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Beta Film closes deal with PBS MASTERPIECE: 'Atlantic Crossing' sets sail for the US

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Oct 15 2020

Munich/Boston, 15 October 2020. The American broadcaster PBS MASTERPIECE has acquired television broadcast rights to Cinenord/Beta Film's prestigious WWII drama series Atlantic Crossing starring Kyle MacLachlan and Sofia Helin. This week, the series celebrated its world premiere in competition at the international TV festival Canneseries in Southern France and will premiere later this month on Norway's NRK.

PBS MASTERPIECE is known for presenting the best in British-produced period and contemporary dramas and mysteries. Atlantic Crossing, based on a true story taking place in Norway and the US, will stand among MASTERPIECES's signature shows such as "Downton Abbey" and "Victoria".

Atlantic Crossing is produced by Cinenord in co-production with Beta Film for NRK and MASTERPIECE. Beta Film handles the world sales, PBS Distribution acquired US distribution rights.

The eight-hour series is based on the true story of Norwegian Crown Princess Märtha, who fights to save her country, offering a unique and never-before-seen perspective on the tragic events of World War II. When the Nazis invade her country, the Crown Princess makes a narrow escape and, at the invitation of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, seeks refuge in the United States. While in Washington, D.C., she develops a close relationship with the President, who is charmed by her. Märtha tries hard to convince him to help save her country and Europe from the Nazis. But Roosevelt does not want to alienate his voters, who are strongly opposed to being drawn into the war. Märtha realizes she must influence the American public to help her country.

The series also sheds light on life in the White House and on the unconventional marriage of Franklin and Eleanor.

As one of the biggest Scandinavian productions to date, Atlantic Crossing stars Golden Globe®-winning and twice Emmy®-nominated legendary actor Kyle MacLachlan (David Lynch's "Twin Peaks", "Blue Velvet", "Dune") as FDR alongside multi-awarded Swedish actress Sofia Helin ("The Bridge") as Crown Princess Märtha and Tobias Santelmann ("The Last Kingdom") as her husband.

"I think the American audience will be surprised and amazed by Atlantic Crossing, a true story about love and devotion to country," says Susanne Simpson, Executive Producer of MASTERPIECE. "We're thrilled to present this show with incredible performances by Kyle MacLachlan and Sofia Helin."

Director Alexander Eik: "I am both delighted and honored that PBS will feature Atlantic Crossing on MASTERPIECE. I could not wish for a better place to present this fascinating and previously untold real-life story, which merges American and European war history in a tale of the close relationship between America's arguably greatest President and a European Crown Princess. Exiled from her homeland, Märtha finds herself as a private guest at the White House, where she soon gains political influence on President Roosevelt at a point in time where America is the only hope for the Allies in Europe in their fight against the Nazis. Soon it is evident that the princess' influence on Roosevelt is not merely political, thrusting her into a struggle that pits her personal feelings against high politics – and even the outcome of the war. "

Beta Film's managing director Moritz von Kruedener: "European drama has a long tradition of traveling well beyond local borders. The fact that Atlantic Crossing has been picked by PBS for their prestigious slot and therefore will reach a nationwide audience in the United States, is a proof for the ever-growing quality of fiction made in Europe."