Nordicana: Nordic Noir & Beyond Live 2013-2015
15 June, 2013 - 07 June, 2015
Nordicana is the UK’s only festival of Scandinavian drama and fiction. The annual expo held in London celebrates Scandinavian film, TV and fiction with an emphasis on the crime genre. Not only this, the two-day event incorporates a smorgasbord of food, design, music and lifestyle elements to fully immerse ourselves in the Nordic culture. Each year the festival takes place in a bespoke, atmospheric location which involves a range of attractions to choose from. Exclusive screenings of films and TV episodes, plus talent Q&A’s, talks, discussions, food & drink, as well as live music and general fan interaction. All of these Scandinavian themed temptations make the Nordicana weekend a crime to miss!
The inaugural Nordicana took place from 15th – 16th June 2013 in London’s Farmiloe Building; the former site for Clerkenwell’s established glass merchants. The Victorian era venue opened to the public as an art space for the London Architecture Biennale, providing the back-drop for fans to experience their Nordic fascination become a reality. Special guests included the stars of Borgen (2010-2013) Sidse Babett Knudsen and Lars Knutzon, author Jan Arnald and the cast of Arne Dahl, Borgen creator Adam Price, The Killing I (2007) and Borgen actress Marie Askehave, the new Linda Wallander, Charlotta Jonsson and many more. Arne Dahl’s ‘A Unit’, including Matias Varela, Shanti Roney, Malin Arvidsson, Magnus Samuelsson and Claes Ljungmark took part in a Q&A, hosted by writer and Nordic Noir aficionado Barry Forshaw.
Due to the resonating power of Borgen, Nordicana staged a ‘Dramatising Politics’ panel discussion with Adam Price, fellow Borgen writer Jeppe Gjervig Gram, the show’s director Jesper W. Nielsen and Ingolf Gabold (former head of DR’s TV drama and the man who made Danish TV drama a success), to name a few. Films including A Hijacking (2012) and The Hunt (2012) were screened along with a first-look at period crime series Anno 1790 (2011) and blistering finale episodes of The Bridge (2011- ) and The Killing.
Between 1st and 2nd February 2014, the second year returned with infamy! The distinguished detective Kurt Wallander, made famous from the late Henning Mankell franchise, graced us with his charismatic presence in the form of Krister Henriksson; enthralling fans at the Old Truman Brewery in East London. Henriksson joined Charlotta Jonsson to discuss their on-screen father-daughter relationship to impart with us what it has been like ‘Being Wallander’. Bestselling novelist Håkan Nesser discussed his celebrated literary career and Borgen continued its reign of Scandinavian supremacy with an honourable reprise from Sidse Babett Knudsen and Adam Price. However, this time, the man behind Nyborg’s spin-doctor Pilou Asbæk and series producer Camilla Hammerich also appeared to our Danish delight!
Following the emotional climax of The Bridge II, Sofia Helin and Kim Bodnia partnered for one last time in front of fans for a candid conversation about the impact of the show. Aksel Hennie (Headhunters, 2011) delved deeper into his latest movie Pioneer (2013) and fans witnessed a fresh glimpse into the lives of the new dysfunctional Danish family on the block. With a Q&A from The Legacy’s Carsten Bjørnlund, the actor certainly put the Grønnegaard estate on the map, ahead of its UK release on Sky Arts. Perhaps Scandilicious chef Signe Johansen and the Great Scandinavian Cinnamon Bun-Off baking challenge will not be forgotten in a hurry!
From 6th to 7th June, the Troxy theatre in East London opened its doors to launch lovers of the popular genre into the irresistible Scandinavian UK setting. Here, the venue was brimming with a host of Nordic related stalls to welcome guests from House of Sverre‘s smoked salmon and pâté open-top sandwiches, Fika’s tasty selection of cinnamon buns, to reindeer burgers served by the Scandinavian Restaurant & Deli. Not to mention a beverage or two from the Kolson bar.
A sumptuous line-up of screenings, Q&A’s and signings began with an exclusive look at the first episode of The Legacy season two and flocked to attend conversations with leading Nordic Noir heroines Sofie Gråbøl and Sofia Helin. The young rising stars of 1864 joined Søren Malling for a historic Q&A in the making, as well as a get-together with The Legacy’s Trine Dyrholm, Marie Bach Hansen and Jesper Christensen. The supernatural forces of Sweden’s Jordskott intrigued us with a closer look at the mysteries through the eyes of Moa Gammel. Camilla Hammerich signed copies of her ultimate guide to The Borgen Experience and novels from Scandinavian authors like Stieg Larsson to Karl Ove Knausgaard were available to buy, alongside DVDs and Blu-rays.
As the Nordicana festivals live on, the line-up gets irresistibly stronger. At Nordicana: Nordic Noir & Beyond Live 2015, guests could choose between the Main Stage events, The White Room to listen to academic discussions from a panel of experts on topics such as the real history of Denmark’s Schleswig War in 1864 and [Foreign Affairs] criminally entertaining play The Contract Killer. The Signing Room attracted a lot of attention from die-hard fans who queued in abundance to get signed memorabilia, photos and the chance to chat to the warm and welcoming embrace of their favourite stars that shine through the Noir.
In the words of Sofie Gråbøl’s Governor Hildur Odegard in Fortitude (2015- ), Nordicana: “where lovers of the wilderness, lovers of the Northern Lights or just lovers can witness the wildest things they’ll ever see…”