The Director of Sovtelexport, the official sales branch of Russia Television and Radio explains how the company is adapting to the current times and describes the potential of the new Russian drama "Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes."
In moments where the productions are stoped and the releases have been delayed, Sovtelexport, the official sales branch of Russia Television and Radio is prepared to face the current times with a strong catalogue of high-end Russian dramas to satisfy the increasing international demand. Julia Matyash, Director of Sovtelexport, brings more details about it.
How Russia Television and Radio is facing the Covid-19 crisis?
“As wise people say, every crisis, besides the difficulties, offers new opportunities. We prefer to accept the current situation from this perspective. We are lucky to be packed with new impressive content produced already and wait for some more dramas and documentaries to be finished this year. While the industry faces the lack of new products, we’ve got more opportunities to draw international buyers’ attention to high-end Russian titles from our catalogue."
What are the Russia Television and Radio highlights in the spring slate?
"The main focus of our distribution efforts today is an amazing drama 'Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes'. Based on a sweeping, multi-award winning novel, published in 35 countries, it became the best drama series in Russia this year. More than 36.5 mln viewers have watched 'Zuleikna' on TV and more than 30 mln on the internet by now. A very inspiring and magical story of a woman who resists tragic circumstances, who finds the power to love her enemy and wisdom to accept the situation resonates with the current unusual situation worldwide. Masterful director’s work and brilliant actors’ performance, as well as unique settings and historically accurate recreation of the world of the story, make it a real masterpiece and thrilling adventure for the viewers. We already see the great interest of our partners to 'Zuleikha' on the international market. We also continue the story of success of our bestseller 'Ekaterina' expanding the territories and audiences with the 3rd season of the series. Supported by our extremely demanded 'Anna Karenina', 'Godunov' and 'Sophia' it makes our offer of classical and costume dramas really unique. And definitely we are in great anticipation of the new series about the most famous and controversial Russian tsar Ivan Grozny, which is coming soon."
Did you develop new distribution strategies?
"The cancellation of the major markets this year definitely made us implement big changes in our distribution strategies. Digital editions of the major industrial magazines got great importance and offer new possibilities. Owning the vast audience of subscribers, they suggest a kind of alternative to the international markets. In our work, we are inclined to combine different digital platforms and events as this market is at the very beginning of its development. We were participating in MipTV Online+ this year. It was the first event of this kind which gave us an interesting and useful experience for the future. We are also looking forward to new digital events which have appeared recently. One of the promising examples coming soon is Key Buyers Event which will be hosted by Roskino from 8 June."
What is your best insight into the future of the industry?
"The world is undergoing changes that never happened before. The recent situation showed how important are the news, especially the iconic news, produced by trustworthy social media channels. As well the gradual disappearance of the borders between linear and OTT brings new challenges and opportunities to Social Media Broadcasters. On the one hand, they produce iconic news, on the other hand, they are actively moving towards OTT services. Being as well the major holders of huge entertainment, educational, and publicist programs libraries in their countries, they have unique possibilities now for launching successful hybrid platforms of the new generation."
By Romina Rodríguez
While the industry faces the lack of new products, we’ve got more opportunities to draw international buyers’ attention to high-end Russian titles from our catalogue” Julia Matyash Director of Sovtelexport