Picomedia and Banijay to produce drama series Kurgen

Leading Italian scripted producer, Picomedia, part of Asacha Media Group, and leading Russian producer WeiTMedia, part of Banijay, have partnered to co-produce a new six-part drama series, “Kurgan”.

Based on true events in 1982, the story begins in Northern Italy, where a 14-year-old boy in an affluent Italian family has a medical condition that no doctor in his country can treat. Bullied at school and desperate to fit in, he learns of a pioneering treatment by a Russian orthopaedic surgeon, Gavriil Abramovich Ilizarov, in the city of Kurgan, Siberia.

The young boy and his family are faced with a desperate choice. Will the mother sacrifice her job and enter an unknown world to help her son through nine months of painful treatment? Will their family be torn apart or survive against the odds? In a time of Cold War, will the Soviet authorities help or hinder the boy’s treatment? And will the Siberian surgeon take on the dangerous challenge of treating this Italian boy while his enemies are out to destroy his reputation and may exploit any fault or perceived failure of loyalty to the Soviet state?

In the end, “Kurgan” is a story about something that transcends politics and unites women of all nationalities – the power of a mother’s love for her son.

Co-written by Russian and Italian scriptwriters, the 6x60 minutes series will be produced in both languages with an Italian female lead and Russian male counterpart.

Yulia Sumacheva, CEO at WeiTMedia says: “This cross-border drama will take viewers into a deeply moving and thrilling true story, filmed predominantly in the Siberian city of Kurgan where Ilizarov’s hospital continues to operate to this day. With international demand for Russian drama continuing to grow, our partnership with Picomedia for “Kurgan” will authentically capture both the Italian and Russian themes of this series, which will enthral audiences everywhere.”

Roberto Sessa, founder of Picomedia says: “At Picomedia we were hoping to find an extraordinary story based on true events and were thrilled to find one that brought together Russian and Italian communities during the era of the Iron Curtain. This set the stage for our collaboration with WeiT Media, and we are excited to work with them on this international co-production.”
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