U.S. Producers Look to Russia for Post Pandemic Opportunities – Variety


Although worldwide movie and TV manufacturing is at present halted due the pandemic, Russia is changing into extra engaging for potential partnerships as soon as lockdown restrictions raise.

That was the takeaway of a panel held through the Key Consumers Occasion: Digital Version organized by Russian promotional entity Roskino moderated by Variety’s Leo Barraclough who chatted with Marc Lorber, senior VP worldwide co-productions and acquisitions at Lionsgate, and David Ellender, CEO of Los Angeles-based Sonar Leisure. 

Lorber mentioned Lionsgate has a BBC drama sequence on hiatus within the U.Okay., which he hopes will return into manufacturing in September, and “about 20 sequence within the U.S. that every one stopped in numerous types of prep, pre-production or submit manufacturing” due to the coronavirus outbreak. Fortunately the corporate managed to end submit within the nick of time on “Love Life,” which dropped Could 27 on HBO Max within the U.S.

Ellender mentioned Sonar, which is thought for “Das Boot,” and extra lately Al Pacino-starrer “Hunters” for Amazon Prime, equally has “a number of exhibits in submit and are readying quite a lot of productions that they “hope to get moving into 2021.”

Getting ready to return to bodily manufacturing internationally, Lorber mentioned he’s is combing by means of coronavirus security tips popping out in lots of nations, and likewise watching “a few of the larger streamer productions which are trying to begin sooner,” as a result of they’ve broader shoulders and may be “the guinea pigs,” he mentioned, including: “we’ll observe on their again, hopefully.”

Each Lorber and Ellender agreed that when issues enhance they are going to be trying for alternatives in Russia. Lorber famous that he lived and labored in Moscow in 2005 and 2006 whereas working for Sony, and mentioned he hopes “to get again there and work there once more.”

Ellender pointed to “the plethora of platforms within the Russian market” and the expansion of native manufacturing, particularly on the TV aspect. He singled out producer Alex Kessel’s firm Sputnik Vostok, with which Sonar has a relationship, noting that they’re the primary firm in Russia with titles each on Amazon Prime (“Londongrad”) and on Netflix as an unique (“Higher Than Us”), which, he mentioned, “actually does open up Russian tv to the worldwide market.”

“Alex has 4 or 5 exhibits within the Russian market with main platforms and a few of the latest channels,” famous Ellender, who added that there are “probably many different” Russian gamers that could possibly be a great match.

“These creators are trying round and saying: ‘we’ve received different tales that we wish to inform the world, but in addition we wish to invite you in!,’” he mentioned.



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