Federation Entertainment, producer of banner Canal Plus’ series “The Bureau,” Netflix Italian hit “Baby” and Omri Givon’s Keshet success “The Grave,” has teamed with three high-profile Spanish executives to launch Federation Spain.
As when Federation Entertainment, a production-distribution company, bought a majority share in Italy’s Fabula Pictures in 2018, Federation Entertainment will own 51% of Federation Spain, to be run by executives Juan Sola, Toni Sevilla and Nacho Manubens. Federation Entertainment is based in Paris and Los Angeles.
Remaining equity is split between Sola, Jaume Collet-Serra’s producing partner, Sevilla, a former director of fiction at Mediaset España, and Manubens, the former deputy head of fiction at Spanish broadcast network Atresmedia when it produced milestone series ““Gran Hotel,” “Velvet” and “La Casa de Papel.”
Federation Spain has also hired as head of production Mark Albela, a producer on some of the biggest modern-day U.S. shoots in Spain, such as Ridley Scott’s “Kingdom of Heaven” and “Exodus: Gods and Kings” and Breck Eisner’s “Sahara.” “Vis a Vis” (“Locked Up”) co-writer Santi San Martín has joined the company as director of development.
Some first projects at Federation Spain — “quite a lot of movies, some series” — will be announced shortly, Pascal Breton, Federation founder-CEO, told Variety.
Federation Spain’s heavyweight executive makeup makes it Federation’s potentially biggest operation to date in Europe, outside France.
The company’s full launch come at a propitious time as in 2019, Netflix produced more hours of original productions in Spain (163) than any other country outside the U.S., apart from South Korea (238), but on a par with the U.K. (160), according to London-based research company Omdia.
The company’s focus, however, is far broader than just Spain.
A major competitive asset of Federation Spain, said Breton, is that “it’s based in Madrid but has a very strong link with Los Angeles,” where Federation owns offices and teamed last year with Patrick Wachsberger, former president of Lionsgate Motion Pictures, to launch L.A.-based joint venture Picture Perfect Federation.
Solá has been based out of Los Angeles for many years. Manubens will spend nearly half his time there, Breton added.
“We want to bring the best of Spanish talent to Los Angeles. The Spanish-speaking market [in the U.S.] is much bigger than in Spain, and all the platforms are there, creating shows,” Breton said.
He added: “The executives we‘ve hired want to work both in Madrid and Los Angeles. We can create much more than just a good operation in Spain. With the three executives, we can cover all the Spanish-speaking markets.”
First declarations by Federation Spain executives underscore their large ambitions. “The market currently needs global projects at a scale never seen before in our territory,” said Solá.
“I will be getting involved creatively even more with talent generating innovative contents with a clear international vision,” Manubens added.
Solá’s producer credits in Hollywood or beyond encompass “Anna” (Studiocanal), “Curve” (Universal), “Eden” (Voltage Pictures), “Extinction” and “The Shallows” (Sony), “The Commuter” (Lionsgate-Studiocanal) and “Horizon Line” (STX).
Manubens went on in 2018 to become director of contents at Atresmedia Estudios as it made Alex Pina and Esther Martínez Lobato’s “The Pier” for Movistar Plus and upcoming period romance “La Templanza,” Amazon Studios first original series in Spain.
Sevilla also served as director of contents at Spanish public network TVE.
(Pictured top: Toni Sevilla, Marisa Castelo, Juan Solá. Bottom: Nacho Manubens, Santi San Martin, Mark Albela)