Fiction podcasts go on world tour with Spotify’s ‘Sandra’

Spotify and Gimlet have adapted the hit fictional drama ‘Sandra’ for specific audiences in France, Germany, Mexico and Brazil. © Image Courtesy of Spotify

STOCKHOLM: Two years after narrative podcasting company Gimlet Media first introduced “Sandra” to the world, the seven-part fictional drama has been adapted to specifically suit audiences in France, Germany, Brazil and Mexico.

While other podcasts have been translated in the past, Gimlet and Spotify have announced that these “Sandra” adaptations will be the first truly localised adaptations ever made of a hit fictional drama.

In order to do so, the Spotify Studios teams in France, Germany, Brazil, and Mexico have worked with local directors to adapt the script, cast local talent and reimagine the podcast with an appreciation for local culture, language and nuance.

The original “Sandra” podcast follows Helen Perez, a soon-to-be divorcée who escapes the boredom of her natal Guyman, Oklahoma, by landing a job at Orbital Industries.

As one of the numerous operators working for the tech company, Helen spends her day navigating through the demands and questions addressed by customers to AI-powered virtual assistant Sandra.

Kristen Wiig, Alia Shawkat, Christopher Abbott, Avi Rothman and Ethan Hawke all lent their voices to the original fictional drama, which was written by Kevin Moffett and Matthew Derby.

Now adapted to suit podcast listeners in four different countries across the globe, “Sandra” has been renamed “Sara” (France), “Susi” (Germany), “Sonia” (Mexico) and “Sofia” (Brazil).

Additionally, each localised version of the podcast has a customised storyline to completely adapt to the local culture, with Helen’s hometown of Guyman becoming Ruffec, in the French region of Charentes, for “Sara.”

“We needed to find the French equivalent of Helen’s hometown, a small city with little perspective and excitement. But it also needed to fit the story’s actions in a realistic manner. Which French city is close enough to a prison so that you can go and come back in a day as Helen does when she visits her husband?,” Claire Hazan, Head of Studios, France & Benelux, said in a statement.

While “Sara” stars French-speaking celebrities Virginie Efira, Natoo and Stéphane De Groodt, the Brazilian team of Spotify Studios has collaborated with Cris Vianna, Monica Iozzi and Otaviano Costa for “Sofia.”

“The fact that podcasting, and specifically Sandra, has drawn such a group of A-List talent in each market is also a great endorsement of the medium growing at a global scale,” Courtney Holt, Global Head of Studios and Video for Spotify, said of the project.Tags: