Netflix Orders First Original Series from Argentina: Daniel Burman’s ‘Edha’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Fashion, modelling and music world-set dramatic thriller to start production in Argentina

Daniel Burman
Copyright: Alejandra Lopez

Netflix has ordered its first original series from Argentina, the 13-part dramatic thriller “Edha,” created and directed by film-TV helmer Daniel Burman, a leading light of the New Argentine Cinema (“Lost Embrace,” “Empty Nest”) and now Latin American premium TV creation.

Filmed entirely in Argentina, “Edha” will start production in Buenos Aires, begin shooting early next year, and debut exclusively on Netflix around the globe in 2017.  Written by Daniel Burman, Mario Segade and the writers’ room at Oficina Burman, “Edha” is billed by Netflix and Burman as a story of dark secrets and overpowering attractions. It centers on Edha, a young, goimg-places fashion designer and single mother.

At a crossroads that could change her life forever, she is struggling to make a decision that will take her to a whole new level in the fashion world when she meets a handsome immigrant-turned-model. Their savage passion is mingled with his profound desire for revenge.

“The fashion and music scene in Buenos Aires is unique, sexy and exciting and Daniel Burman and his team are among Argentina’s most gifted creators,” said Erik Barmack, Netflix V.P., international original series. “We can’t wait to present Edha and her dramatic story to Netflix members around the rest of the world.”

“Netflix series have revolutionized the conception of drama,” Burman told Variety. “We must assume that our characters are as ambiguous, complex and inconsistent as we are ourselves. They face moral dilemmas, many times without even knowing it.”

As on “Club de Cuervos,” co-created by Gaz Alazraki, and “Narcos,” co-directed by Jose Padilha and shot in Colombia, “Edha”shows Netflix associating with top-tier creative talent in Latin America to launch its first original series in the region.

The complexity of modern relationships – whether romantic or filial, caught in a dramedic worldview and framed for broader audiences than many of his contemporaries – has been one of the creative keynotes of Burman, who was one of the New Argentine Cinema’s first figures to consolidate an international reputation, snagging two Berlinale Silver Bears for 2004’s “Lost Embrace.”

Burman broke new ground again launching the Buenos Aires-based production company Oficina Burman in May 2015. Tapping Mario Segade, an international Emmy-nominated scriptwriter (“El Puntero”), as content director and incorporating a writers room, it is the highest-profile example of a well-known Argentine movie director transitioning into international-targeted TV content creation.

For Burman, “when all is said and done, and before, this is just about storytelling.”

Netflix’s “Edha” order, coming fast after the announcement at January’s Natpe of Burman’s showrunning of “Supermax,” Globo’s first 100% Spanish-language production at Globo Studios, confirms Oficina Burman as one of the key sources of premium TV content creation in Latin America.

The streaming giant’s commission represents “the biggest challenge of my professional life,” Burman said. At the same time, he predicted that Netflix will raise the bar of Latin American drama creation.

“Netflix’s real revolution, the new paradigm in content consumership it has created, is not so much in how we see the product on its platform as what we see.”

“Edha” reps the sixth Latin American original series ordered by Netflix after “Narcos,” a vision of narco kingpin Pablo Escobar, and “Club de Cuervos,” directed by Greg Alazraki and now heading towards its second season bow. Also ordered: “Ingobernable,” from Mexico’s Argos Communication, starring Kate de Castillo; post-apocalyptic thriller “3%,” Netflix’s first Portuguese-Language original series; and an untitled series project by Jose Padilha based on current events in Brazil.