Spain’s fast-growing TV production company Mediacrest is joining forces with Wanda Vision, one of the country’s top arthouse distributors-producers, on docu-filmmaker Gerardo Olivares’ project “Lonely Man.”
The Mediacrest-Wanda deal will see Wanda Vision’s partners José María and Miguel Morales assuming co-producers roles, handling an undisclosed part of project distribution rights.
“Lonely Man” represents Olivares’ return to the docu-fiction genre, a territory he already visited in two previous Wanda-produced projects, international sales hit “La Gran Final” and multi-prized feature “14 kilómetros.”
Both titles allowed Olivares to introduce fictional elements that helped the stories to progress within a real environment and characters.
In the case of “Lonely Man,” located in the Río Negro province in Argentina’s Patagonia, Olivares tells the story of Cándido Sandoval, a 70-year-old gaucho who lives alone in a cabin isolated from the world.
“This is a very personal project that arose after my travels through Patagonia and meeting Don Pardo, who represents those lonely characters living far away at the end of the world. Without them, Patagonia would never be understood,” said Olivares, also head of documentaries at Mediacrest.
In “Lonely Man,” Cándido’s closest neighbor is 45 minutes away on horseback, but they live in conflict with old land disputes. The two will allow an unsuspected solidarity to emerge when Patagonia’s cruel winter finds one of them on the brink of death.
“The project sets between fiction and documentary to create a simple, direct and exciting story in the vein of great film classics that have moved in these two worlds. Gerardo is an expert in handling and crossing these two cinema genres,” argued Mediacrest head of fiction production, Winnie Baert.
The pact marks “a great boost” for “Lonely Man” production since Wanda is “the natural partner in Spain for a project like this, both because of the relationship they have with Gerardo, as well as for his extensive career in the world of co-productions and his interest in the documentary genre in the most classic sense,” Baert explained.
A prolific documentary director, Olivares started in 1991 to travel around the world, lensing docu-series for pubcaster RTVE. In 2005, he decided to make the leap into fiction with “La gran final,” a Berlinale player which generated strong international sales handled by Germany’s The Match Factory.
African immigration drama “14 kilómetros” won the Golden Spike at Valladolid’s Seminci film festival in 2007, among other international plaudits.
Spanish box office hit “Entrelobos” (2010), Jean Reno-starrer “Hermanos del viento” (2015) and“El faro de las orcas” (2016), with Maribel Verdú and Joaquín Furriel, form part of his film trilogy about childhood and nature.
2019 film “4 latas,” again with Reno, and 2018 documentary “Dos Cataluñas,” both in partnership with Netflix, are Olivares’ more recent productions before he joined Mediacrest in early 2020.
With offices in Madrid and Barcelona, Mediacrest is emerging as one of the fastest growing companies on the Spanish audiovisual scene in recent years, dedicated to TV fiction, documentaries and entertainment content production and distribution with a global perspective.
Mediacrest’s recent standout moves in fiction take in the TV adaptation of Carmen Laforet’s modern classic novel “Nada,” for which has it has attached Spanish novelist Elvira Lindo, and sci-fi series project “Humanity,” teaming with Chilean outfit María Wood Productions.