Profiles of some of Mediapro’s production milestones, and select titles on its 2019 production slate. TVE has also just announced season four on the Mediapro co-produced cult time-travel adventure “The Department of Time.”
MONDAYS IN THE SUN, 2002
Produced with Elías Querejeta, directed by Fernando León, “Sun” was Mediapro’s first big movie hit. It was a San Sebastian Golden Shell winner, and took in €9.8 million ($11 million) at Spain’s box office. It also sported a breakout performance by Javier Bardem in a portrait of Spain’s unemployed told with compassion and humor.
Produced with Spain’s Morena Films and Pentagrama, film featured the best of Oliver Stone’s three-day interview of Fidel Castro mixed with archival footage. “Lively and compulsive viewing,” said a Variety review.
THE SECRET LIFE OF WORDS, 2005
A high-water mark for filmmaker Isabel Coixet, Variety’s review said: “Sarah Polley gives a wonderfully searching performance. … Pic tackles its big theme — silence as a defense against tragedy — with delicacy, sympathy and originality.”
VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA, 2008
Mediapro’s first film with Woody Allen, set in a postcard-perfect Barcelona. The filmmaker mused on the multifarious travails of love in the drama-comedy starring Rebecca Hall, Scarlett Johansson, Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz, whose performance earned her an Oscar for supporting actress. Film also won a Golden Globe for best picture — musical or comedy.
Roman Polanski directed a dream cast of Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly in the drama, picked up by Sony Pictures Classics for the U.S. with European powerhouse producers SBS Prods. and Constantin on board.
A PERFECT DAY, 2015
Fernando León’s biggest international production starred two Oscar winners, Benicio del Toro and Tim Robbins, and unspooled in Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight.
LOCKED-UP (VIS-A-VIS), 2015-19
The first clear sign of co-creators Alex Pina and Esther Martínez-Lobato cutting loose, this gritty, energetic women’s penitentiary drama was originally created by Globomedia for Atresmedia Television but picked up in seasons three and four by Fox Networks España and Ivan Escobar was installed as showrunner. Spain’s first series to sell as a subtitled original to the U.K., it was picked up by Channel 4.
THE YOUNG POPE
THE NEW POPE 2017-present
Paolo Sorrentino’s witty study of absolute power, played as knowing theater by Jude Law, was co-produced for HBO, Canal Plus and Sky Italia. Mediapro’s first big international TV series gave it credibility as a big league TV co-producer.
ESTOY VIVO 2017-present
An increasingly extraordinary mash-up of supernatural/sci-fi thriller, dramedy, romance and family dynamics, “Vivo” follows a reincarnated cop who faces off with a serial killer, who led to the cop’s death. Created by Daniel Ecija, it’s a big hit on Spain’s TVE and a sturdy international seller. “A bold genre mix with fantasy touches,” says Javier Pons, the Mediapro Studio head of TV.
SIX DREAMS, 2018
Amazon Prime Video’s first Spanish original, “Six Dreams” is a behind-the-scenes documentary series from Justin Webster on six figures in Spain’s La Liga, taking in pre-match locker-room prep talks, board meetings and down time in the club canteen. Eye-opening and frequently compassionate.
VOTA JUAN 2019
An eight-part Spanish political satire, portraying media manipulation, chicanery and the self-deceiving vanity of power, as a feckless, preening agriculture minister runs for president. An early TNT Spain original, co-produced by Mediapro.
TODO POR EL JUEGO, 2019
DirecTV Latin America’s first co-production with Europe, written by “The Secret of Their Eyes” novelist Eduardo Sacheri and directed by Daniel Calparsoro (“To Steal From a Thief”). Series is an insider’s take on a new Spanish soccer club president, who gains promotion for his humble team, but risks losing his soul. “A big, big hit on OnDirecTV,” notes Javier Méndez, the Mediapro Studio chief content officer.
THE PARADISE, 2019
A co-production with Finland’s YLE, Ram Tellem garnered applause at a sneak peek at Berlin’s Drama Series Days, “Paradise” is an emotion-washed tale of a 62-year-old Finnish police detective’s reawakening to life as she investigates Costa del Sol murders. “A Nordic thriller set on a warm Costa del Sol,” says Fernández Espeso, the Mediapro Studio co-head of TV.
CAZADORES DE MILAGROS, 2019
Mediapro partners Disney Media Distribution Latin America, Mexico’s BTF Media and Miami-based Somos Prods. on a Mexico-set tale about a team that investigates miracles. “An innovative project, mixing an extraordinary world and reality,” says Fernández Espeso.
BORDER REPUBLIC, 2019
Mediapro’s first scripted series with Vice Studios was announced at 2018 Mipcom. It’s set in Matamoros, Mexico, and Brownsville, Texas, two once-close communities now torn apart by the U.S./Mexico border.
A legal procedural — about an ex-cop and an ex-con turned criminal lawyer — series is produced by Mediapro’s Big Bang Media for network Mediaset España, and acquired by Amazon Prime Video for worldwide streaming.
“Vis a Vis” star Maggie Civantos and director Marc Vigil re-team on a murder/cartel turf war crime thriller, set in Malaga, and produced by Globomedia and Spanish public broadcaster RTVE. “A powerful woman police officer fights mafias in a sun-dazzled Malaga,” says Pons.
LAS BRAVAS F.C., 2019
A classic Mediapro model: Turner Latin America and Mediapro co-produce the first series in a five-year development-production alliance from a concept created by Spain’s Flipy. Spanish and Mexican screenwriters teamed on a drama about a sexist ex-soccer star who is dispatched to train a girls’ team.
From seasoned Spanish screenwriter Ruth Garcia comes a thriller set between Spain and Colombia from Big Bang Media and Spanish scripted powerhouse Atresmedia.
Created with Televisa and Burman Office, “Stroke” follows a prestigious architect with a frantic daily life who has to start from zero after suffering a stroke — and who discovers his loved ones’ lives can go on, and for the better, without him. Daniel Burman returns to his home turf with an ironic take on traditional family dynamics.
A drama about surrogate motherhood complicated by Mexico’s social divide, “Unwanted” takes advantage of Mediapro’s business model: Mexico’s Televisa and Mediapro co-produce the series created by Mediapro’s Ran Tellem and Spanish scribe Mariano Baselga (“The Boarding School”) and written by Mexico’s Susana Casares (“Luis Miguel”).
NOOBEES, SEASON 2, 2019
After the first season, in which teen Silvia battled to become a professional gamer, scored 64% above channel average on Viacom’s Nickelodeon Latin America, it was renewed for a second in February. “A successful transfer from the gaming world to small screen,” says Méndez.
THE HEAD, 2019
An English-language, South Pole-set killer-on-the-loose survival tale developed by Alex and David Pastor (“Incorporated”), “The Head” is produced with Beta Film’s Dramacorp in Sweden with co-production potential. “A psychological thriller created by two of the genre’s great experts,” says Fernández Espeso.
270 DAYS, 2019
Co-developed with Italy’s Palomar, set in WWII during the Nazi occupation of Rome, it’s the extraordinary true story of a Catholic doctor who invented a disease to save his Jewish patients’ lives. Unveiled at 2018’s Series Mania Co-Pro Pitching Sessions.
One of Movistar + and Mediapro’s big Spanish plays for 2020, “Paraiso” is Fernando Gonzalez Molina’s homage to Steven Spielberg, “V” and “epic, emotional movies.” It concerns a gang of young adolescents, on the coast for the summer, who discover that one of their own is imprisoned by aliens.