Star Media Readies Two Major Co-Productions for 2020

Known for its historical dramas, the Russian group is now developing an array of new titles for the upcoming years, including two large-scale co-productions: The Heart of Parma with Russia One and The Imperial Spy, with Fremantle and CTC.

As one of the leading producers and distributors of Russian and international content, Star Media currently boasts a portfolio of over 6700 hours of content, which comprises more than 450 titles.

And if this number wasn’t impressive enough, the company is now on a mission to expand its production slate even further. “Now in production until the end of this year, plus next year, we have close to 400 hours, 43 titles,” Vlad Riashyn, general producer of Star Media, said to ttvnews.

According to the executive, while most of the projects are for the Russian-speaking market, many of them are in development with international and local partners. And in this regard, there are two major projects that stand out among the rest.

“One of our biggest ones is The Heart of Parma. It’s a large-scale local production project with Russia One,” he explained. “It will be a feature film released in the beginning of 2021, plus an eight-episode version.”

The Heart of Parma is a historical drama based on the very famous Russian novel by Alexei Ivanov, about the standoff of two worlds: the Great Principality of Moscow and the Ural Parma, ancient Permian lands inhabited by pagans.

“We are now in negotiations with a worldwide distributor,” the executive revealed.

The other major project, which is now “in its very final stages”, is The Imperial Spy, another eight-hour historical drama, produced with Fremantle International and CTC Russia.

“Overall, we are in the development stages for 9 to 10 projects, which we are developing with our partners from Europe. And also two projects which we are developing with our partners in the US,” he added, explaining that they will be able to announce further details “very soon”.

In addition to its upcoming productions, Star Media has found great success in the sale department this year, with deals signed wit partners such as History in France, TVN in Poland and, more importantly, the growth of its alliance with Amazon Prime Video.

“More than 50 countries around the world acquire our productions,” he explained. “But one of the most special highlights is our partnership with Amazon Prime Video. We started by launching a small package of productions two years ago and we’ve increased the number several times to over 80 productions.”

Amazon Prime Video isn’t the only digital platform Star Media has been able to conquer, as the company has also become a major player on YouTube. “We have a multichannel platform on YouTube with a total number of subscribers of 8 million, and close to 4 billion views per year,” he said.

“And each month that number increases by an average of 100 million,” he added.

Lastly, the executive highlighted its efforts and achievements in the anti-piracy area, which have been “significant” over the past few years.

“Our content protection technologies are rapidly developing. Currently Star Media has reached over 25% efficiency blocking illegal links, not only to our content but also to our partners’ productions as well. Not only in Russia but also overseas,” he said.

“And now we started our first test project with a US partner in the territory of MENA for one of the biggest American titles. We’ll start this project in the next months,” he concluded.