Company InfoGoQuest Media is a leading independent global distributor of entertainment content, specializing in bringing the best of international drama and scripted formats to new audiences worldwide. Our carefully curated catalog is the culmination of sifting through and choosing high-quality stories with an international appeal from non-traditional geographies. We have successfully placed our titles on global platforms like Disney+ Hotstar, Globoplay, SBS, VOYO and Telemundo, among others. Headquartered in Mumbai, with additional offices in the U.K. and Vietnam and a local… Read more
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Vivek LathManaging Director
Jimmy GeorgeVP, Sales & Acquisitions
Mikaela PerezSales, LatAm, Spain & U.S. Hispanic
Ofelya TovmasyanSales, CEE, CIS & Western Europe
GoQuest Spotlights Corporate Revenge Drama Troll Farm
A former corporate diva ends up creating a secret business to take down shady corporations in Troll Farm, a Lithuanian comedy-drama from Dansu Films that GoQuest Media has added to its expanding slate of titles for the international stage.
“Troll Farm first caught our attention in 2021, when it became the inaugural winner of the most promising project award at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival’s TV Beats Forum,” explains Rakesh Vasani, global head of content acquisition at GoQuest. “It went on to be one of the 16 new series to be featured in EFM’s Berlinale Series Market this year.”
“In Gabija Siurbyte, the producer’s own words, ‘Troll Farm germinated from the ambition to create Lithuania’s first-ever high-end drama series with a strong female lead.’ This fits strongly with two goals we always have when finding content for the GoQuest slate: It needs to be a high-quality production suitable to feature across platforms and networks, and the series has to have a powerful story and a strong lead,” he says.
The five-part drama follows as Ana, played by Siurbyte, is fired from the cosmetic empire she founded as a scapegoat for its wrongdoings and embarks on a crusade of vengeance. Armed with Agriculture for Dummies and extensive corporate experience, she ends up running two farms to cover her underground business, Troll Farm, targeting exploitative companies. As she becomes blinded by her desire for revenge, however, she begins to turn into the same manipulative person she is determined to fight.
Vasani and the GoQuest team were eager to take on the title, as “the exciting topical subject and the fact that the characters are completely relatable make Troll Farm a great watch and a show with exceptional format potential.”
The series was directed by Ernestas Jankauskas, who runs Dansu Films with Siurbyte. His previous directorial ventures Sasha was Here and I Am Fine, Thanks were nominated for awards at the Odesa International Film Festival and the Warsaw International Film Festival, respectively. “Ernestas brings this passion into Troll Farm, directing a very competent cast led by Gabija and riding on a powerful story debating moral rights and wrongs in a society led/misled by online news and content,” Vasani says.
Siurbyte not only acts in and produces the series through Dansu Films, but also serves as showrunner. She “is a multihyphenate,” Vasani says. “Gabija leads Troll Farm with mastery, playing the role of an ousted CEO-turned-vigilante with strength and emotion.”
The title adds to GoQuest’s slate of dramas from Central and Eastern Europe, which have been finding success internationally. “We have sold titles like Traitor, Civil Servant and Rats from Estonia, Serbia and the Czech Republic, respectively, in Latin America, Australia, India and Europe to major international platforms, including Disney+ Hotstar, Voyo, Telemundo, SBS, Globoplay and more,” says Vasani.
“Over the last few years, we’ve seen numerous examples of non-English-language titles that have topped popular lists on streaming giants and international television awards,” Vasani continues. “We’re also in interesting times, where, with writers in the U.S. on strike, more and more commissioners are venturing out to look at content from literally all parts of the world. The economics of the market call for greater visibility on catalogs like ours, and this series enriches our offering.”
Troll Farm was the perfect addition to the catalog in GoQuest’s eyes, since it “aligns with our focus and commitment to find and bring to the world hidden gems from non-traditional markets,” he says. “It also fits with how global audiences are responding to shows that are not from Hollywood and the U.K.”
GoQuest Media Embarks On Polish Crusade
GoQuest Media represents a slate of diverse dramas across a range of categories for the international stage. One area in which the company is rapidly expanding its catalog is the crime drama space. A current highlight is the Polish police procedural Crusade, in which detectives from the crime and criminal terror division of the Warsaw Metropolitan Police investigate a spate of murders and kidnappings of celebrities.
