Julia Matyash, Director at Sovtelexport
Strong Russian dramas with a main female character and based on real events such as "Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes" or "Ekaterina" seem to be the Sovtelexport's hallmark. Julia Matyash, Director of the sales arm of Russia Television and Radio, talked with Señal News about those powerful titles and the company's revamped offer for MIPTV.
Russia Television and Radio titles have a strong appeal in Russia, but they have also caught international audiences' attention, for example, in Latin America. What differences do you note between those global audiences?
"First of all, any audience is interested in seeing true and sincere stories based on timeless and universal truths. People want to see real characters they can sympathize with to be fully absorbed in the plot. Undoubtedly, viewers of any nation value masterfully directed high-quality films featuring great acting performances".
Why series like 'Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes' or 'Ekaterina' could be attractive in both regions?
"Period drama is currently the leading genre in the industry. Directors keep finding new ways to create exciting and touching stories set in past eras but relevant today. Both series correspond to this ongoing trend. 'Ekaterina' is a show about a very well-known historical figure. Screenwriters can't stop looking back into the past, taking inspiration from her life and personality. They try to find new approaches to tell the story of this great, one-of-a-kind woman. 'Ekaterina' is a beautifully shot film and can surprise viewers with lush sets, a thought-through plot, gorgeous costumes, a talented cast, and brilliant acting performances. 'Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes' is based on a globally-known bestseller. The book is inspired by a real story and was translated into 34 languages, including Spanish. People are already familiar with the plot, and now they want to see it on the screen. Zuleikha's story resonates with viewers and touches their hearts. It reminds us that love gives us strength to move forward and overcome any challenges".
What are the main launches for MIPTV?
"We are pleased to present three new titles this year: 'The Optimists: Caribbean Season,' a passionate love story unfolding during the 1960s world political crisis. The series is a perfect combination of a love story, spy drama, and action enhanced by humor's light notes. Moreover, we are launching the period drama 'The Terrible,' the real story of the first Russian Tsar's love and brutality, Ivan IV. It has a brilliant cast, hundreds of extras, over a thousand historically accurate costumes, and hand-built large-scale sets that take the viewer right into the 16th century. Finally, the show perfectly complements Russia Television and Radio's signature period drama line-up is 'Call Me Mother,' a wonderful and emotional series that will strike a chord with the female audience. It is the story about a nanny saving her masters' children, and it will leave nobody indifferent".
Russia Television and Radio's catalog includes titles in Spanish. What doors have you opened with this new offer?
"Firstly, it means that we are ready to provide a buyer with required materials in a short time so they could understand the plot better and consider the relevance of the product for their audience. It also allows us to make the broadcasting process as easy, fast, and problem-free as possible. We hope it will help to expand our distribution in the Spanish-speaking countries. Secondly, Spanish is a wonderful and melodic language that adds new colors to the show. Our Spanish-speaking partners always note that Spanish dubbing makes the plot more dynamic".
Do you observe any specific growth opportunities during 2021?
"Interest in Russian content has increased significantly during the pandemic due to the growth in the number of new streaming services worldwide. New companies' focus is filling their libraries with content as distinct and different from the one presented by the major platforms. This year offers significant prospects for distributors, and we confidently look forward to success".
By Romina Rodríguez
Interest in Russian content has increased significantly during the pandemic due to the growth in the number of new streaming services worldwide” Julia Matyash Director at Sovtelexport