Sweden, Finland and Estonia collaborate on event series ESTONIA Beta Film boards distribution

For the first time, producers from Sweden, Finland, and Estonia join forces, partnering on the most ambitious Finish series production to date: Estonia. The cruise ferry MS Estonia was the symbol of freedom for the newly independent Republic Estonia and, at the same time, Europe’s most fatal civil maritime disaster of the 20th century.

Estonia is produced by Finland’s leading production house Fisher King in coproduction Swedish Kärnfilm AB, Panache Production Belgium and Estonian Amrion Oü. for C More Finland & Sweden, TV4, MTV Finland and Telia Estonia in collaboration with Beta Film.

The event series Estonia is created by Miikko Oikkonen (Bordertown, Helsinki Syndrome) and helmed by award-winning Swedish director Måns Månsson (Snabba Cash, Chernobyl) and Juuso Syrjä (Bordertown).

Producers are Matti Halonen and Johannes Lassila at Fisher King, Martina Stöhr and Petra Jönsson at Kärnfilm AB and Riina Sildos at Amrion Oü and André Logie at Panache Production. Executive producers are Piodor Gustafsson (C More) and Jani Hartikainen (MTV Finland). 

Production is set to start in spring 2022 with shooting taking place in Finland, Sweden, and Estonia. The water scenes are going to be shot in the water tank sets in Brussels, one of the most advanced water stages in Europe. 

The visually stunning drama Estonia (8x45’) captures the true event of the sinking of the MS Estonia in September 1994 and the major international investigation examining the terrible accident.

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.

The powerful series shines a light on different angles of the life-shattering accident, follows the international investigation of the disaster and delivers intriguing insights, conflicts, lies, and conspiracy theories, which emerged since the confidentiality agreement signed by all investigators and authorities ended in 2019. 

The MS Estonia was the largest ship owned under the flag of the young Republic of Estonia between Tallinn and Stockholm. Departing from Tallinn on September 27, 1994 with almost 1000 people on board, the cruise ferry was surprised by a major storm, leading into uncontrolled tilting. Within one hour, the MS Estonia sank in Finish waters in the Baltic Sea, claiming more than 850 lives and was ever since considered as the deadliest sinking in European history. A joint investigation between Estonia, Finland, and Sweden was convened to bring the causes of the tragic event to light. 

Director Måns Månsson: “I’m very humbled and proud to be a part of the upcoming series Estonia. The scripts about the investigation and the reasons behind the accident are truly intriguing and captivating. I’m looking forward to a deep collaboration with the Finish, Estonian and Swedish team about a tragedy that is still affecting our countries deeply.” 

Fisher King’s CEO Matti Halonen: “The sinking of Estonia was a tragic event. It is very important for us to respect all the victims and their relatives. Almost 30 years have passed since the accident and with the help of fiction we can tell new perspectives on what happened. The work of the investigation committee was very difficult and highly politicized. The final report, released three years later, was met with controversy.

By telling the story through the eyes of survivors, journalists and investigators we try to get as close to the characters as possible in order to create both, a gripping but also highly emotional story.” 

Jani Hartikainen Head of Drama and Development MTV & C More:

“I was very taken by the strong script and emotionally compelling characters. The story is highly character-driven and complemented by engaging visual storytelling. I believe the series will give deeper insight to the tragic event and that makes the series worth doing.” 

Beta Film is handling world sales.

Fisher King is the Finish production company of Beta Nordic Studio (BNS) which serves as an umbrella for Beta’s production activities in the Nordics.

BNS has grown with the recent acquisition of a major stake in Sweden’s production company Unlimited Stories (Missing People). It’s the fifth company alongside Finland’s Fisher King (Helsinki Syndrome, Estonia), Icelandic Sagafilm (The Minister, Stella Blomkvist), Sweden’s Dramacorp (Cryptid, Agent Hamilton), and Norwegian Cinenord (Atlantic Crossing) to join BNS.