The first Norwegian true crime-series for television arrives on TV 2 this fall. The series investigates the unsolved murder of 17-year-old Birgitte Tengs, and premieres at The Norwegian International Film Festival in Haugesund. This will be the second year of the festival’s new TV drama effort.
Festival and Programme Director Tonje Hardersen looks forward to screening the true crime TV series, which is the first of its kind in Norway and a dignified portrayal of the case that shocked the local community in Haugesund:
– TV 2 and Filmhimmelen have created a meticulous portrayal of sensitive subject material. This is a very familiar case to so many in our festival city of Haugesund, not to mention the rest of Norway. It is therefore a relief to see that the series takes the event seriously. I am also impressed by the high level of production quality and the extensive research behind the episodes.
Award-winning journalist Bjørn Olav Jahr has written a book about the unsolved murder case, and directed the documentary series in collaboration with award-winning director Bjørn Eivind Aarskog. Throughout the series the directors paint a realistic image of what may have happened on the island of Karmøy on the night of the murder.
– The murder which traumatized a local community and horrified the entire Norwegian population is again relevant, due to the renewed investigation by the Cold Case-group at The National Criminal Investigation Service. In the series we meet many of Birgitte’s closest family and friends, we shed light on the police investigation, and we attempt to make sense of the many loose ends in this case, says Jarle Nakken, Programme Director at TV 2.
About the series
The brutal killing of 17-year-old Birgitte Tengs in 1995 is one of the most written-about murder cases in Norwegian history. Brigitte’s cousin was charged for the crime, and confessed after distressing interrogation sessions and weeks of solitary confinement. He later detracted the confession. In a surprising turn of events, he was exonerated for the murder in court, yet sentenced to pay compensation to Birgitte’s parents. After the fact, the police received substantial criticism for the interrogation methods in particular and the investigation in general. To this day we still do not know for sure who killed the teenage girl, a mere few hundred meters from her family’s home.
Series creator Bjørn Eivind Aarskog became strongly invested in the murder case after reading Jahr’s book Who Killed Birgitte Tengs?.
– There are so many who were affected by this tragedy, and the need to find a solution to the murder case has been a strong driving force for creating this series. I have tremendous respect for what it might have cost our contributors to appear before a camera, and I’m proud of what the conscientious and professional production team have created, says Aarskog.
Jarle Nakken hopes that the documentary series can enlighten and provide insight into an important part of Norwegian criminal history.
– Many people are of the opinion that the case of Birgitte represents a crossroads in Norway regarding interrogation methods. The series highlights important issues relating to rule of law amongst other things, and seeks the answers to what might have gone wrong and how this could have happened, says Nakken.
Who killed Birgitte? premieres at The Norwegian Film Festival in Haugesund on Wednesday 22 August. The series will be shown on TV 2 this coming autumn.
New Nordic Films will also have TV-production on their agenda. This year the German and Swedish co-production Margareth – The Queen of the North will be screened at the film market.
The Norwegian International Film Festival:
Festival Director Tonje Hardersen on mobile +47 928 30 559 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Head of Information Trine Grønningen on mobile +47 991 03 178 or e-mail email@example.com
TV 2 AS/ Department of PR and media:
Press contact Siril Vatne Meling on mobile +47 970 43 166 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org