Disney Launches New Product in Russia

MOSCOW – Disney’s Russian office has teamed up with the major state-run TV station Channel One to produce a TV series and its theatrical version.

Channel One and Disney have launched a joint production of a youth-oriented project, titled Posle Shkoly (After School), a Disney spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter.

The project, which comprises a TV series and a 3D feature film, is a dramedy based on the adventures of high school students, allowing viewers to take a short look at different true-to-life school situations.

Both the TV series and the feature are directed by Andrey Boltenko, who previously directed the final ceremony of the Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow in 2009 and the inauguration ceremony of President Dmitry Medvedev in 2008, and also worked on the popular Channel One show Fabrika Zvezd, the Russian version of StarAcademy.

Each episode will contain two cover versions of popular Soviet and Russian songs, and ten of them will make up a soundtrack to the final movie.

The Russian daily Kommersant reported that the TV series will be aired in the fall of 2012. A spokesperson for Channel One confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that the project is underway but said the channel does not reveal its programming plans in advance.

After Schoolis going to be Disney’s second movie produced in Russia for the local market. The first one, the family fantasy Kniga Masterov (The Book of Masters), directed by Vadim Sokolovsky, was released in October 2009. According to the online database KinoPoisk, it had a budget of $8 million and grossed $10.8 million in theaters.