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HBO Europe announces new drama series commissions in Central Europe
 25 Sep 2020
HBO Europe announced that production has begun on two new series in Central Europe: Ruxx in Romania and Still Here in Poland.

Ruxx (8 x 45’) is written by Vera Ion and directed by Iulia Rugină (Breaking News, Love Building) and Octav Gheorghe. The series stars Raluca Aprodu (Dogs, Selfie 69), and Alec Secăreanu (God's Own Country, Cannibal, Strike Back).

Ruxx is a modern relationship drama that examines a young generation of Romanians who live in a country caught between the past and the future. It’s centered on the titular character, Rux (Raluca Aprodu). She is balancing her demanding career working for a hot shot Bucharest property developer with trying to manage the other priorities in her life; supporting her family and maintaining a long-distance relationship with her lover in the US. Rux is trying to get out of Romania to go to Los Angeles, but life conspires against her and she is pulled into her boss’s biggest project yet: his wife’s election campaign to be Mayor of Bucharest.

Director Iulia Rugină said: “Ruxx is fresh and powerful, emotional and courageous. It speaks to me in so many ways, I felt connected with it right from the first read. I see a bit of every character in who I am, in the person I have become, a woman in today’s Romania and a woman of the World. It is both a professional honor and a challenge to be part of this project, surrounded by a great team and a dream cast for me as a director.”

Ioanina Pavel, Producer for HBO Europe said: “This show is every bit as punchy, fun and visionary as the shows I’ve loved watching on HBO. I can’t wait to get to share it with our viewers, who I’m sure will fall head over heels in love with Vera Ion’s unique voice and characters, and the vibrant but challenging Bucharest they call home.”

Johnathan Young, Executive Producer for HBO Europe said: With Ruxx, we wanted to build on the amazing storytelling that HBO Europe is famous for in Romania, and as soon as I read the scripts I could see a show would delight audiences.”

The producer for HBO Europe is Ioanina Pavel and Executive Producers are Johnathan Young and Antony Root. Producers for Mobra Films, who are providing production services, are Cristian Mungiu and Tudor Reu.

Still Here (Warszawianka, 12 x 40’) is written by award-wining author Jakub Żulczyk, who also wrote HBO Europe’s acclaimed series Blinded by The Lights. The series is directed by Jacek Borcuch (Dolce Fine Giornata) and stars Borys Szyc (Snow White and Russian Red) in the leading role.

Still Here is a fictional drama series that follows the tragicomic adventures of a 40-year-old urban legend in Warsaw. He is a deeply complex character, an irresponsible party animal, a serial lothario and everyone’s friend at the same time. Behind the veneer he is tormented and self-loathing, trapped by his parents (played by Krystyna Janda and Jerzy Skolimowski) and shackled by the culture and the times that shaped him. With a head full of dreams, his talent for writing has stolen the hearts of Generation X. But he hasn’t grown up. He’s weak. Having had and then lost everything, he is trying to make sense of the modern world surrounded by the city’s most interesting characters.

“Still Here is a story about love, friendship, debts and hangovers. An urban ballad of laughter through tears, sunrises and sunsets, very bad decisions and the ability to constantly fall on one’s feet.” said writer, Jakub Żulczyk.

Director Jacek Borcuch said: “Still Here depicts a generation - today’s 30 and 40-year-olds - people who are educated and immune to cheap ideology. This is the first generation who really try to live exactly as they want to, outside of customs, outside of their ancestor’s traditions and outside any established norms.”

Izabela Łopuch, Producer for HBO Europe said: “The story of the main character touches me on many levels, because apart from the many marvellous attributes he has, he is weak, just like every one of us is at times. He externalizes everything we usually hide: those weaknesses, fears and limitations”

The cast includes acclaimed film and theatre actors led by Borys Szyc in the leading role. Still Here stars also Krystyna Janda (Dolce Fine Giornata), Jerzy Skolimowski (Avengers), Zofia Wichłacz (1983), Ilona Ostrowska (Blinded By the Lights), Paulina Gałązka, Piotr Polak, Jadwiga Jankowska-Cieślak, Marianna Zydek and Tomasz Włosok.

The series is directed by Jacek Borcuch and written by award-wining author Jakub Żulczyk who also wrote the novel Blinded by The Lights, which he adapted with Krzysztof Skonieczny for television and was produced by HBO Europe. Piotr Uznański serves as a Director of Photography. The Producer for HBO Europe is Izabela Łopuch and Executive Producers are Johnathan Young, Steve Matthews and Antony Root. The line producer from Magnolia Films is Andrzej Besztak. The series is in line to receive financial support from the Polish Film Institute’s production incentive scheme.

Speaking about the new commissions, Antony Root, EVP Original Programming and Production, HBO Europe said: “In what has been a challenging year for television drama, we are incredibly excited to have begun shooting on Ruxx and Still Here. These commissions underline our intention to offer a wide range of premium originals to our subscribers in Central Europe. In the Nordics we loved the first season of Beforeigners, which travelled exceptionally well across our regions, and we can’t wait to show audiences what Anne and Eilif have come up with for Season two”.
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