Alina Martyanova, Head of International Department, Sreda Production | Did the Soap Opera Bubble Burst or is it Still Expanding?

Do you think that the soap opera format is at its peak or is it in a crisis?

I believe there is no such thing as crisis for any type of genre as tastes differ and any genre finds it fans. There is still a large amount of viewers that appreciate soap operas much more than for example Nordic Noir. People like to watch soap operas as they are lighter in mood, you don’t have to concentrate or overthink, it’s all about pleasant time with good old well-known characters that become part of your daily life.

SREDA Production is one of the most successful Russian production company that even sold its projects to Netflix. What makes your product so outstanding and recognized? What are your main competitors?

We always wanted to produce something out of the box, something that people would watch and could definitely say: well this is Sreda style. Blood, sex, violence is what we like. We are our main competitors as we only want to do better than we did last time and that’s the trickiest challenge. 

Can we expect more of the Russian content in the CEE region?

Absolutely, we are working on it but it depends more on buyers basically so we hope they will work on it as well:)

What kind of content is mostly viewed in Russia? What kind of soap operas do Russians like?

Current Russia is a country of cop stories, probably the most popular genre on tv though it was very different 20 years ago. Russian channels have been showing the best of Brazilian soap operas and they were extremely popular, especially among women. The stories were discussed everywhere, the characters were like relatives, women really cared about what happened with Ricardo in a previous episode when he found his twin brother who disappeared 20 years ago. Right now this kind of success came to Turkish tv-series: on Russian tv-channel for woman audience they have “Magnificent Century”, “1001 night” and some other Turkish soap opera hits.

You’ve had a few adaptation projects that turned out to be very popular and well received. You also sell formats that are being remade elsewhere. What do you personally prefer, original production or adaptations?

For now our company took this course when we don’t want more adaptations. It was great to start with them but adapted product is never something that belongs to you 100%. Our ambitions are further than that now. And even if sometimes we have a strong temptation to adapt a successful story and show it through our perception we’re fighting against it and pass as we don’t want to be followers, we want to be followed.