ZDF Enterprises (ZDFE) has acquired the international distribution rights to Spanish horror anthology “Stories to Stay Awake,” in Spanish “Historias para no dormir,” for all territories outside of Spain, Portugal, Italy and Latin America, which will be handled by series producer ViacomCBS International Studios. VIS will also host the series on its Paramount Plus streaming platform in several territories which will be announced soon.
50 years ago, Chicho Ibáñez Serrador became a household name in Spain thanks to his creation “Historias Para No Dormir,” a Spanish series which aired from 1966 to 1968 and again in 1982. In 2005, the IP was reformatted for the big screen as a group of shorts in “Peliculas Para No Dormir” (Movies to Stay Awake), with Ibáñez’s contribution “La Culpa” being the filmmaker’s final directorial work. He was joined then by several other Spanish genre masters on the project in Álex de la Iglesia (“30 Coins”), Jaume Balagueró (“[REC]”), Mateo Gil (“Open Your Eyes”), Enrique Urbizu (“The Ninth Gate”) and, back for this new series reboot, Paco Plaza.
Sticking with the collaborative spirit of that project, the updated version, already acquired in its native Spain by Amazon Prime Video – where it will premiere on Nov. 5 – and local broadcaster RTVE, is as a four-part anthology miniseries, boasting superstar talent on either side of the camera. Episodes are directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Rodrigo Sorogoyen (“Mother”), Spanish Academy Goya-winner Rodrigo Cortés (“Buried”), “[Rec]” writer-director Plaza, and Paula Ortiz, director of “The Bride.”
Ibañez’s work in film and TV anticipated Spain’s surge in upscale genre auteurs and helped evolve the medium from low-budget hack-and-slash fare often intended to make a quick buck at the box office to films with aesthetics, psychology and humanistic narratives that stood and stand out in international cinema.
His influence was never felt more publicly than in February 2019, four months before his death, when Ibañez was recognized with the Spanish Academy Goya Award for lifetime achievement, presented by several of those who benefited most from his groundbreaking work: Alejandro Amenábar (“The Others”), J.A. Bayona (“The Orphanage”), Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza (“[Rec]”), Rodrigo Cortés (“Burried”), Alex de la Iglesia (“Día de la Bestia”), Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (“28 Weeks Later”) and Nacho Vigalondo (“Colossal”).
“We are proud to be able to offer our clients this outstanding tribute to Chicho Ibáñez Serrador,” said Fred Burcksen, president and CEO of ZDF Enterprises. “This excellent miniseries is the joint success of a great team, which we are honored to be a part of. We are convinced that this is only the beginning of a long-standing partnership for all of us.”