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The Bridge 3 Will Be ‘More Danish’, Says Copenhagen Film Fund

With the third season of the The Bridge about to go into production, Pei-sze Chow examines how a new funding deal may affect the uniquely cross-border character of the Danish-Swedish series.

The CEO of the Copenhagen Film Fund (CFF), Thomas Gammeltoft, announced last week that the third season of the crime thriller series Bron/Broen (The Bridge), scheduled for late 2015, will be “more Danish” than before. This is a surprising shift in the production and marketing of this series, especially as one of the key selling points of the first and second seasons was the shared, “50-50” Danish-Swedish involvement in the crafting of the series.

With this new swing towards more Danish involvement in the funding and production of the series, how will the third season of Bron/Broen be different, and will this change the dynamics in the representation of the Øresund region where the series is set?

The role of the Copenhagen Film Fund

The Bridge

Season 3 of The Bridge is about to go into production – minus lead character Martin Rohde (played by Kim Bodnia – right)

The CFF is actively investing in the series with the aim of bringing much of the series’ production to Denmark in order to secure more employment for Danish film talent – a larger Danish crew has already been signed on for the shoot. The Fund was just founded in 2013 with a budget of DKK 35 million (€4.7 million) until 2016, and focuses its investments in co-productions shot within the nine municipalities of Region Hovedstaden (the Capital Region) in Denmark. This remit also includes the Danish sections of the bi-national Øresund region that is shared with Sweden.

While the CFF is also committed to co-productions across the Øresund, it is explicitly more interested in providing the necessary conditions to boost the film industry on the Danish side. By strategically investing in an internationally successful series like Bron/Broen, and, through this money, having a say in the production process, the CFF is ensuring that the Danish film industry benefits not only economically, but also from the high visibility to international audiences – the first two seasons were sold to 150 countries. The Øresund region, as viewed through the lens of the CFF, therefore seems like a predominantly Danish Øresund.

That Denmark looks set to be the main beneficiary of this new arrangement that started out as a shared, equal enterprise with Sweden seems “irrelevant”. Gammeltoft asserts, “It is irrelevant that we come from Copenhagen. It’s the money that counts. … We complement each other very well. Copenhagen is a city region and Skåne has amazing scenery that we lack”.

Nevertheless, other aspects of the production effort still retains some semblance of the initial “50-50” arrangement. Sweden’s Filmlance International and Denmark’s Nimbus Films continue as main producers of the series, co-producing with CFF and Film i Skåne as well as various other European partners. The season will be directed by Denmark’s Rumle Hammerich and Henrik Georgsson from Sweden. The writers remain unchanged, with Hans Rosenfeldt leading the writing team that comprises Nikolaj Scherfig, Astrid Øye, and Sweden’s Erik Ahrnbom, and with Camilla Ahlgren as script editor.

Changes in the series

Meanwhile, there is also one major change in the cast. At the end of the second season, the Danish detective Martin Rohde (played by Kim Bodnia) was arrested and thrown into jail. With Bodnia confirming that he will not return to the series for the third season, this leaves his partner, the Swedish detective Saga Norén (played by Sofia Helin), on her own to solve the cases scattered across the Øresund region. As yet, not much else is known about the casting and organisation of characters, but leaving Norén alone to drive the plot does beg the question of how the dual-language dynamic of the series—a large part of the drama’s appeal—will change.

At this point, any guess about the direction the third season will take is just that – speculation. At the time of writing, the series writers are actively soliciting ideas from fans through social media, which could suggest that there may be some emphasis on reflecting current themes and events in the plot.

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