’22 July’ Drama Series Looks at Aftermath of Norway Terror Attacks

January 31, 2019 3:28AM PT

A new Norwegian drama will tell the story of the people who responded to the horrific 2011 terrorist attacks in Norway that left 77 dead, most of them teenagers. “22 July” is being produced by Norwegian pubcaster NRK’s drama arm and will be distributed by DRG, which landed the international rights. The first footage of the six-part show was screened Thursday at the Goteburg Film Festival.

Right-wing terrorist Anders Behring Breivik killed eight people by planting a car bomb in Oslo’s government quarter. He then went to the nearby island of Utoya, where youth members of the Norwegian Labour Party were at a summer camp, and killed 69 young people. Paul Greengrass’ recent Netflix film “22 July” told the story of the attacks. The new series, which bears the same name but has no connection to the movie or Netflix, will focus on how ordinary people responded to the atrocity.

“22 July was one of Norway’s darkest days; it had a massive impact on our country and the events shocked the world,” said Ivar Køhn, head of drama at NRK. “But during this terrible time, we witnessed acts both large and small that help define us as individuals and as a nation. This is a story about those acts and about the systems that surround us and shape our daily lives….It’s not a story about a terrorist and his inhumane acts. It’s a story about the rest of us.“

U.K.-based DRG is part of the Nordic Entertainment Group and sells several Scandi scripted shows and formats. It recently boarded sales on upcoming sci-fi mystery series “White Wall.”

“While ‘22 July’ is a uniquely Norwegian story, its worldwide impact and universal themes – all sympathetically realized and beautifully filmed by a talented team – will undoubtedly resonate on the international stage,” said Dave Clarke, DRG’s EVP of content. “DRG has invested a multi-million-pound sum in Scandinavian scripted content in the past two years alone, and this commitment will continue in order to capitalize on demand and secure the very best and most original titles from the region.”