MADRID — Mexico’s Manolo Caro, creator-director-writer of Netflix hit “La Casa de las Flores” (“The House of Flowers”), will be on the jury of the first Iberseries, one of the Spanish-speaking world’s first TV festivals to be clearly staged not only for local audiences but the whole of Ibero-America.
Focusing on Spanish-language drama series and promoted by Spain’s Secuoya Foundation, the inaugural edition of Iberseries will take place over May 25-30 in Granada, Southern Spain.
Backed by top TV networks and SVOD platforms across Spain, Latin and North America – Netflix, HBO, Movistar Plus, Atresmedia, Disney España and Azteca TV figure among operators that have already confirmed their support, according to the festival organization – Iberseries will present new details of its first edition at a presentation at next week’s NATPE market in Miami on Tuesday Jan. 21.
A symbol of and driving force in the new Spanish-language content scene, Caro was only the second show-runner from Spain and Latin America to sign a multi-year production pact with Netflix, in May 2019, after “The House of Flowers” broke out to become one of the U.S. streaming giant’s biggest hits in Mexico, ranking as the second most-watched series of any nationality on Netflix in Mexico last year according to Netflix.
“The House of Flowers” is one of the first premium series from Mexico to break out internationally beyond the U.S., ranking as a cult item in Spain, and confirming the ability of Caro to transfer his auteurist personality from big to small screen, playing with melodrama and flamboyant aesthetics to tragicomic effect in five features and a documentary over six years in titles that constantly contrast social facade and reality.
“Lies are a recurrent element in all of Manolo’s work right from his first short. The idea of pretending to be one thing and saying another is something that obsesses him,” Cecilia Suárez, star of “The House of Flowers” as Paulina de la Mora, tells Carlos Aguilar at Remezcla.
Caro is now also pushing the envelope in industrial terms. Launching Noc Noc Cinema with his movie producers, Mexico’s Woo Films’ Rafael Ley, Maria Jose Cordova, in his latest production, miniseries “Someone Has to Die,” Caro has set out to yoke above-the-line talent from Spain (Carmen Maura) and Mexico (“Suárez”), furthering Spanish-language star system, in a Mexico production for Netflix set and shot, however, in Spain.
“Caro embodies all the values of the Spanish-language entertainment contents revolution,” said Samuel Castro Hansson, Iberseries director.
“He’s a benchmark as a show runner in Latin America, and also as a film director who’s migrated to series, personifying, as both professional and artist, an evolution which we are witnessing. He is undoubtable proof of a future, that of contents production between Spain and Latin America.”
Screening TV fiction, documentaries and animation, Iberseries will give 12 awards, taking in dramatic series, comedy series, youth series, miniseries, screenplay, dramatic actress and actor, comedy actress and actor, and a honorary prize for career achievement.
It will frame series premieres, meetings aimed at both public-sector and industry representatives, keynotes and a Capitulo 1 sidebar anticipating Spanish-language series for the 2020/2021 season.
“Events such as Seriesmania, MipTV and Mipcom are structured primarily for professionals. Beyond this industrial facet, which is necessary and binding, Iberseries also aims to bring out the cultural heft of Spanish-language series, which is what sets us apart,”said Iberseries director Samuel Castro Hansson.
A further objective of Iberseries is to highlight and support talent, a role the Secuoya Foundation has already taken through a grants program.
“The longterm success of Spain as a fiction producer will be based on its creation of solid professional talent base. Currently, it exists but its capacity will be increasingly challenged by escalating production volume,” said Raúl Berdonés, president of the Secuoya Foundation, whose Secuoya Studios, at Madrid’s Tres Cantos, hosts Netflix’s first European Production Hub.
Berdonés and Castro Hansson will be joined at the NATPE presentation by Iberseries advisory committee members Puerto Rican actress Roselyn Sánchez and Epigmenio Ibarra, co-founder in 1992 of Mexico City-based Argos Comunucación (“Ingobernable,” “El señor de los cielos”), which for years was one of the few independent production houses in Latin America. Its production levels are now escalating in a new streaming platform environment.
“To have got to where Argos currently is marks an important step for the industry and Mexico at large. Epigmenio has showed wisdom, creativity and perseverance, has connected a real world with and shed light on troublesome stories which challenge governments and big business alike” said Berdonés.
(Pictured: (left) Samuel Castro Hansson, Raúl Berdonés)