Sky today releases the official first look trailer for brand new series ONCE UPON A TIME IN LONDONGRAD directed by Oscar® nominated filmmaker Jed Rothstein (Killing In The Name, WeWork) coming to Sky Documentaries and NOW from 31st May. The six-part series is produced by Oscar® and Emmy® winning production company, Rise Films in association with Universal International Studios, a division of Universal Studio Group, BuzzFeed Studios and Concordia Studio - for Sky Documentaries.
Investigative reporter Heidi Blake receives a tip on the death of a multi-millionaire property tycoon, leading her to uncover a web of death that entangles Russian oligarchs, 10 Downing Street and Washington, D.C. Set across Vladimir Putin’s two decades in power, ONCE UPON A TIME IN LONDONGRAD charts how the UK became reliant on Russian money and missed opportunities to contain the Kremlin.
The timely series explores fourteen mysterious deaths in the UK with alleged connections to Russia, delving into the hidden underworld of Russian exiles in London to link some of the most internationally significant cases in living memory — including the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, the suspicious death of oligarch Boris Berezovsky and the attempted assassination of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal. ONCE UPON A TIME IN LONDONGRAD is both a cautionary tale and an origins story of Russia’s path to eventually invading Ukraine.
The series was commissioned by Jack Oliver, Head of Co-Productions for Zai Bennett, Managing Director of Content at Sky. The Executive Producer is Teddy Leifer and Series Producer is Guy Horlock for Rise Films. Co-Executive Producers for BuzzFeed Studios are Richard Alan Reid and Karolina Waclawiak. The series will air on Sky Documentaries in the UK and Ireland and will be distributed internationally by NBCUniversal Global Distribution.
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About Rise Films
Rise Films is an Oscar® and Emmy® winning production company. Its productions include The Invisible War (Oscar® nominee and Emmy® winner), The Interrupters (Emmy® winner), Icarus (Oscar® winner), Knuckle, Dreamcatcher, We Are Together, Rough Aunties and Who is Dayani Cristal? starring Gael García Bernal. Rise has produced films and television programs for broadcasters and partners including BBC, Channel 4, PBS, Showtime and HBO, which have gone on to win multiple awards at the Sundance Film Festival. Other clients and partners include Netflix, Hulu, ITV, Universal, the BFI and Film4.
Roman comedy, Plebs, became ITV2’s highest rating comedy ever. The show is now in its fifth season and has won multiple awards including a Broadcast Award and a Royal Television Society Award, as well as receiving two BAFTA nominations.
The company recently produced The Human Factor (released by Sony Pictures Classics in 2021), Dror Moreh’s follow-up to his Oscar® nominated, The Gatekeepers; as well as The Art of Political Murder, a feature documentary for HBO, executive produced by George Clooney. Rise also produced David Osit's multi-award winning, Mayor, following the life and work of Musa Hadid, the mayor of Ramallah.
Its latest feature documentary, All That Breathes, directed by Shaunak Sen won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and will have its International Premiere at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival in Official Selection.
Amongst other ongoing productions, Rise is currently making a two-part documentary for HBO George Carlin’s American Dream, directed by Judd Apatow.
About Universal International Studios
Universal International Studios, a division of Universal Studio Group, delivers award-winning content to millions across the globe. Based in London, the business’ in-house production companies include Carnival Films, creator of worldwide phenomenon “Downton Abbey,” hit series “Belgravia” and Netflix drama “The Last Kingdom”; Monkey Kingdom, producer of BAFTA-winning “Made in Chelsea,” ITV hits “The Real Housewives of Cheshire” and “Jersey, UK,” “Celebrity Karaoke Club” and “Don’t Hate the Playaz;”; Australian-based Matchbox Pictures, producer of critically acclaimed series “The Real Housewives of Melbourne”, “Safe Harbour,” “Stateless” and “Clickbait,” which debuted at #1 worldwide on Netflix and upcoming drama “Things I Know To Be True”; Working Title Television, producer of “Tales of the City,” “The Luminaries,” “We Are Lady Parts” and “Everything I Know About Love”; and Heyday Television, producer of award-winning series “The Long Song,” “The Capture” and “Clickbait,” plus the upcoming adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s “Apples Never Fall.” Universal International Studios also backs Tony Ayres Productions (TAP), the company also behind “Clickbait” and anthology series “Fires”; and owns an equity stake in Lark Productions (“The Glass Hotel,” “Fortunate Son”) in Canada. The studio also houses a London and LA-based scripted unit that develops and produces original series such as the Emmy-nominated television adaptation “Hanna” and BBC family adventure drama “Dodger.” The division comprises a global formats group and also partners with third-party production companies, broadcasters, networks and platforms to produce hit shows such as “Transplant” (Sphere Media/CTV/NBC), “Pretty Hard Cases” (Cameron Pictures/CBC/IMDb TV) and the upcoming cyber-thriller “The Undeclared War” (Playground Entertainment/Channel 4/Peacock) from seven-time BAFTA winner Peter Kosminsky.
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