“Crusade came up when we were discussing acquiring Erinyes from TVP,” says Jimmy George, VP of sales and acquisitions at GoQuest. “We found it to be the perfect binge-watch for crime drama enthusiasts. It was pacy, had an exciting storyline and, like most procedurals, you could pick up where you left off, and it would suck you right back into the action.”
“After the success we had placing crime action thrillers like Civil Servant and Traitor on international networks and OTT platforms, Crusade was a natural fit that expanded our offering in the genre,” George adds.
The 13-part series sees an organized terrorist group murder people who are pillars of society, including an influential TV journalist and an MP, in an attempt to turn the social and economic order around and influence cultural transformation. “They firmly believe that is the natural way human civilization will develop,” George explains. Director Łukasz Ostalski “has kept this honesty of purpose intact. There is no lens of moral judgment presented to you. People’s motivations are made clear. The terrorists finding kinship in an investigator who had a troubled childhood and manipulating him to push their agenda just goes to show that there is a complicated vortex of history, Polish politics, technology and psychological manipulation at play here.”
The show also allows viewers to “see a wide cityscape of Warsaw and across social strata,” he says. “We get into the homes of the elite and rich, witnessing their wild shenanigans and exploitations. But we also get to sit with the underprivileged young men in their modest homes internalizing their suffering and understanding the purpose of their action—to cause mass terror. The eternal battle of the haves versus the have-nots set against the workings of a flawed criminal justice system set in a new but quite familiar landscape will be interesting to watch.”
Adding Crusade to the catalog helps to feed the growing interest GoQuest is seeing for Polish content. “When Poland became the focal point of Netflix’s investment last year in Central and Eastern Europe, it brought to the international market a slate of high-quality and critically acclaimed crime dramas,” George says. “We see this interest only growing and have made important investments in our slate to cater to this appetite.”
The Ostalski-directed series is one example of a title that feeds this appetite, allowing audiences to “find comfort in watching competent, capable heroes working together to solve problems,” notes George. “It is very much in the format of prevalent procedural dramas currently popular worldwide, so its familiar narrative combined with suspenseful action, undiscovered locations, strong acting and a new mystery to solve in every episode makes it appealing to audiences across the board.”
Ultimately, adding the show to the catalog fits in with GoQuest’s overall mission: “to continue building a strong catalog of titles that can help a platform bring the best of international drama to their audiences.”
Polish Crime Dramas Pack a Punch for GoQuest Media
The team at GoQuest Media has developed expertise in introducing international dramas, hailing from all corners of the world, to global audiences. Two of its latest, Erinyes and Crusade, are crime dramas from Poland’s TVP.
“We were introduced to the titles in the early summer of last year, and both dramas had us divided in terms of which one we liked the best,” says Ofelya Tovmasyan, who heads up sales for CEE, CIS and Western Europe at GoQuest Media. “We discovered and recognized that Erinyes, as a period crime drama starring the formidable Marcin Dorociński (we had just watched The Queen’s Gambit, in which he plays Vasily Borgov, aka ‘The Russian’) and with its unconventional narrative and setting, would cause quite a stir internationally. Crusade, on the other hand, was a thrilling, keeps-you-on-the-edge, unputdownable experience that we just knew would be a big hit with audiences that love pacy, action-packed crime dramas. Both titles have it in them to make it big internationally, and we’re so privileged to have the opportunity to present them to platforms worldwide.”
Erinyes is based on short stories by Marek Krajewski, the setting of which are pre- and postwar Lviv and Wrocław. The main character is Edward Popielski, a detective inspector of great intellect and physical strength who is tormented by visions caused by epilepsy, which he uses to his advantage in investigations. He works as an officer of the law but operates outside of it.
Crusade focuses on the investigations conducted by Detective Jan “Manjaro” Góra and his colleagues from the crime and criminal terror division of the Warsaw Metropolitan Police. The victims include celebrities and powerful people. At first glance, the cases are not linked. However, it soon becomes clear that the kidnappings and murders are connected. The detectives eventually discover that behind these crimes stands an anti-system terrorist organization operating in Warsaw.
“Whenever we add titles to our catalog, the intent is always to ensure that the content is not only rooted locally but also speaks the language that audiences can understand wherever they are in the world,” says Tovmasyan. “Erinyes may be set in pre- and postwar Poland and paint a vivid picture of the borderlands in those times, but the context of one man’s mission to rid the world of evil remains universal. Edward Popielski (Dorociński) is very much an avenger of modern times; he bends the rules, follows the unconventional path and is a deeply troubled man. Still, his unflinching faith in the evolution of humankind toward good is inspiring. A similar conflict sets the base for Crusade, in which a group of underprivileged, indoctrinated, quasi-Mansonesque youngsters undertake to uproot the corrupt elite of society while keeping the police force and one particular investigator, Commissioner Jan Góra (Julian Swiezewski), on their toes.”
