.
About A+E Networks
A+E Networks® is a global content company comprised of some of the most popular and culturally relevant brands in media, including The HISTORY Channel™; A&E®; Lifetime®; LMN®; FYI®; Crime+Investigation; and VICE TV®. A+E Networks’ content is consumed across linear, digital and streaming platforms the world over and reaches more than 335 million households in over 200 territories in 41 languages. A+E Networks is a joint venture of Disney-ABC Television Group and Hearst. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/aenetworks and Facebook at facebook.com/AENetworks.
About NENT Group’s Viaplay Originals
NENT Group is set to premiere at least 60 Viaplay Originals in 2022. In the past three months, ‘Red Election’; ‘Suedi’; ‘Furia’; season two of ‘The Truth Will Out’; ‘Close to Me’; ‘Two Sisters’; season two of ‘Face to Face’; ‘Threesome’; and ‘A Class Apart’ have premiered on Viaplay.Recently announced originals include ‘Limbo’; ‘Litvinenko’; ‘Karma and Jonar’; ‘Ronja’; ‘Ida Takes Charge’; season two of ‘The Machinery’; ‘The Prize of Silence’; ‘Sort Of’; ‘The Uninhabitable Earth’; ‘Polish Murderesses’, ‘Black Dog’ and ‘Freedom of the Swallow’; season two of ‘Partisan’; season three of ‘Honour’; seasons three and four of ‘Hammarvik’; ‘The Holiday’; seasons two and three of ‘Pørni’; ‘Hilma’; ‘Billy the Kid’; ‘Sisterhood’; ‘Who Shot Otto Mueller?’; a biopic of Börje Salming; ‘Fadime’; ‘Taylor’s Island’; ‘Kin’; ‘What about Monica’; ‘Trom’; ‘THE KINGDOM EXODUS’; ‘Made in Oslo’; ‘Estonia: The Last Wave’; season two of ‘Stella Blómkvist’; season two of ‘Wisting’; ‘The Box’; ‘The Swarm’; ‘Harmonica’; ‘Perfect People’; and ‘Margeaux’.NENT Group will produce two major English-language films every year. The company has also established a UK-based joint venture with FilmNation Entertainment and invested in US studio Picturestart.