Beta collaborates with Seven.One Entertainment Group on the high-end drama series 'Estonia' as shooting is underway
Helmed by award-winning Swedish director Måns Månsson, whose credits include Chernobyl and Snabba Cash, and Finnish director Juuso Syrjä (Bordertown, Helsinki Syndrome), the visually stunning eight-hour drama captures the deadliest civil maritime disaster in recent European history – the sinking of the MS Estonia on September 28, 1994, claiming the lives of over 850 people. For the first time ever, a drama series based on the real investigation protocols follows the events of the fateful night and the attempt to find the cause.
Produced by Fisher King, part of Beta Nordic Studio (BNS), which serves as an umbrella for Beta’s production activities in the Nordics, the series is shooting in the world’s most advanced indoor water stages located in Belgium, and will continue in Turkey, Finland, Sweden, and Estonia.
Estonia stars Katia Winter (Dexter, Sleepy Hollow, Agent Hamilton), Jussi Nikkilä (Love and Other Troubles), Peter Andersson (Jack Ryan), Arndt Schwering-Sohnrey (Inglorious Basterds, Who Am I, The White Ribbon), and Pelle Heikkilä (Invisible Heroes), among others.
Marking a new approach of storytelling, the character-driven fiction series follows the tragedy through the eyes of survivors, rescuers, family members, politicians, investigators, and journalists. Shining a light on different angles of the life-shattering accident, the powerful drama follows the joint investigation between Estonia, Finland, and Sweden established the day of the tragedy. But ever since, the mystery of the sinking has been accompanied by unbelievable discoveries, intriguing insights, conflicts, lies, and conspiracy theories.
Henrik Pabst, Chief Content Officer of Seven.One Entertainment Group: "The sinking of the MS Estonia is one of the great unsolved tragedies of recent times and thus offers plenty of room for conspiracy theories. This is gripping material that moves anyone who comes across it. Director Måns Månsson tells the story through powerful images from the perspective of survivors, journalists, and investigators. Having already had a veritable hit on ProSieben and Joyn with Månsson's series Chernobyl, I'm delighted that we can also present his new project Estonia to our viewers and users on our platforms."
Martin Håkansson, CEO of Beta Nordic Studios: “We are very proud to have Germany’s Seven.One Entertainment Group with us on Estonia at these early stages. With its way of approaching the story so truthfully and the talented creatives attached, it’s not only the most demanding and aspiring production coming out of Finland, but also sets new standards for Scandinavian productions. The unsolved case of the disastrous sinking of the MS Estonia and its complex investigation remains relevant to all audiences today. We are confident that Estonia will leave its mark around the world.”
The MS Estonia was the largest ship owned under the flag of the young Republic of Estonia. Departing from Tallinn on its way to Stockholm on September 27, 1994, with almost 1000 people on board, the ferry was caught in a severe storm in the Baltic Sea. Within one hour, the MS Estonia sank in Finish waters, the cause remaining subject to speculation until today.
The first ever Finnish-Swedish-Estonian coproduction is created by Miikko Oikkonen (Bordertown, Helsinki Syndrome) and produced by the executive producers Matti Halonen and Johannes Lassila of Finland’s leading production house Fisher King in coproduction Swedish Kärnfilm AB, Panache Production Belgium, and Estonian Amrion Oü. for C More, TV4 Sweden, MTV Finland, and Telia Estonia, in collaboration with Beta Film, which is handling world sales.