Public Funding For HBO Nordic’s Pelle The Conqueror

The Danish Film Institute has announced public funding for HBO Nordic’s new eight-part historical drama Erobreren (Conqueror), based on Volumes II-IV of Martin Andersen Nexø’s novel about Pelle The Conqueror.

In the novel, Pelle moves from Sweden to Denmark as a young boy with his father in search of a better life. They both become labourers at a large farm and are subjected to prejudice as immigrants and face physical intimidation because of their social standing.

Young Pelle learns what it takes to survive in a harsh and unforgiving world, and eventually becomes a key leader in the Danish labour movement, motivated to address poor working conditions.

Erobreren was originally planned as a feature film, but is now destined to be a series directed by Per Fly (Follow The Money), with Rasmus Heisterberg (The Absent One) on board as lead writer. It has been awarded 657,000 kroner in development support from the DFI Public Service Fund.

Deputy Director of the Danish Film Institute, Claus Ladegaard, said: “Erobreren depicts a significant historical period and is based on a powerful literary work. For this reason alone, it’s a series of the upmost importance and value to public service.”

“It is a classic tale interpreted and developed by some of Danish film’s finest minds. It will be interesting to see how it works out with HBO’s originality and courage when it comes to serial narrative storytelling.”

The last major adaptation of Pelle The Conqueror, directed by Bille August, won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1988.