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Russian TV series premiering at Content London conference


The extensive presence of Russian content is arranged for one of the leading platforms for professionals in the global television industry, working in the field of production of TV content and co-production. Content London takes place from 16 November to 4 December online and will see premieres of new Russian series, the presentation of Russian series projects with great international potential, and panel discussions with Russian film industry experts.
Three Russian series are among the five premieres at the Content London conference. These are "Six Empty Seats” and "Dead Mountain: The Dyatlov Pass Incident" from the producers of the most successful Russian series To the Lake (was in top 10 of the best watched series on Netflix in more than 60 countries) – 1-2-3 Production, and “Chicks” by Art Pictures Distribution.
Six Empty Seats (directed by Petr Todorovsky) is a provocative, contemporary drama about a small diverse group of clerks who are given a second chance after accidentally avoiding a plane crash. The realization of their survival hits them hard and makes the characters risk everything to only experience life to the fullest regardless of social expectations. Six Empty Seats is a winner of The Best Series at Serial Killer Fest 2020: also, the series was included in Best Around the world of the Seriencamp festival (Germany). 
 “Chicks” (directed by Eduard Oganesyan) is a female-driven dramedy, with a lot of local flavour and a very fresh visual style. The story is about four corner girls trying to start a brand-new life in a small, patriarchal, and religious Russian town – and immediately face consequences for their brave choice. The show highlights the problems of a very traditional and religious society, gender maltreatment and social inequality. The series was released in Russia in June 2020 and has reached over 20 million views so far.  
Dead Mountain: The Dyatlov Pass Incident” (directed by Valery Fedorovich and Evgeny Nikishov, 1-2-3 Production) is presented by the international distributor, Beta Film. This story explores the circumstances around the tragedy that struck the Russian student hikers in the Urals in 1959. The series was released in Russia in November 2020.
In addition to these premieres, for the first time, Russian series will be presented at the Hot Properties strand – as one of three upcoming, non-English language, dramas expected to have an impact on the international market over the next 18 months. "Passengers" by Yellow, Black and White and START, is an 8-part episodic mystery drama, about regrets, atonement and absolution. Kirill Käro, the only Russian-speaking actor who has starred in several Netflix Originals projects, stars in the "Passengers" series.

Russia's extensive presence at such a significant and prestigious professional event in the television industry is organized to explore several directions for the first time.  While previously the Russian content industry was strong in animation and auteur cinema, now Russia is positioning itself as a new player on the global TV series market. The level of Russian series has grown in recent years; the topics that we raise and the scripts through which these topics are revealed, have reached a new level of quality, and this attracts potential co-production partners. For the first time, we are starting to systematically work towards the joint production of TV series with foreign partners, and we consider Content London to be an effective platform for establishing strong business ties», says Evgenia Markova, CEO of ROSKINO (organization in charge of promoting Russian audiovisual content worldwide).   
Russian content is also presented as part of the Breakthrough of Russian Drama 2020 panel discussion. Evgenia Markova, ROSKINO CEO, Daria Bondarenko, Vice President for International Sales of START video service and Yellow, Black and White Studio, Diana Yurinova, Commercial Director of Art Pictures Distribution, and Nadezhda Zayonchkovskaya, 1-2-3 Production Director of Sales, International Relations and Coproduction, discussed the recent successes of Russian TV series and talked about their plans.
“2020 saw a breakthrough for 1-2-3 Production, marked by the global release of the “To The Lake” series under the Netflix Originals brand as part of a Halloween streamer. The audience of the platform in more than 60 countries was fascinated by the series and continued their interest in to the second season (according to a public opinion poll in the media). Critics also gave positive feedback about the project (100% result on Rotten tomatoes and a personal recommendation from Stephen King). All these facts prove the willingness of viewers from Brazil to Japan to watch stories from Russian production. As for the market, it signaled a chance to monetize our content - this is a window of opportunity, which we hope develops into a trend of 2021”, - says Nadezhda Zayonchkovskaya, Director of Sales, International Relations and Coproduction, 1-2-3 Production
“We are watching the rise of Russian TV series. This is largely due to the strengthening of the position of online cinemas. The video service START launched by Yellow, Black and White in 2017, is the fastest growing video service in Russia; our audience has already surpassed one million paying users, we have released a few dozen original and exclusive projects. The series of START and Yellow, Black and White, are presented in the Originals and Exclusives categories of two of the World’s giants - Amazon and Netflix (“Better Than Us”). The Geneva International Film Festival has selected our original series “Hope” for its Highlights section. Another original project by Yellow, Black and White and START, - “257 Reasons to Live”, - received an award for Best Actor at Canneseries, becoming the only project from Russia to ever win a prize in the competition’s history. In addition, “257 Reasons to Live" was selected from more than 750 applicants from all over the world to participate in another prestigious international award - Rose D'Or. The dramedy will be trying to compete against the Netflix hit, Sex Education. All our achievements, together with all of our colleagues in the film industry, strengthen the position of Russian projects in the international arena”, - says Daria Bondarenko, Vice President for International Sales, START video service and Yellow, Black and White Studio.
At the Content London 2020, ROSKINO also presents more than 30 projects from Russian companies: Art Pictures Distribution, Star Media, Sputnik Vostok Production, Sreda Production Company, NTV, CHANNEL FIVE, Parovoz, as well as the GPM ETV holding. The content is available on the ROSKINO - Russian Cinema Worldwide umbrella page in the C21 DIGITAL SCREENINGS section

Svetlana Lysyakova




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