Leading independent distributor All3Media International has inked a raft of sales for the debut season of Icelandic drama Black Sands, it announced today, as commissioning broadcaster Channel 2 in Iceland orders a brand-new second season of the distinctive crime thriller. Produced by acclaimed indie Glassriver in association with All3Media International, the first eight-part season of Black Sands is heading to broadcasters in Canada, Europe, Australia, and Asia.
Directed by the award-winning Baldvin Z (Trapped, Case), Black Sands is a powerful character-driven crime thriller that centres on a young police detective who is forced to confront her past as she investigates a series of mysterious deaths in her hometown.
The acclaimed Icelandic series, which had its international premiere during the Berlinale Series in February, has been acquired by Viaplay in a deal covering the US together with multiple European territories. Additionally in Europe, Black Sands will air in the UK on UKTV’s crime channel Alibi, as the channel’s first foreign language drama. Disney+ has acquired the thriller in the Netherlands and Luxembourg and Canal+ has taken the series in Poland.
SBS in Australia has acquired the eight-part drama and in Asia, the series will air on Japan’s AXN MYSTERY Channel, Chinese streaming app Pumpkin Film, and Upstream Media in the Philippines.
These new deals add to previously announced presales to VRT in Belgium and YLE in Finland. VRT is also a co-production partner on the drama.
In addition to this raft of international sales, the acclaimed Icelandic drama is set to screen early next month in Germany at Lübeck Nordic Film Days and in Indonesia at Jakarta Independent Film Festival.
Andri Ómarsson, CEO at Glassriver commented, “Our vision for Black Sands was to create not only a gripping crime thriller but also a dark romantic drama where the characters’ relationships would be central to the story. All3Media International’s expertise in taking content to a global audience has been invaluable throughout the production process, enabling us to translate that vision into a distinctive drama that would hold strong appeal worldwide. We’re thrilled to be going back into production on a brand-new second season for Channel 2, and as Black Sands begins its international journey, we hope viewers worldwide are captivated by its rich storytelling, bold cinematic style and striking landscapes.”
Lauren Jackson, Scripted Content Executive at All3Media International added, “We’re thrilled to see such an impressive response to Black Sands across the international stage. This isn’t a traditional whodunnit – Glassriver has created a fresh and original crime drama that focuses in on the characters, their relationships and the realities of police work as they all become embroiled in a tense investigation. Baldvin Z’s and Glassriver’s honest, empathetic approach, combined with the almost other-worldly landscapes of Iceland, has resulted in a show that international audiences find deeply compelling. We saw huge potential for Black Sands from the outset and, particularly with a second season now on order, we look forward to seeing more sales as our international roll-out continues.”
Shot on location in Kirkjubæjarklaustur and around Reynisfjara, Iceland’s world-famous black-sand beach, Black Sands stars Aldís Amah Hamilton (The Valhalla Murders, Prisoners) in the lead role as police detective Anita. Also starring are Þór Tulinius (The Valhalla Murders; A White, White Day), Kolbeinn Arnbjörnsson (Shadowtown, The Lava Field), Steinunn Ólína Þorsteinsdóttir (Case, Trapped), and Ævar Þór Benediktsson (My Funeral). Black Sands is created by Ragnar Jónsson, Andri Óttarsson, Aldís Amah Hamilton and Baldvin Z.
After burning all her bridges within the metropolitan police, Anita, a local thirty-something detective, is forced to leave Reykjavik. The only post available is in her childhood village, an ugly oasis sitting in the middle of an endless desert of black sand, where she has to face her abusive mother for the first time in 10 years. A dead tourist found on the Black Beach initially seems to be the victim of an accident – however it sends Anita on a dark journey into the past as she uncovers a series of murders. After a surviving witness from one of the attacks describes the assailant as a female police officer, Anita realises that the killer could be a lot closer than she thought.