GUADALAJARA, Mexico — Colombia’s Fidelio Films has had a week to remember at this year’s Guadalajara Intl. Film Festival (FICG) as its full slate of TV and film projects has impressed in a number of sections.
The company’s feature film “The Life and Death of Espíritu Perdomo” won the “El Taller” post-production prize and the Cinema226 development, co-production, production and promotion prizes at the Co-production Meeting for feature films, its series “Tenebris” is pitching at the first-ever FICG TV Pitchbox, and its shopping the first season of another series, “Tiburon Island,” which won the Mexican Film Institute (Imcine) development grant for television series last year and received a TV Pitchbox special mention.
“Tenebris” was created by David Figueroa García and Mauricio Leiva Cock, and is produced by Mauro Mueller and Juan Diego Villegas from Fidelio Films. The show’s eight hour-long episodes will be directed by Ed Sánchez.
Figueroa García recently lead-wrote an as-yet unannounced series in Mexico, and Leiva Cock was the head writer on “Frontera Verde from Ciro Guerra (“Birds of Passage”). Both have written episodes for “Tijuana” (Story House/Netflix) and “Falco” (Dynamo/Amazon Prime). Leiva Cock was also recently nominated, along with Cristian Conti, Javier Gullón and Javier Fuentes-León, for best telenovela or TV series script at the Premios India Catalina de la Industria Audiovisual for his work on the Dynamo series “WildDistrict.”
In the series, Gabriel Hoffman, a washed-up paranormal TV show host and medium, receives a request from Maria, a woman convinced her daughter is possessed. Gabriel arrives just as things slip completely into chaos, and the girls of the town begin falling ill. After a haunting dream of his own, Gabriel realizes that dark forces are at work, and is rotting the girls from the inside out.
While horror films have long found success at the box office, they’ve not always fares so well on TV. But producer Mauro Mueller is confident that will change.
“Horror stories are part of Latin America’s folklore. Superstition and magical thinking still permeates our daily life. Therefore, we believe it is inevitable that series begin to delve into the genre,” he told Variety, ahead of the pitch.
And, although it’s early days, the team has long-term plans for the series.
“The first season serves as a springboard for Gabriel, our protagonist, to regain the confidence in his own abilities,” Mueller explained. “Going forward, each season will explore different paranormal cases that put Gabriel and Clara at odds with their beliefs and drive them deeper into darkness.”
In “Tiburon Island,” Nadia, a half-Comcaac half-American woman, sets out on a journey to return to Tiburon Island, the native territory of the Comcaac nation where she was born. There she will attempt to unravel the mystery surrounding her mother’s homicide, all the while conflicting with a tribe that no longer accepts her.
The series is an original idea from Claudia González-Rubio, co-created and developed with Mueller.
“We believe [the series] is very timely in Mexico considering it is set in an indigenous community and features an indigenous protagonist. We intend for the show to create a mexafuturismo (or the indigenous futurism of Latin America), finding new narratives in which these characters that we previously saw as oppressed victims today break stereotypes,” said Mueller of the show.
“The Life and Death of Espíritu Perdomo” is director Mauricio Leiva Cock’s sophomore feature following “The Night of the Beast” – about two heavy metal kids who have tickets to the first ever Iron Maiden in Bogota, which is currently in post-production at Fidelio.
In the film, a homeless gravedigger creates a joyful society inside the cemetery where he works as a means of escaping the war-ravaged world outside the graveyard walls.