A little bit of Italy will open Berlinale Series, the TV series section of the Berlin Film Festival, thanks to The Swarm, the 8-episode, high-budget, environmental thriller based on Frank Schätzing’s 2004 best seller.
The series was shot in Brussels (with underwater sequences shot in a pool) and various Italian locations: Trani, Otranto (Apulia), Rome, Ostia, Civitavecchia, Ladispoli (Lazio), Rovigo and surroundings (Veneto), during the period in 2021 when pandemic restrictions made it impossible to use the locations originally chosen by the production.
A group of international scientists is researching several apparently unconnected events occurring in the oceans that are causing chaos at a global level: events that the researchers posit are due to an intelligent life force living in the depths of the Arctic Ocean.
The series is produced by Schwarm TV Productions, a joint venture between Intaglio Films and NDF IP for ZDF, France Télévisions, Rai Fiction, Viaplay Group, Hulu Japan, ORF, SRF, in co-production with Bravado Fiction and Beside Production, in cooperation with Athos with executive production by Viola Film.
The international cast, directed by Luke Watson, Barbara Eder and Philipp Stölzl, includes Cécile de France, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Jack Greenlees, Lydia Wilson, Krista Kosonen, Alexander Karim, Leonie Benesch, Barbara Sukowa from Europe; Takuya Kimura and Takehiro Hiera from Japan; Rosabell Laurenti and Dutch Johnson from USA; and the Canadian Joshua Odjick.
Shooting on The Swarm followed the “One Hundred Green Productions” guidelines produced by MFG Medien - und Filmgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg GmbH, in accordance with the German protocols for production sustainability. The use of these protocols – Viola Film has confirmed – saved total of 252 tonnes of CO2.