This year’s crop of Conecta Fiction short form series presentations offer up young, mostly female ensemble casts and a healthy dash of dark humor.
The five finalists – which include three Spanish entries, one Portuguese script and another from Argentina – will pitch their half-hour episode projects on site at Pamplona’s Baluarte Palace of Congress on Sept. 2 and Sept. 3.
Portuguese offering “#NoFilter” comes from Nuno Bernardo’s BeActive Entertainment production company, famed for its pioneering YA multi-platform fiction (“Sofia’s Diary”). The comedy/mockumentary created and directed by Joana Alves, follows the lives of two female millennials with a tendency to view life through rose-tinted Instagram filters – until they move to Lisbon to pursue media careers and the realities of flat shares, self employment and internships bite. The series, which already comes with a pilot, is framed around a nightly podcast, with a real-life podcast planned to run with the series.
Also in the running is a ten-part female ensemble comedy “What’s Up?” from Francisco Matiozzi’s Argentinian production outfit Avi Films (“Murales, El Principio de las Cosas”). Jesica Arán and Juan Lombardi’s script – which has received support from Argentina’s Incaa film agency – focuses on four women on divergent life paths who rekindle their childhood friendships following a series of challenging events.
According to Arán, the show takes a comic, sometimes excruciating, look at the challenges women face at home, in marriage and at work. “We want you to laugh and cringe at the same time,” Aran adds.
Pitched as a cross between Marvel superhero comedy “Kick Ass” and Amazon Prime’s Nazi snaring series “Hunters,” Spanish entry “Unreal,” from MoA Studios, attempts to inject a harsh reality into the comic superhero genre.
It tells the story of three women on a collision course that sees them become icons of feminist struggle. Created by Spain’s Alberto Utrera, director of 2017 comedy “Smoking Club 129 Norms,” the series was developed and co-written by MoA studios scriptwriter Paula Sánchez.
Meanwhile accidents, suicides and murders catapult the plot of the third Spanish entry, “R.I.P. The Series”, a black, ten-part comedy from Alhena productions, penned by director-writer Caye Casas (“Kill God”).
Based on Casas’ short, “R.I.P.”, which won the audience award at the 2017 Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival, each self-concluding episode explores the reasons behind and consequences of a person’s passing.
The series’ takes aim at hypocrisy and small mindedness with stories revolving around a woman who would rather bury her not-quite-yet-deceased husband than look bad in front of the other guests.
Lastly, like the protagonist of Netflix hit series “Russian Doll,” the characters in Efrén Tarifa and Álvaro Valmorisco’s sci-fi comedy “In the Mood” appear stuck at a perpetual never-ending party in this third Spanish entry, produced through Mammut productions. The majority of the partygoers are also trapped in specific moods and situations and it becomes the task of the room’s five misfit students to try and push the hours forward.
A Europe-Latin America co-production forum for drama series, Conecta Fiction takes place in site and online in Pamplona, northern Spain, over Sept. 1-3.