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TELEVISION Slovakia / Ukraine

The Slavs, the most expensive Slovakian TV series ever, enters production

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- The upcoming epic TV series mixes 7th-century historical content with fantasy and supernatural elements

The Slavs, the most expensive Slovakian TV series ever, enters production
On the set of The Slavs (© TV Joj)

Prolific Slovakian filmmaker Peter Bebjak (The Cleaner [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Martin Žiaran
interview: Peter Bebjak
film profile
]
, The Line [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Andrey Yermak
interview: Peter Bebjak
film profile
]
, The Rift [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, The Message) has been equally busy working on projects for the small screen (such as Behind the Glass, Rex, Stain, Justice, Widow and Dr. Ludsky, among others). He is currently directing several episodes of the ambitious television series The Slavs, the most expensive Slovakian TV series to the date. It is described as a “fictional reconstruction of a historical period with fantasy and supernatural elements”, inspired by Slovakian and Ukrainian myths and fairy tales. The Slavs marks the first foray into quality TV production within the field of Slovakian audiovisual production.

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Set in the 7th century in the Carpathian Basin, this sword-and-sorcery story takes place between two hill forts and centres on their business and power interests as well as the pressure exerted on them by the incoming Avars. The series follows young adult Draha (Polina Nosykhina) and a mysterious stranger called Vlad (Juraj Loj), whom she has saved from the first hill fort. Alongside this, there is another plotline set in the second hill fort of Furnau, focusing on fighter Radúz (Tomáš Maštalír) and his desire for offspring.

Slovakia and Ukraine are producing the series with a Slovak, Ukrainian and Czech film crew, and the budget has surpassed €4 million, representing a completely different ballpark for domestic television productions. The majority of the shoot is taking place in Ukraine. Eight of the 12 episodes have already been shot, while episodes nine and ten will follow in September. Peter Bebjak is not the sole director attached to the project: Ukrainian director Serhii Sanin and emerging Slovakian filmmaker Michal Blaško (see the news) are also sharing directorial duties.

Bebjak’s regular DoP, Martin Žiaran, is behind the camera, and Stanislav Adam and Volodymyr Ivanov are also lensing the project. Wanda Adamík Hrycová, of Wandal Production, is producing the series, along with Ukrainian producer Andrey Yermak, who were both behind Bebjak’s acclaimed crime-drama and domestic box-office hit The Line (see the news). The production of the series will continue until November 2019, followed by post-production, which is scheduled to take place until June 2020.

The Slavs is being co-produced by the European Partnership Media Group, Slovenská produkčná (TV Joj) and Wandal Production. The Ministry of Culture of Ukraine and the Slovak Audiovisual Fund have supported the project. TV Joj will be premiering the series in September 2020. Martina Lišková, of Foxx Media Group, and Slovenská produkčná are handling the international rights.

You can watch the teaser for the series below:

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