Spanish Shows on the Virtual MarketVariety — Emilio Mayorga
MADRID — As the world’s international TV distribution goes virtual, these are a pick of Spanish TV shows – at project stage, in production or completed, and mostly drama series – being brought onto the market, or available for partnering for production or straight acquisition:
(Ficción Producciones, Ukbar Filmes)
A Spain-Portugal co-production from Pablo Iraola and Pandora Da Cunha, this WWII mystery drama follows a high-society woman willing to do anything to save her homeland from a foreign invasion. Selected to participate at Canneseries’ in development sidebar, the series will launch April 8 in Portugal.
(CTV, SPi, RTP)
A co-production between Galicia’s CTV and Portuguese broadcaster RTP, this dramedy kicks off when Caetano (45), the CEO of a telecom company, tells his wife and two children’s mother that “it’s over.” In pre-production.
A propulsive Jihadist terrorist thriller set in Barcelona, written by Xavi Puerta (“Hospital Valle Norte”) and to be directed by Kike Maillo (“Eva”). First drama series announced by Pablo Cruz, Enrique Lopez Lavigne and Diego Suarez Chialvo’s El Estudio, a major new independent L.A., Mexico City and Madrid-based production force.
(Atresmedia, Plano a Plano)
Co-created by showrunners César Benítez and Fernando Sancristobal, “Benidorm” follows Xabier Zurita, a Basque notary given three months to live after a brain tumor is discovered, inspiring him to seek out his long lost first love María before getting duped along the way. Selected to the Drama Buyers’ summit at 2010 Miptv, it’s currently in production.
Sales Agent: Atresmedia
BITTER DAISIES 2
Netflix’s first series in the Galician language, Season 2 is produced by regional public network TVG and Mexico’s Comarex. A domestic abuse thriller directed by Álex Sampayo and showrun by Ghaleb Jaber Martínez, “Daisies” Season 1 was among the U.K.’s most-watched non-English-language series last fall.
(100 Balas, The Mediapro Studio, Orange Spain)
Koldo Serra (“Backwoods”) directs Orange’s first original from its Spanish team, co-produced with The Mediapro Studio. This suspense thriller turns on five teenagers who disappear during the pilgrimage of Santiago de Compostela along the French-Spanish boarder. Using their mobiles, found buried in the woods by police, the series rebuilds a forty-hour nightmare lived as prey of a maniacal family.
(Mediaset España, Big Bang Media)
From Mediapro’s Big Bang Media, this procedural drama series was created by Verónica Fernández (Netflix’s “Hache”) and follows a former cop unjustly removed from his position and an ex-con turned criminal lawyer. Amazon Prime Video will stream internationally.
SA: Mediterráneo Audiovisual
(Mediaset España, Mandarina Producciones)
2019 MipDrama Buyers’ Summit Coup de Coeur winner, “Dangerous Moms” combines elements of dark comedy, suspense, horror and everyday life telling the story of four mothers attending a kitchen robot presentation who accidentally commit a horrible murder and must find a way to dispose of the body. A second season is in production, with the first having sold in more than 35 territories.
SA: Mediterráneo Audiovisual
(Mediaset España, Plano a Plano)
A missing persons cop crime drama directed by Miguel Ángel Vivas (“Kidnapped,” “Extinction”) and selected for this week’s Mip Drama Buyers Summit 2020, part of MipTV Online Plus..
SA: Mediterráneo Audiovisual.
Following on from “Hierro,” with Arte France, Movistar Plus, Arte and Atlantique, a pioneering crime drama produced with with Portugal’s SPi and made for public broadcasters TVG in Galicia and Portugal’s RTP, but with a partial TVV edge and Portocabo and SPi retaining IP.
SA: DCD Rights
The biggest series project announced to date by El Estudio, created by Pablo Trapero, a driving force in the renaissance of Latin America cinema, and a true-facts inspired bioseries focused on the mercurial life of Rodolfo Galimberti (1947-2002), a high ranking Montonero guerrillero and in democracy, an intelligence service operative and member of Argentina’s jet set. In development and awaited.
