Russia’s Alexander Rodnyansky, producer of high-level Cannes hits such as “Leviathan” and “Loveless,” has added another prize to his illustrious career, winning the Series Mania Forum Best Project Award for the Soviet-era period drama “Red Rainbow.”

Presented Monday at the Forum, Series Mania’s industry arm, as one of 16 projects at its Co-Pro Pitching Sessions, “Red Rainbow” beat a strong field of other contenders to take the Award, which comes with a €50,000 ($59,000) cash prize for development, a considerable sum to help a series project advance.

Written by Matt Jones, and based on a true story, “Red Rainbow” is set in 1979 and turns on three young German gay activists from West Berlin who, through a series of blunders and misunderstandings, are invited by Soviet Central Committee Secretary Kaptinov to join an official visit to the USSR, despite homosexuality being illegal in the country.

Once there, their translator, Larissa, is given tight near impossible task of ensuring that a) no one finds out they are gay and b) that they don’t find out that no one knows they are gay. She fails almost immediately.

“It speaks volumes about our time that the story of 1970s era East German homosexual communists running around causing havoc and changing hearts in the institutionally homophobic Soviet Union, all due to a lost-in-translation blunder, can be pitched as relevant and timely,” said Jones.

An ultimately heartwarming drama, “Red Rainbow” is produced by Rodnyansky for AR Content/Non-Stop Productions.

“We were incredibly impressed with all of the pitches, yet it was the strong story and LGBTQIA+ elements of ‘Red Rainbow’ that helped us to reach a unanimous decision,” said jury president Polly Williams, managing director, Federation U.K.

She added: “The pitch was very original and at the heart of the story was a warmth.  This is a narrative that is still very relevant today and a story that definitely needs to be told.”

“With its LGBTQIA+ theme, it is stories like this that will help build awareness. I have no doubt this series will soon find the perfect partners, and this once again confirms that Series Mania is the place where series begin,” commented Series Mania general director Laurence Herszberg.

The Co-Pro Pitching Sessions jury included Daniel Campos Pavoncelli, (Italy), head of film and TV, partner, Indiana Production PSA SPA; Sened Dhab (France), VP digital scripted, France Télévisions; Mar Diaz, (Spain), fiction executive producer, RTV; and Masha TV’s Maria Feldman (U.S./Israel), producer and creator of such series as “Fauda,” “False Flag” and “No Man’s Land.”