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Pantaya, Starzplay Pageant Drama ‘Señorita 89,’ a Fremantle-Fabula Co-Pro, Starts Production, Announces Cast (EXCLUSIVE)

Ximena Romo, Ilse Salas, Natasha Dupeyron
Credit: Anabel Fuentes Garcia

L.A.-based Spanish-language streaming platform Pantaya and global streamer Starzplay have revealed that production is underway on the period new drama series “Señorita 89” from Fremantle and the Larraín brothers’ Fabula, the latest co-production stemming from a first-look deal between the two, dating back to 2019.

The first fruit of that combined labor was global hit series “La Jauria,” available on Amazon Prime Video in Latin America and HBO Max in the U.S. Selected as one of Variety’s best international series of 2020, “La Jauria” stars “A Fantastic Woman” lead Daniela Vega and is directed by one of Latin America’s most prominent film and TV writer-directors Lucia Puenzo.

Sticking with a talent alliance that worked so well for Fabula and Fremantle the first time around, Puenzo also co-wrote and is directing “Señorita 89.” She is joined by co-screenwriters María Renée Prudencio and Tatiana Mereñuk, and co-directors Nicolás Puenzo (“La Jauria”), Sílvia Quer (“Élite”) and Jimena Montemayor (“Wind Traces”).

“Señorita 89” represents a key moment in the growth of Fabula as an international brand, as it will be the company’s first series produced out of their new offices in Mexico. The company also has offices in Santiago, Chile and Los Angeles.

“‘Señorita 89’ is very special for us because it’s the first production by our Mexican office; hopefully the first of many,” said Juan de Dios Larraín, executive producer and CEO at Fabula.  “Lucia Puenzo has shown herself to be a great leader and she’ll be backed up by a very talented team of professionals, both on the screen and behind the scenes. We’re very confident that she’s the one to take this content and make it extraordinary.”

The series is executive produced by Juan de Dios and his brother Pablo Larraín, Angela Poblete and Mariane Hartard at Fabula with Christian Vesper from Fremantle. Pantaya will have rights to the series in the U.S. and Puerto Rico and Starzplay will stream it in Latin America and Spain.

“Señorita 89” unspools in the outwardly glamorous yet often dark world of 1980s beauty pageants. Most plot details are still under wraps, but according to a synopsis the series will follow the contestants as they train for the Miss Mexico pageant, vying “not only to win – but to make it out of the final contest alive.”

A star-studded ensemble cast of established and rising talent is headed by Mexican Academy Award-winners Ilse Salas (“Güeros,” “The Good Girls”), one of the most sought-after actors in Mexico, and Juan Manuel Bernal (“Perfect Obedience”), “This is Not Berlin” standout Ximena Romo, Natasha Dupeyron (“The House of Flowers”), Bárbara López (“Amar a muerte”), Luis Ernesto Franco (“False Identity”), Edwarda Gurrola (“Luciérnagas”) and Ianis Guerrero (“Tigers Are Not Afraid”).

Other key roles will be played by Coty Camacho (“Unstoppable”), Mónica del Carmen (“Babel”), Mabel Cadena (“Monarca”), Aida López (“Monarca”), Leidi Gutiérrez (“Chicuarotes”), Ari Brickman (“Sense 8”), Marcelo Alonso (“Neruda”) and Getsemani Vela (“Veinteañera, Divorciada y Fantástica”).

“At the heart of ‘Señorita 89’ are unforgettable characters. The cast and creative team bringing these characters to life are some of the most talented players working in film and television today. Pantaya is proud to bring this level of storytelling to the Latinx audience,” said Mario Almeida, Pantaya head of content.

“The level of talent from all elements of this production is truly impressive and I am excited to see how our fantastic creative team and actors bring this page-turning script onto the screen,” said Superna Kalle, executive VP of international digital networks at Starz. “We look forward to delivering a sophisticated premium story for an unforgettable experience to our audiences in Spain, Latin America and Brazil.”

“This is a very Mexican series that takes place in a universe and time period that everyone will recognize: namely, the world of beauty pageants,” said Ángela Poblete, executive producer at Fabula.  “It deals with interesting and challenging issues such as the commodification of women’s bodies, beauty standards and sexual harassment. It’s quite incredible to look back today on where we were a mere 30 years ago. Our team has really put together a thrilling series and we’re so excited to bring this period to life.”