Seven series have been selected to participate on Jan. 14, each giving a seven-minute presentation to an audience of key companies in Spanish TV fiction. Confirmed attendees at this year’s Pitchbox include: Amazon Prime Video Spain, Viacom International Studios, Mediaset España, Movistar Plus, RTVE, The Mediapro Studio, Dynamo, DeAPlaneta, The Co-Producer, Mediacrest, Netshow Capital, Sequoia Contents and The Immigrant.
Following the pitches, participants and observers will attend a networking lunch, another staple of the TV Pitchbox events now held this year in London, Madrid, Sitges, Guadalajara and Mexico City.
Filmarket Hub has also announced that January’s showcase will host an opening talk given by Parrot Analytics director Alejandro Rojas, one of the leading analysts of audience for content in international markets.
This year’s selection of projects and presenters is young, current and features strong female representation among the creators and the series’ narratives. The selection focuses heavily on issues facing Gen Z’ers, although often explored through the veil of period storytelling. Gender, sexual orientation, social taboos, drug use, sports and other themes pop up again and again, often based on true historical events.
“The Carolinas,” from Rebeca Serrada and Diego Zúñiga, takes place in Spain’s roaring ‘20s and is based on true events. It follows the Carolinas, a transvestite gang willing to do anything to defend Barcelona’s Chinatown from more established and well-equipped organizations. The eight-hour series is targeted at young adult and middle-aged audiences and is pictured by its creators as fitting best on a VOD platform or pay TV network.
“CATCH THE SUN”
Bucking the ultra-popular hour-long format so common in international drama today, Joel Carnicé and Adria Espí’s “Catch the Sun” is a five-hour dramedy delivered in half-hour episodes. The series unravels in Barcelona around the turn of the 21st century, but again touches on topics that are ever-present in today’s papers. The series main character, fictional director Lucas Saltor, is a decade removed from winning an Oscar in ’92 when he becomes embroiled in a sexual scandal with his leading lady. The industry cancels Saltor and in his exile he is diagnosed with OCD and post-traumatic stress fueled by alcohol abuse. The disgraced talent is then forced to take up menial labor typically seen as unfit for a once-great talent. Goya-nominated director Marc Crehuet (“El rey tuerto”) will helm the show and Goya-winner and “Summer 1993” breakout star David Verdaguer is confirmed to play Lucas.
“DEPORTE REINA” (“Queen of Sport”)
With one of Europe’s strongest and fastest-growing traditions in women’s soccer – both Barcelona and Atlético de Madrid have enjoyed international success on the club level while the national team just enjoyed one of its best-ever World Cups – “Deporte Reina” aims to be the country’s first series to address the growing phenomenon. The series follows a fictional legendary Spanish goalkeeper who, in her retirement, must reenter the workforce, unlike her male counterparts who retire as millionaires. More than just a sports drama, the series will explore seldom touched-upon and often taboo themes facing middle aged women in Spain such as machismo, maternity and female masturbation. The project is headed by writer-director partnership Teresa Bellón and César F. Calvillo and produced by Morena TV.
Based on true events, Silvia Arribas’ “The Brides” follows young Jana, a Spanish teen who attends a boarding school for single women in ISIS-controlled Syria. While outwardly she plans for a life paired with a jihadist, Jana’s real reason for being in the area is to find and recover her friend and escape together.
Created by Javi Araguz and Isabel Hierro, “Players” kicks off in 1994 when a group of kids make a pact with a wish-granting stranger who fulfills their juvenile desires. Fast-forward to 2020, the stranger reappears, unchanged in the intervening 26 years, and looking to collect on the group’s outstanding debt.
“A HOTEL ON THE COAST”
Another period story, Isona Passola’s “A Hotel on the Coast” starts in 1936 London where a journalist is expelled from his job after criticizing British neutrality towards fascist governments. The reporter changes careers after moving with his wife to the Catalan Coast where the couple opens a posh hotel for Europe’s elite thinkers and bohemians. The move is ill-timed however, as the Spanish Civil war quickly breaks out and destroys the young couple’s newly created paradise. The series is produced by Barcelona’s Massa d’Or Productions.
Described as a thriller with comedic elements, Lourdes Manzano and David R. de la Mora’s “Anna” turns on a foreign lawyer who wakes up in Spain with no memory of the wild night that got him tangled up with a beautiful Spanish art dealer working in a dangerous and often-lawless world. The series first season is laid out in a finished bible and will be produced by Spanish-Mexican company We Films, which just pitched their feature project “Singles” at Mexico’s CDMX Film Pitchbox.