‘Narcos’ producer Gaumont is returning to Colombia. Having shot early seasons of Netflix’s milestone “Narcos” there, the French film-TV studio has signed a multi-title development deal with Colombia’s Fidelio Films, which will kick off with “Somos Monstruos” (“We Are Monsters”), created by Fidelio founder-partner Mauricio Leiva Cock.
The deal marks the second strategic international alliance announced at Conecta Fiction by Fidelio Films, where it will present “Tenebris” in the co-production forum’s main project section.
On Tuesday, the fast-growing Colombian production house unveiled a development and co-production deal with Stories, the burgeoning film-TV arm of Spain-based publishing giant Editorial Planeta. Both partnerships underscore Fidelio’s clear interest in establishing solid bridges with the international drama series community.
A coming of age series set against the background of post-pandemic Colombia, “We Are Monsters” turns on two kids, Jorge, a Venezuelan boy, and Ariel a girl from a deeply religious Colombian family, who connect through their shared interest in graphic novels.
As they deep dive into the development of their own graphic novel, the social issues that permeate their lives come to life as monsters which slowly grow and take form as they are drawn into the comic.
Drawing inspiration from Latin American cartoonists such as Power Paol – a half-Ecuadorian, half-Colombian cartoonist whose worked has already made the jump to the big screen in 2017’s “Tropical Virus” – the show dabbles in combining animation and live images, very much continuing the interests of creator Leiva Cock whose debut film “The Night of the Beast” demonstrates a similar practice.
Enter Gaumont which, even if the project is at initial stages of development, can back it thanks to its long years of experience in animation.
“As narrators we are trying to introduce indie authors on the graphic novel scenes in both Colombia and Venezuela where amazing things are being done,” commented Leiva Cock whose work underscores the artistic process as a source of resistance capable of changing reality.
The show critically highlights issues that now more than ever are felt in the Colombian society as the country endures a time of enormous social tension, always seen through the lens of a youth who is still grasping the depth of the problems surrounding him. “We Are Monsters” tackles head-on themes such as xenophobia towards Venezuelan migrants, mental health and the religious and everyday prejudices of Colombian society.
“We Are Monsters” is backed up by Gaumont’s Christian Gabela, responsible for Latin American distribution and co-production who had previously worked with Leiva Cock as a producer on “Tijuana” for Story House Entertainment and Netflix.
“We haven’t really seen before a coming of age story in a series format made in the region. Its approach feels unique, the friendship of the two protagonists original, and it gives us the chance to explore having animation elements which is one of Gaumont’s strong points,” he noted. Of the collaboration between the two production companies, Gabela added that “Fidelio in a very short time, due to its talent and production knowledge, has managed to shape stories and projects within a new format in a highly efficient way.”
He went on: “For us that is a vital characteristic for an artist. We are very interested in collaborating with them as we know they can develop a project concept, making it feasible in production terms.”