EXCLUSIVE: Emmy-Award-winning director and cinematographer Andrij Parekh (Succession, Watchman) is set to direct Red Rainbow, a dramedy series produced by Alexander Rodnyansky via his AR Content banner.
Based on true story, Red Rainbow is set in 1977 and follows a high-ranking Soviet politician who travels to West Berlin to address a socialist rally. There, he meets three young activists who impress him with their commitment to communism. On the spur of the moment, he invites them to visit Moskow to experience socialist utopia first hand and inspire young Soviets to come back home. However, what he didn’t realize was that instead of communists, he had actually invited a group of West German gay activists to the Soviet capital, where homosexuality was punishable by a lengthy prison sentence.
The series, which won the Best Project Award at the Series Mania Forum earlier this year, is a dramedy of bureaucratic blunders and cultural misunderstandings wrapped around a heart-wrenching love story exploring themes of identity, personal courage and tolerance. It’s set in a period when homosexuals and liberationists find themselves in a time and place of sexual repression and oppression.
Doctor Who and Mr. Selfridge scribe Matt Jones pens the eight-episode script, which won the Best Project Award at the Series Mania Forum earlier this year.
“I’m very happy to bring Red Rainbow into the world,” said Parekh, who won an Emmy for directing Succession. “Leading with an absurd premise, this project is incredibly nuanced and layered and promises to both challenge viewers and draw them into the relationships and the love story that unfolds against the backdrop of late 1970s Soviet Russia.”
Rodnyansky added: “We are thrilled that Andrij joined Red Rainbow as the director. I believe that this is the first time in history when a U.S. director of his caliber will direct a Russian television series. I have been a great admirer of Andrij’s work both as a director and as an incredible DP. I am excited that he will be the person to bring this incredible story to international audiences. Preparing for Red Rainbow, we have commissioned a research paper on LGBTQ+ in the USSR, which detailed everyday life of gay people there. Even in the most dangerous times and against most horrible odds, love always found a way. This is what Red Rainbow is ultimately about. It is a story about the power of love.”
The series is currently in development at AR Content.
Prolific producer Alexander Rodnyansky’s latest film Unclenching The Fists, directed by Kira Kovalenko, is Russia’s official submission for the Oscars this year.