Global Series Network (GSN) has picked up the Russian series The Sect to air on the Walter Presents VOD platform in the U.K. and Ireland.
The eight-part drama is directed by Gela Babluani, who previously worked on Money and 13 Tzameti. It follows psychotherapist Demidov (Evgeny Koriakovsky) and nurse Lilya (Svetlana Khodchenkova), who are behind a covert sect-deprogramming venture, specializing in controversial methods of liberating members from dangerous sects.
Videoplugger landed the deal, which marks the first Russian drama picked up by Walter Presents.
Walter Iuzzolino, co-founder and curator of Walter Presents, said, “I’ve been looking for a glossy, gripping, contemporary Russian series for some time and this one has definitely been worth the wait. The Sect is a beautiful, haunting psychological thriller with an original story and a bold cinematic approach. Unflinchingly honest, at times brutal with a distinct uncompromising Russian flavor, this is an exciting first foray for Walter Presents into a previously untapped region.”
Babluani commented, “The adventure of The Sect started after a meeting with my friend Anton Shchukin, an amazing producer-writer from Good Story Media. I loved the idea of the pitch, the project was very ambitious but had a real challenge: creating a series not only for the local market but also with an international appeal. And I got very lucky with my amazing cast. The first episode garnered great interest from international buyers, and I felt Emanuele Galloni at Videoplugger had a great approach and vision for the project. The Sect was released on TNT-premiere in Russia with remarkable ratings, becoming part of the top-five premieres ever made on that platform. We’re delighted the acclaimed global drama service Walter Presents will champion the series in the U.K. and hope this will ignite interest from other territories.”
Emanuele Galloni, CEO of Videoplugger, added, “The Sect being picked up by Channel 4’s streaming service Walter Presents, one of the top hotspots for foreign-language drama in the U.K., is a great achievement for Videoplugger. A recognition of our hard work cherry-picking great drama for international representation and distribution from all over the world. We are particularly proud that this has happened with The Sect, the latest of work of award-winning director Gela Babluani, with whom we have been cooperating closely for quite some time. We look forward to seeing the series travel much further internationally.”