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'Anna K' Producing Duo on How the Ukraine War Has Hit Russia's Booming TV Industry

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The powerhouse producing duo behind Netflix’s first Russian original describe how the war has impacted production in the surging industry.
Powerhouse producers Valeriy Fedorovich and Evgeniy Nikishov, the creative duo behind Netflix’s first Russian original series, “Anna K,” quietly left 1-2-3 Production in early March and are now focused on their Moscow-based shingle MC2. Though the announcement was formally made just days removed from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Fedorovich said the plan to leave the Gazprom-Media-backed production outfit had been set in motion long ago.
“When we set up our own company, it was clear that we [would] have to say goodbye to 1-2-3 Production,” Fedorovich told Variety. “We used to work for others; now we want to work for ourselves.”
As the co-heads of the Moscow-based outfit which they launched in 2018, Fedorovich and Nikishov were the creative force behind the plague thriller “To the Lake,” a series that made top 10 lists across the globe after it was acquired by Netflix, and wrapped production last year on the streamer’s first original Russian drama series, “Anna K,” a contemporary retelling of Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel “Anna Karenina.” They were also tapped to produce the Netflix original series “Nothing Special.”
But the war in Ukraine, which entered its fourth month this week, has left many high-profile Russian film and TV projects in limbo, as global streaming platforms, international distributors and a range of industry partners have either suspended or pressed pause on their Russian operations. Fedorovich and Nikishov could not comment on the status of either of the two Netflix series currently in the pipeline. Also uncertain is the fate of “Dreams of Alice,” a supernatural teen drama that the pair pitched at Berlinale Series Market Selects this year.

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