MADRID — Spanish film-TV director Salvador Calvo, who made his mark with his debut feature, 2016’s “1898, Our Last Men in the Philippines,” plus a string of admired TV series, is joining Madrid-based Boomerang TV, a bastion of Spanish scripted fiction over the last two decades.
Calvo – whose latest movie, Telvcinco Cinema’s immigration drama “Adu,” bows shortly via Paramount in Spain – already has a strong relations with Boomerang TV where he saw one of his earliest hits, directing suspense thriller “Motivos personales” way back in 2005.
At Boomerang TV, Calvo will develop new scripted series. He will also, however, in a significant move, develop feature films. His appointment and Boomerang TV’s foreseeable plunge into movie production, looks set to mark further growth at the Spanish production house which has made some of the most successful long-running soaps (“The Secret of Puente Viejo”) and big series (“The Time in Between”) this decade, rolling off its hallmark high production standards and ken for period pieces.
Majority owned from 2015 by France’s Lagardère Studios, Boomerang TV has also set out to grow with the new production opportunities opening up for companies in Spain and Latin America. It already expanded to Latin America before Lagardère’s purchase, launching Boomerang Chile in 2014. It is now teaming with Atresmedia Studios to produce large-scale period romance “La Templanza,” one of Amazon’s first originals in Spain; and it has joined RTVE and Chilevisión to make “Inés of My Soul,” a portrait of the courage and contradictions of one of Spain’s few known women conquistadors.
The foreseeable move into movies by Boomerang may seem counterintuitive as the market for foreign-language scripted series builds. Yet recent Netflix rankings of its biggest hits in major markets around the world for 2019 underscored the fact that it is movies, U.S. and local, which often hit the highest ratings on streaming platforms, a likely inevitable client of Boomerang TV in an immediate future.
After “Motivos personales,” Calvo went on to helm other Boomerang TV series such as drama “Hermanos,” and miniseries “Cain’s Father,” hailed as the first primetime TV fiction to tackle the emotional toil for both sides of the conflict between Spain’s Civil Guard and ETA terrorists., as well as murder mystery dramedy “Los misterios de Laura,” an export hit which was reversioned for NBC as “The Mysteries of Laura,” starring Debra Messing.
It was “1898” that sealed, however, Calvo’s reputation for being able to handle big-budget titles – the film has been described quite correctly as the nearest Spain has gotten to epic cinema since the early ‘50s – whose sweep and production values do not negate a harder edge of historical criticism towards a heroic last stand against Philippine forces in 1898, as Spain lost its last remaining empire outside North Africa.
“It’s an enormous satisfaction to count on one of the great directors of film and TV in Spain, with whom we hope to continue our bet on attracting great creative talent,” said Juan José Díaz, Boomerang TV senior manager.
He went on: “Our aim is to continue telling enthralling stories with high production values. We’re convinced that the fact that they’ll reach the spectator through the eyes of a director of the stature of Salavador Calvo will give them a large value indeed.”
Calvo added that he was “delighted to return to Boomerang TV, “a place full of people who mix talent and humanity such as Tedy Villaba, with whom I’ve grown professionally, developing key projects in my career. This new stage is highly exciting.”
(Pictured: Salvador Calvo)