MADRID — In an emblematic move for Spain’s film industry, José Alba’s Pecado Films, producer of “Gernika” and San Sebastian breakout “Journey to A Mother’s Room,” is moving into TV production with a series type in ever-larger demand in Spain: Social issue half-hour comedies.
With “Arde Madrid,” a comedy about Ava Gardner’s domestic entourage during the actress’ sojourn in Madrid, proclaimed by Movistar + as its most binged series ever, and “Spanish Shame” one of its breakout hits last season, Spain’s OTT platforms are on the hunt for edgy comedies, as are historic broadcasters facing up to their competition.
Created by Rubén Ávila, David Rodríguez Losada and Alba. “The P.A.” was unveiled last week at the FilmMarket Hub’s Madrid TV Pitchbox where the creators presented a light-hearted promo.
Founded in 2008, Pecado Films has emerged as a young talent platform, supporting early movies by Rodriguez Losada (“Lady Off”) and Celia Rico “Journey.” With “The P.A.,” Pecado aims to work with young talent and also target a relatively new audience demography for Spain, the post-Millennial Generation Z, made up of viewers born from the mid-1990s to early 2000s.
It will do so with what Alba styles “generational clash satire,” told from the POV of an outspoken young feminist, Marta, forced to advise an international politics consultancy. For Marta, in social terms the company is Jurassic Park. Her methods of communication, even social relations, are light years away.
Fish-out-of-water comedy, “The P.A.” satirizes the traditional corporate world, while exploring a new generation, and the protagonist’s contradictions as she explores her sexuality and an adult world, and that of politics, where people do one thing, think the opposite, Alba said.
The producers are in conversations with Eva Soriano, a young feminist sexually-outspoken comedian, for her to play Marta. Soriano appears on the series’ promo video, saying she’s on board. Soriano would also be one of the series’ screenwriters, Alba suggested.
Producer Odile Antonio points out that there are now some feminist series in Spain, but there weren’t so many in the past. “La otra mirada,” airing on public broadcaster TVE, “Las chicas del cable,” Netflix’s first series in Spain, or “Vis a Vis,” playing Fox, are “some examples of great feminist series on air. Even ‘La Casa de Papel’ (‘Money Heist) has a very strong feminist character.”
However, she went on, we do consider that these target an older audience. There aren’t indeed any Spanish series that portray the problems of teen and/or university girls from a feminist and current perspective, such as, in international, ‘Girls,’ ‘Broad City’ or ‘Two Broke Girls.’ ‘La Asesora’ is aimed at filling this gap.”
Written by Avila and to be directed by Rodríguez Losada, episodes are 20 minutes in length, making the six-part “The P.A.,” eminently bingeable.
“We wanted to adapt to the consumer patterns of new audiences, for the ‘The P.A.’ to be short, intense, contemporary, and highly dynamic in its format”, said Alba.
The visual style will use pop-out primary colors, one look of the Generation Z which draws on so many influences.
Most characters will be of Generation Z age. The series will be shot entirely via social media used daily by viewers, for example, YouTube, Skype and Whatsapp.
“But the key to the series will be that we’ll shoot at a frenetic rhythm, jumping from one screen to another, appropriating the language of Internet – photos, videos, gifs,” said Rodríguez Losada. “Above all, we’ll do so at the diabolical pace at which young audiences consume information these days.”
Based in Madrid and Málaga, Pecado Films is financing the development of a Bible, and a series pilot, but looks to have an anchor partner on board, platform or broadcaster, before making a first season.