Netflix Rolls on Daniel Sanchez Arevalo’s ‘Seventeen,’ Its New Spanish Original Film

Following four features which established him as one of Spain’s foremost young directors, plus a successful Premio Planeta-nominated novel, “Alice’s Island,” Arevalo returns to filmmaking with ‘Seventeen’

MADRID — Netflix is starting production on its latest Spanish original film, Daniel Sénchez Arévalo’s “Seventeen” (“Diecisiete”) the U.S. streaming giant announced Thursday.

Also written by the director, the road movie marks return to filmmaking of Sénchez Arévalo, one of Spain’s foremost young crossover cineasts, after his first novel, “Alice’s Island” – soon to be released in the U.S. – was selected as a finalist for Spain’s Premio Planeta, one of its most coveted literary awards.

To be shot almost entirely on location in the breathtaking Cantabria, in the North of Spain, a countryside of stunning verdant valleys and abrupt limestone buffs, “Seventeen” tells the story of Hector, aged 17, who’s has been in a youth detention center for two years, and as part of reintegration therapy, is sent to an animal rescue center, where he encounters a dog as shy and elusive as him.

When Oveja, the dog, is found a home, Hector determines to run away to find him, accompanied by his unwilling elder brother Ismael, who is determined that he doesn’t get in trouble because Hector, the synopsis states, is two days from turning 18. From then on, any crime he commits will not send him back to the reformatory, but straight to jail.

“Seventeen” stars Nacho Sanchez – the youngest actor to receive a prestigious Premio Mex stage award in Spain in the role of Ismael; Biel Montoro plays Hector.

Sánchez Arévalo commented: “I decided that the best way to move forward was by taking a step back. I discovered my need to go back to the beginning, to the point of departure, but with the experience and baggage gathered along the way. Back to the little things, which are the ones that interest me. Those small but great everyday stories.”


Daniel Sanchez Arevalo Spanish director Daniel Sanchez Arevalo poses for photographers during the photocall of the Jose Maria Forque Awards in Madrid, SpainSpain Jose Maria Forque Awards 2014, Madrid, Spain
CREDIT: Abraham Caro Marin/AP/REX/Shutterstock

He added: “And that is when I realized that I felt a very intimate connection with this story of abandoned dogs lacking an emotional leg, with an imperative need to have a home… to find their place in the world.”

Netflix’s new Spanish original is produced by José Antonio Félez’s Atipica Films, which has backed all of Sanchez Arevalo’s features as well as Alberto Rodriguez’s “Marshland” and drama series “The Plague.” The film will simultaneously debut in the 190 countries Netflix is present in.

Sánchez Arévalo broke through in 2007 with feature debut “DarkBlueAlmostBlack,” an off-beat rights-of-passage tragicomedy whose visual flair and psychological percipience marked him out immediately.

After 2009’s acid “Fat,” Sanchez Arevalo directed two movies – 2011’s bachelor farce “Cousinhood” and 2013’s wedding-set “Family United” – which ewon him respect as an adept writer-director of fun comedy-dramas with, however, enough social point, contemporary reference and psychological observance to appeal to mainstream and more demanding audiences at home and foreign-language movie aficionados abroad.  “Cousinhood” grossed $5.2 million inSpain, “Family United” $4.2 million.

More Film

  • Mother and son bonding in Wayne

    Wayne Wang’s ‘Coming Home Again’ to be Handled by Asian Shadows (EXCLUSIVE)

    Specialty film sales agent Asian Shadows has picked up international rights to “Coming Home Again,” by Wayne Wang, one of Asia’s most celebrated directors. The film, which tackles food, family and mortality, will premiere as a special presentation at the Toronto festival in September. Based on a short story of the same name, published in [...]

  • The Great Hack (2019) - pictured:

    Film Review: 'The Great Hack'

    When I was growing up, we learned that the moral cornerstone of the First Amendment — the very essence of it — is that it’s about protecting the speech you don’t like. If the Nazis aren’t allowed to march in Skokie (a major test case in the 1970s), then a treacherous principle gets laid down: that [...]

  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Columbia Pictures claims the top spot in spending with “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Ads placed for the drama had an estimated media value of $5.71 million through Sunday for 997 national ad [...]

  • Circus of Books

    Outfest Film Review: 'Circus of Books'

    Rachel Mason grew up believing that her parents ran a small bookstore in Los Angeles. She wasn’t entirely mistaken, although the naive young woman — then an artsy teen, now a documentary filmmaker — never imagined that, as her mother Karen bluntly tells her on camera, “at one point, we were probably the biggest distributor [...]

  • Themba Ntuli and Ashley Lazarus

    Ashley Lazarus, Director of Apartheid-Era Cult Classic, Returns to Screen

    DURBAN–Director Ashley Lazarus, whose film about the interracial friendship between two young boys during the apartheid era became a South African cult classic in the 1970s, is set to return to the big screen with a film that builds on his life-long passion for early-childhood education. “Teacher Wanted” is the inspirational story of a teacher [...]

  • Channing Tatum

    Channing Tatum's Free Association Partners With Atwater Capital for Film Development Fund

    Free Association, a production company led by Channing Tatum, Peter Kiernan and Reid Carolin, has entered into a film development fund with Atwater Capital. The four-year $2 million revolving fund stipulates that Atwater will finance a minimum of five films with Free Association. Michael Parets, VP of production, will oversee the deal. Free Association will [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content