Norway’s Maipo Film Acquires ‘Headhunters’ Production Banner Friland (EXCLUSIVE)

Maipo Film, the leading Norwegian production banner behind “The Crossing” and “State of Happiness,” has acquired Oslo-based Friland Production, whose credits include the Nikolaj Coster-Waldau starrer “Headhunters.”

Following Maipo’s acquisition, Christian Fredrik Martin, Friland’s owner and producer, is joining Maipo as a producer.

Besides “Headhunters,” Friland’s track record also comprises Netflix’s romantic drama “Battle,” about a dance competition, and “Congo Murder,” the true story of the two Norwegians who were imprisoned in Eastern Congo in 2009.

“Friland is a good fit for Maipo; we are complementary,” said producer Synnøve Hørsdal, the CEO of Maipo Film. “And thanks to this acquisition we are enlisting Christian Fredrik Martin, a seasoned producer with a vast network and a track record of internationally-driven movies.”

The deal with Friland marks Maipo’s first company acquisition since launching 20 years ago. Hørsdal said the acquisition will allow the company to increase its production volume and deliver a steady number of movies. The company will also be looking to develop further its TV production biz.

“The demand is opening up for many different types of content, not just Scandi noir – films and series don’t have to be crime to be international,” said Hørsdal.

Maipo will start filming five productions in September, notably the second season of Mette M. Bolstad’s ambitious drama series “State of Happiness,” as well as “I Don’t Live Here,” a short-format series created and directed by Liv Mari Mortensen for TV2 Norway.

The company will also kick off lensing three features, including “Clue,” a movie penned by Aleksander Kirkwood Brown, based on the crime novels by Jørn Lier Horst, to be directed by Thale Persson; and “Thomas in Superposition,” written and to be directed by Jason Rørvik.

“In these troubling times, there are many new challenges, but we have to continue,” said Hørsdal. The company had the Norwegian WWII drama “The Crossing” in theaters when cinemas shutdown due to the pandemic, and it will next be releasing “Diana’s Wedding” on Sept. 11.

Maipo is behind some of Norway’s most notable films of the last decade, such as Liv Ullmann’s “Miss July,” Anne Sewitsky’s “Happy Happy,” as well as a number of fantasy-filled movies, notably “The Ash Lad: In the Hall of the Mountain King” and “Aspen 2.” The first season of “State of Happiness” has been picked up by broadcasters around the world, including the BBC, and has earned critical acclaim.

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