Janson Releases Acclaimed Russian Spy Drama The Optimists

Janson Releases Acclaimed Russian Spy Drama The Optimists

Janson Media today announced the worldwide English-speaking VOD release of the highly-acclaimed new Russian drama series The Optimists. Produced for Russia's Channel One, this spy drama series, set during the peak of the Cold War, brings a 1960's "Mad Men" aesthetic to the Nikita Khrushchev-era. The show opens during the 1959 American National Exhibition in Sokolniki and continues to unravel the Russian and American acts of espionage and the personal lives affected by the fragile geopolitical picture.

The series stars Yuriy Maslak, Margarita Adayeva, Vladimir Chuprikov, Vladimir Vdovichenkov, Severija Janusauskaite, Egor Koreshkov, and Rinal Mukhametov.

The Russian language series is subtitled in English, and is now available for EST (electronic sell-through), or free to Amazon Prime Video subscribers, the United States, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.

The Optimists was produced by Valeriy Todorovskiy and Anton Zlatopolskiy, and directed by Alexei Popogrebsky. It was created by Mikhail Idov, the Latvian-born American who lives and works in Berlin.

Idov was interviewed by Andy Fry for an article on the series "From Russia with Love," for Drama Quarterly. “The show addresses something that Russian TV has not done before,” says Idov. “Usually, when Russian TV looks back at this era it does so in wistful manner – focusing on it as a time of innocence, hope and really cool sundresses. But this show explores the fraught relationship between the Soviets and West. What will appeal to the international audience is that it explores the Cold War from a vantage point that most of them haven’t seen – that of the Soviets. This doesn’t mean the Russians are good guys and the US are bad guys; that would be reductive and silly. But it does mean the Russians are the main characters. So we get to see how their personal lives are affected by the geopolitical picture. We get to see their intrigues, hopes, dreams and tragedies.” Read the rest of Fry's article and the interview here.

The series won the 2018 Golden Eagle Award for Best Television Series from Russia's National Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences of Russia.

Buy or watch The Optimists on Amazon Prime Video now.

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