Belgium co-production Arcadia, a near-fiction series, starts filming

Belgium co-production Arcadia, a near-fiction series, starts filming

Public broadcasters VRT and KRO-NCRV collaborate, in coproduction with WDR and SWR (ARD), on new near-fiction series Arcadia

Monday, 11 October 2021 – How do you survive in a world where a scoring system determines your quality of life? And how far will you go to protect your family? That is the premise of the brand new, exciting ‘near-fiction’ series Arcadia, which is set in the near future. This international series is a collaboration between four European public broadcasters: the Flemish VRT (Eén) and the Dutch NPO 3 (KRO-NCRV), with the German ARD (WDR and SWR) as co-producers.

The recordings of Arcadia started last week with locations in Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Germany.

Elly Vervloet, expert in international co-productions at VRT: “It is thanks to collaborations with other European public broadcasters that we can now present our own fiction with an international appeal to our viewers. Co-production with other broadcasters is a bold step and a process that may be complex at times, but is always instructive and unique! European public broadcasting is about wanting to tell stories and create fiction that is daring, good quality and relevant. Arcadia brings those three qualities together.”

Lotte Vermeir, channel manager Eén (VRT) says: “Arcadia raises some fundamental questions that everyone struggles to answer, to a greater or lesser extent, namely are we inclusive or do we put ourselves first when making choices? How important are freedom and individuality to us? With an excellent cast of well-known Flemish and Dutch names, the series is extremely exciting and recognisable.”

Although the idea for Arcadia originated a few years ago, it now appears to be more topical than ever. The series is made by the Flemish production house Jonnydepony in co-production with the Dutch production company Big Blue. Arcadia is written by Philippe De Schepper, Bas Adriaensen and Zita Theunynck, and is directed by Tim Oliehoek.

The cast is a great combination of well-known Flemish and Dutch names and new talent. Lynn Van Royen (Beau Séjour; The Team), Abigail Abraham (Spider in the Web), Melody Klaver (Downward Facing Dogs), Ellie de Lange (The Serpent), Gene Bervoets (Beau Séjour 2; Tabula Rasa), Monic Hendrickx (Ferry), Maarten Heijmans (Penoza; Ramses), Naomi Janssens (Knock-Out), Wim Opbrouck (Tytgat Chocolat), Aus Greidanus (Penoza), Ikram Aoulad (Blackout), Natali Broods (Déjà Vu; Tabula Rasa ), Boris Van Severen (Baptiste), Thomas Ryckewaert (The Serpent), Lukas Bulteel (Baptiste; Professor T.), Rutger Messerschmidt (Het A-word) and Mustafa Duygulu (Commandos; Forever Rich) are featured in the series.

A new and better society?

Following a major catastrophe, a new society, Arcadia, is born. Resources have become scarce and a point system, known as the Citizen Score,  is introduced. It determines what you can and may do and what a citizen is entitled to.

Arcadia follows the lives of a law-abiding family whose high score allows them to live a good life. But everything changes when it’s revealed that the family’s father has falsely kept the Citizen Scores of two of his daughters high in an attempt to protect them from a world where everything depends on their score. His punishment for his actions is to be cast out of Arcadia into the outside world, which is almost uninhabitable and where only the strongest can survive. His wife and four daughters are thus left on their own and are also given penalty points for his deception. They find themselves caught up in a tangle of deceit and betrayal, in which solidarity between the women is increasingly put to the test. Do they choose for their own interests as individuals or as a family?

Arcadia is supported by the VAF/Mediafonds, Screen Flanders, Belga Films Fund, the Belgian Tax Shelter measure and the Netherlands Production Incentive.

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