Lone Scherfig returns home with hospital series 'The Shift'

PUBLIC SERVICE. Lone Scherfig has begun principal photography on her first Danish-language project in 14 years. The eight-part TV series 'The Shift' follows the everyday life at a super hospital in Copenhagen, centering on head midwife Ella, played by Sofie Gråbøl. The show is set for domestic release in 2022.

After 14 years working on high-profile English-language features such as 'The Kindness of Strangers', 'Their Finest Hour' and 'An Education', Lone Scherfig returns to Denmark with the star-studded hospital series 'The Shift'. 

The show is set in a contemporary super hospital in Copenhagen, chronicling the everyday life of the staff as well as the hospital's important function in the modern welfare state. Sofie Gråbøl stars as head-midwife Ella, who every day helps women bring a new generation to the world. 

Scherfig says in a statement: "My ambition is for the series to feel quality-oriented and moving as well as to add to the narrative about our society, both politically and human." 

Scherfig is the acclaimed director behind films such as the box office hit and Berlinale winner 'Italian for Beginners' and 'Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself'. She got her English-language debut in 2009 with 'An Education', which received three Oscar nominations and a BAFTA nomination for Scherfig.

She will serve as showrunner and head writer in addition to directing the final two episodes of the eight-part series, while Søren Balle takes on the job as concept director. Ole Christian Madsen will be guest director on three episodes. Malene Blenkov is producing for Creative Alliance with support from the Danish Film Institute's Public Service Fund.

Søren Balle has directed 'The Sunfish', which screened at a number of international film festivals, as well as episodes on TV series such as 'Rides Upon the Storm', 'Norskov', 'Follow the Money' and 'Deliver Us'. Ole Christian Madsen has directed a number of acclaimed features, including the box office hit 'Flame & Citron', in addition to being showrunner on the American series 'Banshee' among many other credits. 

Sofie Gråbøl is known around the world for her leading role in the Danish TV series 'The Killing'. More recently, she starred in Susanne Bier's HBO Series 'The Undoing', while she also has a number of Danish feature film projects coming up, including 'Rose', 'Wild Men' and 'The Venus Effect'.

'The Shift' is planned for domestic release on TV 2 and TV 2 Play in 2022. Beta Film handles world rights outside Scandinavia and Benelux.