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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Finland

Maarit Lalli tells the story of Nokia's pioneers in her new series Mobile 1.0

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- The six-part TV drama charts the dramatic rise and fall of the multinational telecommunications company

Maarit Lalli tells the story of Nokia's pioneers in her new series Mobile 1.0
Aku Sipola as Risto Salminen (© Anni.jpeg)

This week, Helsinki-based studio Rabbit Films has announced the start of a new six-episode drama with the working title Mobile 1.0. The new series will chart “the incredible story of the rise of Finnish company Nokia to become the world’s leading manufacturer of mobile phones, before an equally dramatic fall from grace.”

Shot in Finland and the US in English and Finnish languages, it represents the first dramatic account of Finnish electronics company Nokia's rise from a small business to becoming a global success in the mobile phone industry, beating huge established brands. The first season is set in the years 1988-1990, when the technology for mobile phones was just starting to be developed. In particular, it will focus on the young and resourceful lawyers willing to take on their counterparts at deep pocketed multinational competitors; the brilliant, single-minded engineers developing revolutionary new products, boardroom plots and personal feuds; and a business leader whose courage saved the entire company following the tragic death of his predecessor. The drama is based on years of research and interviews with those involved at the heart of the firm’s history.

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The confirmed cast members include Satu-Tuuli Karhu (Maria’s Paradise [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Zaida Bergroth
film profile
]
) as Katarina Tammi, a recently graduated lawyer working in the company’s legal department; newcomer Emil Kihlström as Aki Makkonen, Katarina’s former law school colleague with a secret to hide; Aku Sipola (Forest Giant) as Risto Salminen, a talented but eccentric and obsessive engineer determined to create a new type of mobile phone; Oona Airola (The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Juho Kuosmanen
film profile
]
) as Risto’s wife and fellow developer Vuokko Salminen; and Sampo Sarkola (Bordertown) as Jorma Ollila, the visionary Nokia CEO who drove the company to success. Jussi Award-winning Maarit Lalli (Almost 18 [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, The Sixth Time) is attached to direct.

Speaking about the project, creator and director Maarit Lalli said: “Behind Nokia's well-known narrative, there are the untold stories of the people whose passion for their work made immense success possible. But there were also personal losses and moments of despair. Now, 30 years on from the first GSM call, and based on first-hand accounts from those most intimately involved in Nokia’s story, we can tell the full, dramatic story of the extraordinary events behind its remarkable rise and fall.” Meanwhile, Minna Haapkylä from Rabbit Films explained: “Nokia is a national treasure but also a huge global brand. The series unfolds as an epic story of how a small Finnish town and a small Finnish company grew to become the home of the biggest mobile phone supplier in the world, and one that changed literally all our lives.” Finally, MTV's Head of Drama Jani Hartikainen added: “A story this incredible could never have been invented. I believe this series will become one of the most talked-about of 2022.”

Mobile 1.0 will launch in early 2022 on the C More streaming platform, with the linear premiere to follow on MTV3. C More has also acquired the first-window VOD rights for the Nordic-Baltic region, whilst Rabbit Films is currently handling its international distribution. The series is being produced by Tiina Pesonen, Minna Haapkylä and Olli Suominenfrom for Rabbit Films and co-produced by Petri Kemppinen and Ari Tolppanen for Aurora Studios, with additional funding granted by the Finnish Impact Film Fund.

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