Tovmasyan adds that these are “exciting stories shot and acted beautifully and relate well to all cultures and people. They are binge-worthy, premium productions catering to audience demands on both TV and OTT. They fit right into the programming strategy of platforms that want to bring their audiences the best of international content.”
These two TVP dramas add even more diversity to the GoQuest Media slate and “align with our strategy of finding hidden gems from countries traditional distributors don’t go looking in,” Tovmasyan says. The company’s catalog features content from Ukraine, Estonia, Serbia, the Czech Republic and Poland. Titles have gone on to be placed in platforms around the world such as Disney+ Hotstar, Globoplay, VOYO, SBS, Telemundo, WOWOW and others.
This all reinforces GoQuest Media’s belief that “great stories will, simply put, travel well,” Tovmasyan adds. “That’s all that audiences ask for, and we’re here to partner with platforms to bring it to them.”
And the breadth of platform partners bringing programming to viewers has been increasing, notably through AVOD services. “The AVOD business is developing rapidly in Europe, and in a couple of years, it might even dominate the OTT market,” Tovmasyan says. “The reach of content will immensely increase and find resonance with a broader audience. I believe this and FAST channels will open new business opportunities and new windows for content to travel further.”
The overall aim for GoQuest Media, according to Tovmasyan, is to continue adding “compelling, unique and premium titles from around the world to our growing portfolio. Speaking regularly to our clients enables us to get a feel of what kind of programming will appeal to international viewers, which in turn helps us in our strategy. GoQuest’s approach is to make sure that we have a carefully curated catalog, thus ensuring that clients have content that fits their programming needs, leading to entertaining and retaining viewer loyalty.”
GoQuest’s Sacrificiul Embraces Strong Female Leads & Global Storytelling
The story of three sisters who were separated as children and reunited years later by the fortuitous connection of their own kids plays out in Sacrificiul, a drama that GoQuest Media is bringing out to the international market. The show, from Romania, is but one example of the type of diverse global content that GoQuest has in its portfolio.
“We are always on the lookout to expand our catalog of long-running series and keep a variety that will suit various platforms and networks’ audiences,” says Vivek Lath, managing director of GoQuest. “Eastern Europe has been upping the ante in both production and storytelling, and Sacrificiul from Romania came across as a series with a lot of potential—in terms of story and production as well as the creative team and talent telling the story.”
Lath and the GoQuest team were keen to take Sacrificiul on for their sales slate for several reasons, he explains: “Sacrificiul has a wholesome, multigenerational appeal with enough surprises and plot twists to keep the audience hooked. It is an easy watch while telling a very emotional story and has great potential to attract drama-watching audiences across cultures.”
In the series, the sisters—married into the Oprea, Zamfir and Popescu families—have been raised with different upbringings and live disparate lives. After a secret affair that irreversibly brings their destinies together comes to light, they can’t think of a way to make a truce for the sake of their children.
The emotional rollercoaster narrates a story of what it means to love and sacrifice everything for love and how multiple generations in a family have to pay the price of one person’s wrongdoing.
“While the uniqueness of a show is a crucial element for its success, sometimes the value of a show lies in its ability to blend with other series,” Lath says. “For a while now, we have been following how broadcasters invest in local productions as they perform better with the audiences. Sacrificiul can blend in seamlessly with local productions, especially in dubbing markets.”
“Sacrificiul stars some of the finest stalwarts of Romanian theater and television,” he adds. The cast includes Maia Morgenstern, known to the international market from playing the mother of Jesus in Mel Gibson’s epic biblical drama The Passion of the Christ; Mihai Gruia Sandu, known for The Rest is Silence, which was Romania’s submission for the 2009 Academy Award for best foreign language film.
The series is produced by acclaimed Romanian screenwriter, producer, composer and director Ruxandra Ion, “who has many firsts to her name,” Lath points out. “She created Romania’s first soap opera, Numai iubirea; the first music series [in the country], Pariu cu viața; and is the first independent producer of children’s shows in Eastern Europe.”
