On Wednesday evening the Spanish city of Pamplona was overrun, not by bulls, but by hopeful TV creators who had spent the early week pitching their projects at Conecta Fiction, and who anxiously waited to find out the titles which would take home silverware.
Meanwhile, “Monzón,” a Disney-Pampa-Incaa production portraying the tragic violence of Argentine boxing legend Carlos Monzón, impressed a Pamplona audience a first episode screening at the prize ceremony.
David Miranda Hardy’s “The Frontier” scooped the ARPA Lawyers Consultancy Prize of 10 hours of consultancy and legal advice. His first project following Chilean hit series “Bala Loca,” in many ways one of the game-changers for Chilean high-end drama in both quality and format, “The Frontier” beat out a field of 10 finalists which competed in this week’s Pitch CoPro Series.
Developed by novelist and screenwriter Simón Soto, the series turns on Detective Manuela Valencia, who is tasked with investigating a violent murder in southern Chile where tensions are high between local authorities and the indigenous Mapuche people.
Spain’s SGAE Laboratory gives participants an opportunity to fill out their projects over a six-month tutoring process in which they are given access to industry professionals who can provide advice and share their own experiences. Three projects participated in the SGAE Pitch Foundation, with Pepe Macías and Carla Guimaraes’ “Why Did Men Disappear” scoring a development contract from Spanish public broadcaster RTVE.
The pitch, which proposed a world where 98% of the men in the world have slowly disappeared, was one of the best received from any section of the week. The award presentation had the crowd whooping, a sign of the project’s popularity.
The Pitch Digiseries session provided a platform for five digital short-form projects from across Latin America to promote their ideas. All five were dark comedies with the darkest of them all, Gabi Ochoa and Héctor Beltrán’s “From the Dead,” scoring the Acorde prize, which includes the scoring of an original soundtrack for the series’ first season.
“From the Dead,” pokes respectful fun at YouTuber culture, particular those who farm their hits by chasing the supernatural. In the series, a down and out influencer YonaxGo!, is asked out on a date in a cemetery with Ellydark, herself a burgeoning content creator. Elly instead uses the opportunity to play a series of terrifying pranks on Yonax, which leads to the unintentional summoning of a demon. Handheld cameras and “Blair Witch”-esque night vision graphics will give the series a familiar feel while being set in the ultra-contemporary world of homemade digital content creation.
Winner of the Spanish Alma Writers’ Guild Pitch Clip Award, “La Indiana” is a historical drama which takes place in the nineteenth century at a tobacco factory on the Canary Island of La Palma, and unspools against the background of the tobacco trade with Cuba. “It’s series targetting [SVOD] platforms with co-production potential with Latin America,” director Jorge Hernández told Variety at the prize ceremony.
The prize ceremony was followed by the upbeat Spanish premiere of the first episode of Disney Media Distribution Latin America’s “Monzón,” produced with Argentina’s Pampa Films and INCAA film-TV agency, and showrun by Pablo Bossi.
Presented in Pamplona by DMDLA’s Leonardo Aranguibel as “more of a true crime story than a bioseries,” “Monzón” impressed in Pamplona for its across-the-board values – screenwriting, direction, score and performances – as it did on Monday when it bowed on Turner Latin America’s Space converting it, thanks to “Monzón,” into the third most-watched channel of the day in Argentina, said TLA’s Marcelo Tamburri.
2019 CONECTA FICTION AWARDS
ARPA LAWYERS AND CONSULTANTS PRIZE
“The Frontier,” (David Miranda Hardy, Simón Soto, Pablo Toro, Chile)
SGAE-RTVE DEVELOPMENT AWARD
“Why Did Men Disappear,” (Pepe Macías, Carla Guimaraes, Spain)
DIGISERIES ACORDE AWARD
“From the Dead,” (Gabi Ochoa, Héctor Beltrán, Spain)
SPANISH ALMA WRITERS’ GUILD PITCH CLIP AWARD
“La Indiana,” (Jorge Hernández, Spain)