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Zodiak Rights take OCCUPIED to SKY


Zodiak Rights has signed an exclusive deal with Sky Arts for the UK rights to political thriller Occupied. The 10x45 series is based on an original idea from world-acclaimed Scandi writer Jo Nesbø, and is produced by Zodiak scripted production arms Yellow Bird and GTV. Occupied will premiere on TV2 Norway on the 4th October and ARTE in November 2015. Sky Arts are set to air the Norwegian drama from the makers of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo early next year.

The deal was struck by Sophie Judge, Acquisitions Manager Sky Entertainment, and Chris Stewart, VP Sales (UK & Eire) & Acquisitions, Zodiak Rights. Zodiak Rights have also closed a DVD deal with Digital and DVD publisher Dazzler Media who have secured UK rights for the series.

Occupied is a multi-layered political suspense thriller set in a not-so-distant future. Following up on their environmental promises, the Norwegian government halts all oil production sending the country and the rest of the world into crisis. Unable to ignore the calls from the rest of the world to intervene, Russia, at the behest of the EU, stages a "silk-glove" invasion – to secure the oil for the rest of the world, with every intention of retreating once this has been accomplished. But as events unfold, a very different outcome is threatened for a nation occupied.

Occupied is produced by Marianne Gray and Gudny Hummelvoll for Yellow Bird. Eric Skoldbjaerg (Insomnia, Prozac Nation, Pioneer) is the conceptual director and co-creator, and directed the series alongside Pål Sletaune (Babycall, Junk Mail), Erik Richter Strand, John Andreas Andersen and Eva Sorhaug. Karianne Lund is head writer and co-creator. The cast includes Henrik Mestad (Lillyhammer, The Half Brother), Ane Dahl Torp (As you see me, Dead Snow, Lunch), Eldar Skar, and Selome Emnetu.

Zodiak Rights will take Occupied to Mipcom 2015 next month along with scripted sensations The Returned and Versailles and a raft of drama offerings.

Phil Edgar-Jones, Director, Sky Arts, said:
"Sky Arts audiences have come to expect the very best of foreign language drama on the channel and we're thrilled that Jo Nesbo's Occupied is going to get January off to a thrilling start. "

Chris Stewart, VP Sales (UK & Eire) & Acquisitions, Zodiak Rights, said:
"Sky Arts has established itself as home to critically acclaimed foreign language drama from around the world. Both thrilling and controversial, we couldn't be happier to add Occupied to their roster of award-winning cutting edge drama."