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Audience engagement and TV series? Let’s talk about SKAM

By 3 July 2019May 20th, 2020No Comments

On Saturday 4 May, the Rome-based Nordic Film Fest, in partnership with BAM!, hosted a special event on SKAM, the TV series that began life in Norway and won over teenagers from half the world


Anyone who really knows BAM! will know that there’s been a big new love in our lives for the last few months: SKAM, the Norwegian series that became an international hit in 2015. It was adapted for seven other countries and arrived in Italy in 2018 thanks to TIMvision.

SKAM is many things: a web series, originally produced by NRK, Norway’s state-owned television channel, which follows a group of teenagers during the most delicate and sensitive period of their development, taking an original look at some extremely important social issues and displaying great realism and exceptional care in building the dialogue and interaction; a “participatory” production, whose original screenplay has been developed thanks to extensive research and a series of interviews with Norwegian teenagers by the person who came up with the idea for the show, Julie Andem; an innovative multimedia product, which combines TV and social media to invent a new way of addressing teenagers; a cultural format with a proven capacity for replication in different contexts, cultures and languages.

In short, SKAM represents an innovative, original and international example of audience engagement. It is from this standpoint that BAM! presented it to the Italian public at a special event during the Nordic Film Fest in Rome, which promotes the film culture of the Nordic states (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden), organised by the four Nordic embassies in Italy with the involvement of the Circolo Scandinavo in Rome.

The meeting, suggested by the Norwegian Embassy in Italy and coordinated by BAM!, hosted Marianne Furevold-Boland, the producer of SKAM Norway, who gave a detailed presentation of the Norwegian example and the engagement phase that preceded the production of the series. It was followed by a round table that compared SKAM with other experiences: co-creation with the audience, involvement in the writing process, innovative use of multimedia platforms.

We met Ludovico Bessegato, director and creator of SKAM Italy, to find out how the format was adapted for an Italian audience; Giulia Chiapparelli from MAXXI who presented JACK, the contemporary art web TV channel; Janet De Nardis from Roma Web Fest who reflected on the internet as a production and distribution channel.

On the afternoon of Sunday 5 May, the Nordic Film Fest organised a SKAM marathon, with some specially selected episodes from the Norwegian series and the entire second season of the Italian adaptation. In addition to Ludovico Bessegato, viewers also met Rocco Fasano, the actor who plays Niccolò in SKAM Italy.

Further information and updates are available on the Facebook event page, while you can watch a recording of the whole event below