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Keynote speaker Carl Christian Hamre is Norway’s storyteller and celebrity. He started out as a regular police officer and developed a children’s entertainment concept called City of Friends which has become popular all over the world. He has had great success with books, television shows and continues to expand his empire. He talks about his road to success, chasing your dreams and working hard.
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Founder of ‘City of Friends’ and former policeman
He started out as a regular policeman and a man who wanted to tell his son a bedtime story about his work and important values. This is when he developed a concept he called City of Friends where he added various characters such as Apa the policeman, Ted the EMT and Elfie the fireman. Along with his wife, Carl ran his own publishing company which produced books that were sold from his garage. Little did he know, that he had set much bigger things in motion.
Five years later, his bedtime story has become Norway’s biggest and most successful TV series ever (sold to 185 countries and translates into 26 languages). The City of Friends has had live shows in cities such as Singapore and Apa has to travel with bodyguards when he visits Dubai. While working on the tv-series, he was inspired to develop a different type of stage-show for children. Inspired by Mamma Mia The Musical, BBCs Walking With Dinosaurs and U2s 360 Tour, Carl Christian drew a scene with props and sets on a KLM napkin on a flight from Bergen to Marseille. The goal was to allow children to take part in and experience a spectacular stage performance. Two years later, the show premiered in Norway. Today he is discussing the option of having the company that puts on Mamma Mia tour with his show.
In 2011 the idea of a movie was born and two years later he is negotiating with large production companies in Hollywood, Asia and the Middle East for the rights to a movie that could be the most expensive one in Norway’s history.
The City of Friends has, just in Norway, sold nearly three million ice pop in a year, 250.000 loaves of bread in three months and 300.000 books. The tv series is at the top of tv rankings in Singapore, UK, Hong Kong and the Middle East and it has had more than 30 million hits on YouTube in less than two years.
Hamre has been awarded several prizes and awards for his work.
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