At this year's Series Mania Forum, an event dedicated to the development of the genre of television series, the pitching sessions award went to “Red Rainbow,” a project presented and to be produced by Ukrainian and Russian film and television producer Alexander Rodnyansky and AR Content/NonStop Productions.
“Red Rainbow” is based on the true story of a gay delegation from West Berlin invited by mistake to the Soviet Union in 1977, when homosexuality was illegal. The Secretary of the Soviet Central Committee, Ivan Kapitonov, was introduced to a group of young men he understood were “young communists” while on an official visit. He invited them to visit the Soviet Union, and a few months later two German men and an English woman — and a bulldog — arrive in the capital. In Moscow the translator is tasked with hiding the visitors’ sexuality while not letting them know that she is doing so. Chaos, it is presumed, ensues.
The “Red Rainbow” was one of 560 submissions from 59 countries, and one of 15 projects that made the final cut for a live pitch.
On his Instagram account Rodnyansky wrote that they were “incredibly happy” that they won the award, which carries a cash prize of $59,000 for development. “This series isn’t just entertaining, it’s truly important and relevant to discussions today about intolerance of “other” – people whose sexual orientation, religion, race or political beliefs differ from the majority.”
Rodnyansky is one of the most successful and respected film directors and producers working in Russia, Ukraine, and the international market today. His films include the award-winning “Beanpole,” “Loveless,” “Leviathan,” and “Elena.”
The script for “Red Rainbow” was written by British screenwriter Matt Jones, who has written for “Torchwood,” “Dr. Who,” and "Mr. Selfridge,” and other television series.