(The Mediapro Studio, HBO Asia, Hulu Japan)
Steered by Ran Tellem, one of The Mediapro Studio’s biggest plays to date, an action-packed survival thriller set at the South Pole in Winter, shot largely in English but with Danish as well, featuring heavy VFX, and starring “La Casa de Papel’s” Alvaro Morte and Japanese idol Tomoisha Yamashita.
HEIRS TO THE LAND
Based on the eponymous novel from Ildefonso Falcones and directed by Jordi Frades (“Sea,” “Matadero”), this historical drama tracks a street urchin who becomes protégé to Arnau Estanyol, the protagonist from Falcones’ best-selling novel “The Cathedral of the Sea,” at the end of the 14th century.
SA: Endemol Shine International
(Ganga Group, RTVE)
Hugo Ibarra Tomás, or HIT, is a psychologist, schoolmaster and soldier recruited to help at a secondary school where things are getting out of hand. The series explores themes of loneliness in the social media era, sex, addiction and the lack of support for teachers. Elite filmmakers such as Joaquín Oristrell (“Inconscientes”), Álvaro Fernández Armero (“Todo es mentira”) and Elena Trapé (“Las distancias) are lined up to direct.
Sales Agent: RTVE
THE HOCKEY GIRLS
(TVC, Brutal Media)
Season 2 of this female coming-of-age drama deals with menstrual cycles, friendship, toxic relationships, same-sex relationships, teenage pregnancy, dreams, struggles and pain. A group of adolescent girls, roller hockey teammates, confront their day-to-day challenges through the sport. Season 1 was acquired by Netflix for worldwide distribution.
THE HUNT. TRAMUNTANA
(DLO Producciones, RTVE)
Season 2 to “The Hunt,” from Banijay Group-owned DLO/Magnolia, which pinched some of RTVE’s highest drama series ratings last year, but transferring the action and most main police officers from the high Pyrenees to a quaint village in the hills of Mallorca.
INES OF MY SOUL
Based on Isabel Allende’s hit novel, the first incontrovertible move into big-budget international co-production by battling Spanish public broadcaster RTVE, tapping into its strong lines in historical dramas. But here it moves across the Atlantic to portrait the epic tale of the loves, courage, constancy and contradictions of Inés Suarez, a women conquistador, founder of Santiago de Chile, who befriends and the turns on the local Mapuche inhabitants. Amazon has closed rights to the U.S., Spain and Latin America.
LA LINEA INVISIBLE
(Movistar Plus, Sentido Films, Corte y Confección de Películas)
“All nightmares start as a dream, and we want to show how the dream becomes a nightmare,” said showrunner Mariano Barroso in a digital sales pitch hosted by Movistar on March 30. This is the story of how Basque Country’s ETA terrorist organization became violent to the point of murder. Screeners are available now for international buyers, and the series will launch April 8 on Movistar Plus in Spain.
Sales: About Premium Content
(Atresmedia Studios, DiagonalTV)
A spin-off miniseries focused on two characters from hit Spanish series “Love is Forever,” itself a sequel to the hit series “Amar en tiempos revueltos.” The series picks up decades later, focusing on the love story between popular characters Luisita and Amelia.
(TVC, Bausan Films)
Catalan writer-director Agustí Vila (Karlovy Vary-winner “The Mosquito Net”) heads this rural thriller mini-series in which the apparent tranquility of a small town is broken after the discovery of an Civil War-era common grave, and a corpse that does clearly doesn’t belong to that period.
THREE MERCILESS FLOWERS
Juan Galiñanes (“Holy Night!”) directs this Spain-Portugal co-produced dramedy about three rural women overwhelmed by financial and personal issues who collectively plan a bank heist. Unknowingly, the stolen money comes from a dangerous gang of criminals, not thrilled to be victims themselves. Currently in pre-production.
