Sofa Vanoli - 29/05/2015

Time for Russia‘s TV Revolution

NTV Broadcasting Company made a strong showing at Mipcom 2017, following recent deals for titles like The Road to Calvary, Secret for a Million, Death Highway and Sleepers, and their belief that the TV industry is entering a new era of Russian content.

In 1917 Russia lived one of the most foundational years in its rich and complex history. The Russian revolution shaped the country and the world's history up until this day. Now, 100 years later, its TV industry is ready to echo that transformation.
That is the belief of NTV Broadcasting Company, the most important private broadcaster in Russia, which had its biggest showcase to date at Mipcom 2017, empowered by key distribution deals and the confidence in even bigger things to come in the near future.
“In the last six months, three big international distributors bought four of our projects,” explained Timur Weinstein, General Producer at NTV. “This is very important for the Russian market and we understood it was the time to show the whole world what we believe is the Russian content revolution.”
NTV closed deals with Banijay Rights, for the entertainment show Secret for a Million; with Armoza Formats for the dramas Sleepers and Death Highway; and with Dori Media Group for the highly anticipated series The Road to Calvary, which premiered at Mipcom in a special event that included the presence of the actresses Anya Chipovskaya and Yulia Snigir.
In dialogue with ttvnews, Timur Weinstein explains the importance of those deals, the evolution of Russian TV and looks ahead to a near future with NTV occupying a major place on the co-productions landscape.
What makes this year the one for Russian TV content revolution? Russian TV is very strong right now, but we are also very young. This is because the Soviet TV of 20 years ago was very classic. It was during the last 10 or 15 years that Russian TV became stronger and now came the moment to take our contents to the world.
Do you see a genre leading this revolution? It’s a special moment for NTV and Russian TV in general because of the century mark of the Russian revolution and the fact that 3 or 4 big series have been produced about it this year. We think that historical series are having a great moment. When we saw the success gained by BBC’s series War & Peace, we thought 'why can't we, as Russians, shoot the same project'. We have a lot of professionals, directors, actors, and we believe that the quality of our projects are on par with BBC’s or any other big company on the world. It’s an important moment for us, we had a lot of conversations with people in the industry and they are saying that for the first time they are able to see such a high quality on Russian products, with no difference with projects run by other countries. That’s why we hope this would be the year of Russian TV revolution.
One of your titles, The Road to Calvary seems to be exactly that kind of high quality content. What can you tell us about it? The Road to Calvary is a brilliant content and the biggest Russian series of the year. The revolution marked the turning point of the whole Russian history, and we are reminded of so many trials and tribulations that befallen on the people of that era. The Road to Calvary, based on the novel of the great Aleksey Tolstoy, is one of the most important books that conveys the atmosphere of that era. It had an amazing reception at Mipcom and Dori Media has told us there is huge interest from other countries. We hope to have news on the upcoming months.
What is the next step on the revolution? What can we expect from NTV in the next years? During Mipcom we had a lot of new discussions with companies from Brazil, France, Israel and Portugal. Big companies that came and say 'we are ready to co-produce with you'. This happens because they see and understand the level of quality of our productions and also, very important, the lower budget, compared, for example, to producing in England. We hope that in one or two years we can come to Cannes with a lot of co-productions projects.

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