The characters from the show are truly global, Lath adds. “We had people at MIPCOM commenting on how the female protagonist looked like she could be Turkish, Asian or Latin American. In keeping with this year’s trend of audiences lapping up strong female characters, Sacrificiul is driven by strong women who overcome various challenges while holding their own. It’s an out-and-out drama piece that will appeal to drama lovers the world over.”
Sacrificiul continues in the vein of GoQuest’s strategy to “bring the best of local content to the world,” Lath says. “It is a perfect title to sit well in the family/romantic genre in the long-running space that we have been curating for our catalog. We believe stories of family, love and sacrifice tug firmly at the hearts of drama lovers worldwide. They will appreciate the novelty and variety that a title like Sacrificiul will add to their list of must-watch dramas.”
SHOWCASE: GoQuest & the Global Possibilities of a Good Story
Central to GoQuest Media’s aim to stack its slate with titles with unquestionable international appeal, it seeks out stories whose narratives are authentic and whose geographical, social, cultural or political environment can connect with viewers across the globe. A strong story will find an audience anywhere, which has led to GoQuest successfully sending international titles to a slew of markets, from Latin America to Japan.
“If I were to rephrase a quote from Ernest Hemingway: ‘There is no friend as loyal as a book,’ I would say, ‘There is no friend as loyal as a good story’ when it comes to the success of a film or TV drama,” says Ofelya Tovmasyan, head of sales for CEE, CIS and Western Europe at GoQuest. “GoQuest has stayed loyal to its main mission of finding the best stories from around the world and bringing them to new audiences, irrespective of where they originated from.”
Within GoQuest’s compelling catalog of globally resonant titles are several from Serbia and Estonia. “These titles have now reached global platforms and will give the audience a chance to uncover stories that are not set in the usual destinations you see in international content these days,” says Tovmasyan. “The audience will get to see a local’s perspective on a story set in the very modern Balkans.”
The Serbian title Secrets of the Grapevine tells a love story between winemakers who are separated following a tragic event but find their way back to each other two decades later. In its third season, Civil Servant, another Serbian title on GoQuest’s slate, sees public servants rise up and fight when the world halts and health and survival become the only things that matter. An Estonian series, Traitor’s second season follows Alfred Vint as he continues to serve the Russian intelligence service and the Estonian Ministry of Defence as he keeps a close watch on the new committee head of the Estonian Internal Security Service, his wife Heli joining him in the espionage. There is also the Czech crime drama Rats, which is about a young drug dealer as he fights for his life.
GoQuest has been bringing such stories from the CEE region to global platforms, including Disney+ Hotstar, Globo, SBS, WOWOW and Telemundo. Tovmasyan expects that as the Covid-19 pandemic keeps winding down, the content business and the economics that propel it will continue to demand an international content mix. “Social media has expanded the audience’s inclination to watch content from all over the world, and with international programming providing high quality at a favorable price point, foreign-language content is set to find more and more new audiences,” she explains.
Tovmasyan goes on to note that there remain certain territories in which local productions still dominate and where risks on foreign content—with both broadcasters and streamers alike—are fewer and farther between. However, she predicts that the success in other territories will pave the way for more to follow. Tovmasyan also believes that the market is shifting back to appointment viewing after a long stretch favoring the SVOD binge model and that programming executives are keen to slate narrative styles and locations that are unfamiliar to audiences.
“Demand for long-running series on streaming platforms is growing, and we are working on bringing on board multiple long-running titles that will have the audience returning to the platform on a daily or weekly basis,” Tovmasyan says.
Looking ahead at GoQuest, Tovmasyan sees the company focusing on continuing to bolster its catalog of international drama titles. “We have a strong pipeline of content flowing to Western Europe, the U.S. and Latin America and will continue to add to this,” she says. “We are also investing resources into strengthening our co-production and original series production team, which is currently working with local writers to adapt or write original scripts for OTT platforms.”
GoQuest Media is a leading independent global distributor of entertainment content, specializing in bringing the best of international drama and scripted formats to new audiences worldwide. Our carefully curated catalog is the culmination of sifting through and choosing high-quality stories with an international appeal from non-traditional geographies. We have successfully placed our titles on global platforms like Disney+ Hotstar, Globoplay, SBS, VOYO and Telemundo, among others. Headquartered in Mumbai, with additional offices in the U.K. and Vietnam and a local sales presence in Istanbul and the CEE, GoQuest continues to strongly expand its catalog and distribution footprint around the globe.
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