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NATPE: Argentina’s Telefe Intl. Launches ‘Lioness’

A co-production with Buenos Aires' El Arbol, new telenovela stars ‘Wild Tales’ actress Nancy Duplaa, actor-producer Pablo Echarri

La Leona (Lioness), Telefe International
Copyright: Telefe International

Argentine broadcaster Telefe has teamed with Pablo Echarri’s Buenos Aires-based TV outfit El Arbol to produce telenovela “La Leona” (“Lioness”), which launches at the upcoming Natpe edition, handled by Telefe’s distribution arm, Telefe Intl.

A 120 one-hour seg TV production, “Lioness” will premiere January in Argentina in a Telefe primetime slot.

Actress Nancy Duplaa (“Wild Tales,” “Graduates”) and actor-producer Pablo Echarri (“Chronicle of a Escape,” “The One”), a couple in real life, star in the new telenovela, a passionate conflictive love story set in a textile factory under threat of closure.

Duplaa plays Maria Leone, a humble textile worker who defends the rights of her factor co-workers and neighbors.

Maria will meet Franco Uribe (Pablo Echarri), who leads the consulting firm the factory owner has hired for the factory’s liquidation. But Franco has his own agenda, with the goal of wrestling control of the factory, his by birthright.

“Lioness’” Argentine name cast also includes Miguel Angel Sola (“Tango”), Monica Antonopulos (“A Matter of Principle”), Dolores Fonzi (“Paulina”), Hugo Arana (“The Official Story”) plus El Arbol partner-actor Martin Seefeld (“Tango”).

At NATPE, Telefe Intl.’s will also present another slate highlight, upcoming super-series “The Return of Lucas,” a co-production with Peruvian network America TV, scheduled for a 2016 release.

With a pan-Latin American cast led by Colombian actress Ana Maria Orozco (“Ugly Betty”), Peru’s Salvador del Solar (“Narcos”) and Diego Bertie (“No Mercy”) plus Argentina’s Macarena Achaga (“Gossip Girl Acapulco”) and Pablo Martinez (“Almost Angels”), “Lucas” is a drama-thriller about a boy, abducted from his parents during a beach day, who suddenly re-appear 20 years later.

Fully shot on Peruvian locations and completely produced in 4K technology, “Lucas” forms part of a Telefe-America TV strategic alliance to generate quality contents aimed at the Latin American TV market, and beyond.

Further Telefe highlights will include “Story of A Clan,” a real-life based crime mini-series on the Puccio clan, an upper middle class Argentine family who kidnapped and murdered victims under and after Argentina’s military Junta. Bowing on Telefe Wednesday primetime, it scored a huge success, averaging 11.8 rating points and a 41% audience share.

One of Telefe’s biggest fiction bets in recent times, drama thriller series “Cannibals,” by Oscar-winning director Juan Jose Campanella, co-produced with Fox Intl. Channels Latin America in a 4K format, also forms part of company’s slate.

Owned by giant telco Telefonica, Telefe is a driving force in Latin American film and TV content production. At NATPE, Telefe Intl’s. team will be led by global contents and intl. business director, Tomas Yankelevich.