MERLÍ: SAPERE AUDE
(Movistar Plus, Veranda, TV3)
A sequel to “Merlí,” created by Héctor Lozano (“Ventdelplà”) a breakout out hit for Catalan pubcaster TV3, and A Netflix pick-up. Now Movistar Plus’ first Catalan-language Original Series, “Sapere Aude” sees protagonist Pol in the first year at university, suffering tough love from his philosophy tutor and finding new friends.
(Mediaset España, Alea Media)
This medical drama from Aitor Gabilondo (“El príncipe,” “Patria”) focuses on the day-to-day goings on in a hospital where children and teens are interned for long periods, and the hoops their mothers must jump through to get their children the care they need. The series was picked up by Amazon Prime Video Spain, and Season 2 is now in production.
Created for the small screen by Jaume Balagueró [“REC,” “Sleep Tight”], and Pau Freixas (“The Red Band Society”) an eight-part drama series reset of Balagueró’s 1999 feature debut which established him as one of Spain’s most foremost genre auteurs, was Filmax’s first big international breakout and packed an memorable portrait of unmitigated heinous evil. Now in development.
SA: Filmax Intl.
(Movistar Plus, The Mediapro Studio)
Starring Leonor Watling (“Talk to Her”) and Hugo Silva (“The Department of Time”) and directed by Marc Vigil (“The Department of Time”) this is the story of successful lawyers Edurne and Julian who, in the midst of their midlife crises, decide to explore new opportunities by investing in a new Russian restaurant in Madrid. Everything goes smoothly until the mafia starts to feel a bit too at home in the Nasdrovia restaurant.
Sales Agent: The Mediapro Studio Distribution
(Movistar Plus, Corte y Confección)
Leticia Dolera’s tone-blending dramedy – drama, comedy, borderline tragedy, sometimes bathetic scatalogical farce – about three lifelong female friends unable to meet or abandon the expectations drummed into them in childhood. A Canneseries’ best series and acting winner and one of Movistar Plus’ best-reviewed series to date, with Season 2 now in preparation.
SA: Beta Film
THE STATE VS. PABLO IBAR
(La Claqueta, Irusoin)
Producer Olmo Figueredo directs this true crime documentary series about Spanish death row detainee Pablo Ibar from the co-producers of one of Spain’s most-awarded 2019 features “The Endless Trench.” 25 years after the Florida murders for which Ibar was charged, the case has become a hot-button issue between Spain and the U.S., two countries with disparate views on capital punishment.
SA: Filmax International
(Corte y Confección)
“Perfect Life” producers back this dramatic retelling of the story of one of Spain’s greatest-ever swimmers, Sebastián Rodríguez Veloso, who won more than 25 medals over 4 Paralympic Games. Rodríguez was also a member of the GRAPO terrorist organization, and eventually condemned to 84 years in prison. Marcel Barrena (“100 Meters”) to direct the in-development series.
TURU’S MUSICAL FARM
(Arca Audiovisual, Tandem Films, Pampa Films, Turanga Films)
A spin-off of the Spanish-Argentine animated feature “Turu, The Wacky Hen,” a banner title for Filmax, the series stars Turuleca, a hen who can’t lay eggs but has exceptional hidden talents: she can understand humans, speak their language and even sing. Presented at Mipcom 2019, the series is currently in production.
SA: Filmax International
(Mediaset España, Alea Media)
Showrun by Aitor Gabilondo (“El príncipe,” “Patria”) and based on an original idea from Galician writer Manuel Rivas, the series turns on a family headed by a drug-dealing boss diagnosed with Alzheimer’s who must search for his successor while still lucid enough to do the job. Season 1 was the most viewed series in Spain after release. The first two seasons are available to stream internationally on Netflix.
SA: Mediterráneo Audiovisual
(Movistar Plus, Vaca Films)
“La Unidad,” (The Unit), Spain’s anti-terrorist police force, works closely with other international agencies to prevent terrorist attacks before they happen. Director Dani de la Torre and writers Alberto Marini and Amèlia Mora spent more than two years in development on Season 1 of this multilingual, multinational production shot in numerous European and African locations.
Sales Agent: Beta Film