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Berlinale: Sales Agent Latido, Portuguese Broadcaster RTP Board Series ‘South’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Director Ivo M. Ferreira's Lisbon-set noir crime drama, produced by Edgar Medina at Arquipélago

International sales house Latido Films and Portuguese pubcaster RTP are boarding high-end TV series project “South,” a Lisbon-set noir crime drama by Portugal’s Ivo M. Ferreira (“Letters From War”).

Selected for pitching on Feb. 21 at the CoPro Series, part of the 2018 Berlinale Co-Production Market, “South” is set up at Portugal’s Arquipélago Filmes, founded by series’ producer Edgar Medina.

One of the biggest names in current Portuguese Cinema, director Ivo M. Ferreira returns to Berlin with “South” after his third feature film, “Letters From War,” competed in 2016 at the festival, becoming Portugal’s entry in the race for the 2017 Academy Awards.

Scheduled to roll in Portuguese-language in Lisbon, from April to June, the one season TV skein would be concluded by September-October and available in two formats: as a 10 45-minute episodes and a five 90-minute segs.

The TV drama is set over a long hot summer in Lisbon, during the present-day economic and social crisis, where a series of shocking murders take place, which are investigated by Inspector Humberto, a seasoned homicide detective.

The investigation leads to an hallucinatory trip through the city’s evangelist churches of the city, influential law firms, high political echelons, bankruptcy and money-laundering schemes.

Edgar Medina co-writes the TV drama alongside scribe Guilherme Mendonça.

“We have placed a crime noir fiction in the most exciting and undiscovered of settings – old Lisbon. We unveil its darkest sides: a genuine experience combining an international narrative with a local flavor and characters, a true Mediterranean crime noir,” Medina said.

“We relocate values associated with cinema to a TV sphere, as is the case of Ivo M. Ferreira, one of the most exciting on-the-rise directors in Europe,” he added.

Madrid-based Latido Films is handling international sales rights, marking company’s early foray into TV drama sales.

Public broadcaster RTP has also boarded the project, which counts on support from the Portuguese Film Institute.

“South” “represents an incredible combination of talent, in what can be seen as a ‘next generation’ TV series: a mixture of great storytelling with cinema-quality visuals, a team of expert producers and a great director leading the project,” said Latido CEO Antonio Saura.

“Although the original version is in Portuguese, we feel that the new TV allows for subtitles or directly dubbing to make it even more international,” he added,

“If we love to see TV in Danish, which is a language spoken by six million people, why can’t a TV series in Portuguese which is spoken in Portugal (10 million inhabitants) and Brazil (200 million)?”

“The concept deals with issues we all relate to: a mystery, crooked politicians, the upper classes’ hidden, pressures to close down a case, and a disenchanted man with ethics that prevail against anything,” Saura concluded.

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