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Conecta Fiction: ‘Ex Reo,’ ‘Canfranc Station,’ ‘Parallel’ Make SGAE Showcase Cut

Developed at Spain’s SGAE Foundation, six TV drama series projects will be pitched at Spain’s inaugural Conecta Fiction in mid-June

MADRID — “Ex Reo,” “Canfranc Station: Forward Escape” and “Parallel” feature among six TV fiction series developed at Spain’s General Society of Spanish Authors’ Foundation that will be pitched at June’s Conecta Fiction, a new international co-production and networking TV event targeting drama from Latin America and Spain.

Conecta Fiction runs June 20-23, the SGAE pitching sessions take place on June 21.

Playing off the huge interest in upscale fiction among key established and new players in the region, the event looks set to attract a near who’s who of major fiction series producers and broadcasters from Spain and Latin America, judged from an initial list of near 120 company attendees confirmed by the organization.

Optioned by Jose Manuel Lorenzo’s Madrid-based DLO, part of France’s Banijay Group from 2013, and written by María Minguez, “Ex-Reo” weighs in as a slice of teasing Valencian Noir. The eight-part, two-season murder-thriller kicks in as Hugo, an ex-con sentenced for killing his girlfriend, returns to his home village on the Valencia flatlands to clear his name and catch the killer. Minguez won a Fulbright scholarship to study screenwriting at the New York Film Academy, has three movie scripts set up at Spanish production houses.

Set in WWII Paris, and ranging from the Pyrenees to Nazi Germany and Argentina, “Canfranc Station: Forward Escape” looks like the biggest-budgeted of all the projects put through development at the SGAE Foundation’s TV Series Creation Laboratories. “Canfranc” is written by David Moreno, Diego Sotelo and Raul López, scribes with a long track record taking in work for Bambu Producciones – such as the Beta-sold Atresmedia Group produced “Fariña: Snow in the Atlantic” –  and Boomerang TV Group – on long-running daily soap “The Secret of Old Bridge.”

Set in 1943, the adventure thriller centers on a Paris drifter-thief, son of Spanish Republicans, hired to pull a diamond train heist by the French Resistance. Traveling to the France-Spain border, he stumbles upon the very same Nazi officer who killed his parents in Malthausen, swears revenge, but begins to feel a sexual attraction for his parents’ Nazi murderers. The series turns on “the political slippage towards authoritarian regimes and refugees’ crises,” its writers said.

“A drama about how personal ambition destroys collective hope,” its writer Rodolf Giner has written, “Parallel” takes its title from the Barcelona thoroughfare where in the summer of 1917, Medir Fortuny runs a dancehall as a front for his heroine racket. The crime-drama builds into a textbook exercise in political skullduggery. Giner has written TV fiction and animation for near 20 years, primarily for regional pubcaster  Radiotelevisión Valenciana and national state network TVE.

Another slice of rural noir, centering on the impact of religious fanaticism in backward rival communities, “The Seers,” by longtime scribes Antonio Nogales and David Merino, unspools in the 1970s in a village in deep Spain where some kids claim to have seen apparitions of the Virgin Mary.

Created by feature director Gabriel Ochoa (“Love Is Not What It Used to Be”) and Spanish newspaper El Mundo journalist Rodrigo Terrasa, “The Party” is inspired by Spain’s real-life political scandals.“The Party” kicks off when the police discovers a USB drive in the headquarters of a Madrid-based company, which unleashes a political storm lashing the government of the Valencia region in Spain.

The 13-episode cop thriller series aims to reflect on how a democratic political system, if sodden with corruption, inevitably crumbles.

Sitcom project “Mother in Trouble” follows three women, an extreme sports journalist, a gynecologist and a housewife discovering motherhood is nothing like what they had imagined, much less what they’d been told.

When end up helping one other out via a Whatsapp group. With “Mother in Trouble,” Dramatic Arts graduates Maribel Vitar and Cristina Pons aim to offer a different take on women’s challenges, using a humor-laced narrative style.

Two trends play out in the Conecta Fiction SGAE showcase: The drive by seasoned journeyman (and woman) screenwriters at principal production houses into series of more budgetary and thematic ambition whose darker beats situate the series in a realm from more open VOD to edgier free-to-air.

Second: the predominance of the thriller as the lingua franca of international TV fiction: The universality of thrillers allows fiction a strong specific localization while their compelling narrative pull is increasingly necessary as viewers are hugely spoilt for choice on VOD systems.

To date, Spain’s Movistar Plus, the powerful pay TV arm of Telefonica, and pubcaster RTVE, have signed on as lead sponsors: Important backing.

Conecta Fiction attendees range from the biggest broadcaster/producers in Latin America, Spain and the U.S. Hispanic markets-  such as Univision, Telemundo, Televisa, Telefe, Mediaset España and Atresmedia –  to key studio operations, such as Disney Media Distribution, Fox Latin America, Sony Pictures TV Latin America & US Hispanic and Turner Latin America.

Also attending are leading indie production houses such as  Bambu, Mediapro, Boomerang and Plano a Plano in Spain and Pol-ka Producciones,  Underground Producciones and StoryLab in Argentina, to mention just two countries. A score-or-more of top European TV networks and production houses will also roll into Conecta Fiction,  which takes place in Galicia’s Santiago de Compostela.

CONECTA FICTION SGAE FOUNDATION PITCHING SESSIONS, 2017:

“Canfranc Station: Forward Escape,” ( David Moreno, Raúl López, Diego Sotelo)

“Ex Reo,” (María Mínguez)

“Mother in Trouble,” ( Maribel Vitar, Cristina Pons)

“The Party,” (Gabriel Ochoa, Rodrigo Terrasa)

“Parallel,” (Rodolf Giner)

“The Seers,” ( David Merino)

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