Movistar Plus, the pay TV unit of Telefonica, is driving into non-fiction, announcing in Madrid this week its first-ever slate of six titles which takes in Isaki Lacuesta’s “El Acusado,” Israel del Santo’s “El Palmar de Troya” and Santiago Posteguillo’s “El corazón del Imperio.”
“In Movistar+ we have a firm commitment to original production. We have been working for more than three years on entertainment and fiction. Going into non- fiction was the natural step,” María José Rodríguez Pérez, contents manager at Movistar premium channel #0 told Variety, adding: “For us to plumb non-fiction is to expand our commitment to creativity, emotion and the quality of our content.”
The move also comes as non-fiction is underscoring its market appeal on new OTT platforms. A repair last year by by Ampere Analysis suggested that over half (56%) of new titles being added to global streaming platforms were non-scripted, driven by documentary, followed by reality and lifestyle.
“As a consumer I am always looking look for content that surprises and thrills me and there is nothing more shocking than reality,” Rodríguez Pérez said.
The Movistar+ new non-fiction lineup:
Isaki Lacuesta’s “El Acusado” (The Accused)
Double San Sebastian Golden Shell winner , for 2011’a “The Double Steps” and 2018’s “Between Two Waters,” in “The Accused,” the Catalan auteur Lacuesta explores in the emotional tragedy unleashed by the unsolved murder of Miguel Ángel Domínguez and his daughter in 2013 in a village close to Huelva, southern Spain. Madrid’s Bambú Producciones co-produces.
Santiago Posteguillo’s “El Corazón del Imperio” (The Heart of the Empire)
Co-produced with Madrid’s Global Set, this six-episode series portraits a group of women who held sway in the Roman Empire. Women who did not feel satisfied with giving birth to emperors, but instead decided who held what office. Livia, Agrippina, Fulvia and foreign leaders such as Cleopatra and Boudica feature as series’protagonists.
The 2018 winner of Spain’s Premio Planeta, one of its most coveted literary awards, Posteguillo is preparing a hybrid show – fictionalized documentary- in the line of his awarded novel: “I, Julia.”
Israel del Santo’s “El Palmar de Troya”
De Santo (“Made in Angola”) tells the story of a breakaway from the Catholic Church, Seville’s Palmarian Church, accused by its critics of being a dangerous sect. The four-episode series is co-produced by The Mediapro Studio-owned 100 Balas and 93 Metros.
David Beriain’s “Espías” (Spies)
Journalist David Beriain explores international espionage in a series co-produced with Beriain’s 93 metros company. Movistar+ sources promise a documentary with the real story behind the novels of John Le Carré and Frederick Forsyth which many would prefer never to see the light. A fist episode airs on Oct. 17.
Jon Sistiaga, Alfonso Cortés-Cavanillas’ “ETA, el final del silencio” (ETA, the End of Silence)
Directed by Spanish journalist Sistiaga and Cortés-Cavanillas, this seven-episode series addresses the political and social change that took place during the half-century of ETA existence, talking to victims and executioners. One episode,”Zubiak,” world-premiered at Seotemvber’s San Sebastian Film Festival.
Javier Sierra’s “Otros mundos: El misterio de los faraones” (Other Worlds –the Mystery of Pharaohs)
Co-produced by La Caña Brothers, as “ETA – the End of Silence,” “Pharaohs” features bestselling writer Javier Sierra exploring mysteries of the history, such as that of a British woman –Dorothy Louise Eady–, born in 1904 who suddenly recalled scenes from another life – it was claimed – in which she was a lover of the Pharaoh Seti I, the father of Ramesses the Great.