Netflix Underway On First Russian Original Drama ‘Anna K’, Streamer Discusses European Growth — Series Mania

Anna Khodchenkova
Anna Khodchenkova Netflix

Netflix has revealed that filming is underway on its first major Russian drama series, Anna K.

Filming began early this month on the Russian Original, a contemporary retelling of Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel Anna Karenina.

Svetlana Khodchenkova (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) is starring as Anna Karenina in the series, which is filming in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia. The series is set in modern day Russia, where socialite Anna Karenina, the wife of the soon-to-become governor of St. Petersburg, enters a life-changing love affair with Vronsky, the dashing heir of an aluminum empire. Their affair quickly careens out of control, threatening the delicate balance of their familial bonds and social relationships.

Anna Nagler, Director, Local Language Originals, CEE, Russia and Poland, disclosed the start of production during a Series Mania panel about the streamer’s European growth.

The audience heard that the number of viewers for Netflix’s non-English language programming doubled in 2020 compared to 2019.

Larry Tanz, Vice President of Original Series for Europe, Middle East and Africa, noted that the streamer’s Stockholm office opened today. This follows Netflix openings in Amsterdam, London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, and Istanbul earlier this summer.

Tanz recognized the growing power of local programming, saying the streamer now dubs in 34 languages and subtitles in 37 languages.

Damien Couvreur, Vice President of French Series, noted that the streamer will be launching 27 films and series out of France in 2021. Among upcoming highlights are Call My Agent creator Fanny Herrero’s next show Drole, about a Paris comedy club, and drug world action-crime series Braquers (Ganglands), based on the movie of the same name.

Couvreur said that the biggest challenge in terms of maintaining its pace of growth, will be talent: “Talent will be key. You need to have talent to write and create these stories. That’s why we’re dedicated to developing the next wave of talent.”

Tanz added: “We constantly need to delight our audience and members,” noting that the number of new members joining from different parts of the world meant that there was a responsibility to produce content that reflects those members.

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