Company InfoHeadquartered in Mumbai and founded in 2013, GoQuest Media initially built its distribution network as the leading independent global distributor of South Asian content. Building on its widespread success placing local content—both format and finished tape—across markets in territories such as Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe, GoQuest has evolved into a frontrunner in the global entertainment landscape, specializing in the distribution of drama and scripted formats from markets across the world. With additional offices in the U.K.… 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’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.”
Headquartered in Mumbai and founded in 2013, GoQuest Media initially built its distribution network as the leading independent global distributor of South Asian content. Building on its widespread success placing local content—both format and finished tape—across markets in territories such as Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe, GoQuest has evolved into a frontrunner in the global entertainment landscape, specializing in the distribution of drama and scripted formats from markets across the world. 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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