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.”
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