Finalists to Conecta Fiction Reboot’s four pitching categories were unveiled Monday at the opening virtual session of the 4th Latin America-Europe TV co-production forum in Pamplona, Spain. Forced online due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the on-site edition returns to Pamplona’s Baluarte Congress Center over Sept. 2-3.
Conecta Fiction director Géraldine Gonard hosted the opening ceremony at which María Chivite, President of Navarre, sent a video greeting where she reiterated her steadfast support for the industry.
All finalists will be invited to present their projects in person in September. Among the two key international categories, Pitch CoPro Series and Pitch Short-Form Series, are projects from the likes of Madrid-based Morena Films (“The Year of the Rat”), which has made more than 50 features and worked with a host of notable directors, including Oliver Stone, Asghar Farhadi, Icíar Bollaín, Steven Soderbergh, Carlos Saura and Pablo Trapero.
Colombia’s Fidelio Films made the cut with “Tenebris,” created by David Figueroa García and Mauricio Leiva Cock, and produced by Mauro Mueller and Juan Diego Villegas. Based in Bogota, Toronto and Zurich, Fidelio Films produced one of the first Latin American series, “Ruido Capital” for Telefonica’s Movistar.
Salon Indien Films, founded in 2014 with offices in Madrid and New York, made the final selection with “Lemoniz.”
Due to a triple tie, 12 Co-Pro projects were selected instead of the usual 10 this year. These were plucked from more than 150 submissions from 17 countries, 82% of them presenting for the first time to a co-production market. Spain, with 45 titles, submitted the most projects, followed by Argentina with 14. While most of the projects were in Spanish, a few were in English or in the native language of the production companies. Many of the projects already had 20% to 50% of the final budget in place.
Eastern European projects (from Russia, Poland and Ukraine) were noteworthy for establishing narrative connections between Europe and America, a requirement of Conecta Fiction international sessions.
Christian Gabela, international co-production VP of Gaumont U.S. and member of the Pitch Co-Pro Series 2020 selection editorial committee, said before the opening presentation: “The project selection offers a wide variety of genres, universes, themes and personal conflicts, thus demonstrating the abundance of original concepts presented to Pitch CoPro Series 2020.”
“In several cases, the narrative proposals are ambitious and reveal that these countries aspire to create projects that seemed impossible in terms of budget in the past,” she asserted.
Among the Short Form series, where three out of the five finalists were Spanish, “What’s Up” hailed from Argentina’s Avi Films (Argentina), run by director/producer Francisco Matiozzi, best known for his documentary “Murales, El Principio de las Cosas” and docu series “Siete Latidos.”
This year’s short form crop, running no longer than 30 minutes, explored either youth, crime or dystopian/sci-fi genres.
“Conecta Fiction has been a trendsetter in giving the spotlight to new narrative formats that were previously considered risky but will become the new norm soon enough,” said Marcelo Liberini, digital VP of Colombia’s Caracol Television and member of the Short Form Series selection committee.
Winners of the CoPro Series and SGAE Foundation SGAE sessions will receive at least one development agreement from Spanish public broadcaster RTVE. In addition, Acorde will facilitate the music for one of the projects, and Arpa Abogados will offer 10 hours of legal counsel for one of the projects presented in the CoPro, Short-Form or SGAE pitching sessions.
Conecta Fiction Reboot will run for three days with online conferences to include three “Rebooting” panels, as well as diversity and case study presentations.
CONECTA FICTION 2020 PITCH FINALISTS
“Lemoniz,” Salon Indien Films (Spain)
“The Year of the Rat,” Morena Films (Spain)
“Chained,” Weekend Studio (Spain)
“Follow Me!,” Mulata Films (Argentina)
“The Hate Farm,” Jaque Content (Argentina)
“Graf Spee,” Coral Cine (Uruguay)
“Twinned,” Manada de Dos Prods. (Argentina)
“Great Yarmouth,” Vende-se Filmes (Portugal)
“Pharaoh,” Limmat Films (Spain)
“Lisbon Noir,” Plural Entertainment Portugal (Portugal)
“Tenebris,” Fidelio Films (Colombia)
“Patagonian Winds,” Invercine & Wood SPA (Chile)
SHORT FORM SERIES
“What’s Up,” Avi Films Srl (Argentina)
“In the Mood,” Mammut Films (Spain)
“R.I.P. The Series,” Alhena Production (Spain)
“Yrreal,” Moa Studio/(Spain)
“#NoFilter,” beActive Entertainment (Portugal)
“Demokracy,” Pedro Garcia Rios, Rodrigo Martin Antoraz
“Beautiful People,” Martin Suarez
“Heritage,” Fernando Camara
“The Mermaid,” Joanna M. Ortueta
“Looking Great, Feeling Shit,” Juanpe Galvez
“Umbra Dei – The Shadow of God,” Matias Garcia
“Weak-Up!,” Edurne San Jose
“Last Date,” Antonio Martin Sebastian
“The Endless Night,” Iker Aizpuru
“Quins-Z,” Marina Velazquez
“Madrid Apolo,” Fran Ventura