Rain TV launches crowdfunding campaign for Russia’s first-ever political drama

Rain TV launches crowdfunding campaign for Russia's first-ever political drama
Still from Zavtra (2015)

2 March 2015

Independent Russian news channel Rain TV has launched a crowdfunding campaign for a new television series, Zavtra (Tomorrow). The new programme, described by its writers as Russia’s first-ever political drama, is set in 2018 just following the next presidential election. In the future Russia, an opposition politician unexpectedly wins the election, leaving Russia’s parliament under the control of a new, centre-left coalition. Grappling with a Russia in the midst of an energy crisis, the protagonists of Zavtra — employees of the new presidential administration — have to find a new prime minister, form a cabinet, tackle corruption and reform the country.

Natalya Sindeyeva, co-owner and general director of Rain TV, came up with the idea for the show. “The characters have sincerity, the desire to change our lives, to do everything they can to create a Russia they want to live in,” Sindeyeva said. “It’s not important that these guys have no experience, no team; it’s not important that they make mistakes … They have no desire to snatch, to rob, to come to power then to divide it all between them. They are idealists. But I, too, was and remain an idealist, despite all of our problems. And I still believe in the long and successful life of Rain. In the concept of the series, I lay out the idea that if you’re an idealist, if you have a good purpose, you will be able to overcome everything, no matter how difficult it is. And you’ll have decent people around you who will follow you.”

Rain TV has struggled to survive the last year, after it claims it became the victim of a campaign to take it off air following a controversial poll about the Siege of Leningrad. Published on Rain TV’s website last January, the poll asked readers whether Leningrad (now St Petersburg) should have been surrendered to the Nazis in order to save thousands of lives. As a result of the public backlash from politicians, bloggers and journalists, who slammed the poll as desecrating the memory of the Second World War, major cable operators dropped the beleaguered channel from their packages.

Eighteen million roubles ($289,568), Rain TV’s stated amount on Russian crowdfunding platform Planeta.ru, will cover costs associated with the production of the show, according to Sindeyeva. So far, the station has managed to collect 957,950 roubles ($15,416). Rain TV aired the pilot episode on 23 February.

Watch the pilot episode of Zavtra here: