The newly merged broadcaster TelevisaUnivision and Salma Hayek Pinault’s Ventanarosa Productions have forged a two year first-look pact in which the latter will produce Spanish-language films exclusively for TelevisaUnivision’s upcoming SVOD streaming service, ViX Plus.
The first project under the deal is romantic fantasy pic “Quiero tu Vida” (“I Want Your Life”), which follows Nico, a young soccer player whose auspicious career comes to a halt when he is badly injured in the field.
Eight years later, an embittered Nico continues to fantasize about what his life could have been. When given the magical opportunity to live the life he envisioned, he realizes that fame and glory can be illusory and that happiness can come in the most surprising ways.
“Being a soccer fan, I can’t think of a better project to start this adventure than ‘Quiero Tu Vida.’ It is a beautiful and imaginative story, and it is just the beginning of the innovative and premier content that we will deliver to the Latino audience,” said Hayek Pinault.
Produced by Hayek Pinault and José Tamez under their Ventanarosa banner along with Jorge Garcia Castro, “Quiero tu Vida” will be directed by Jorge Colón (“Sin Ella,” “Tired of Kissing Frogs”) from a script penned by Tamez and Castro.
“I started my career in Mexico doing telenovelas, so to be able to go back and make movies is really exciting, as film is my first love. I am moved by the enormous support that the Latino community has always given me,” noted Hayek Pinault.
“Together with our partners at TelevisaUnivision, Ventanarosa looks forward to working with Latino talent to tell new stories from Spanish-speaking voices,” she added.
Oscar-nominated for her lead performance in Julie Taymor’s “Frida,” Hayek Pinault first came to the world’s attention in Jorge Fons’ critically acclaimed “Midaq Alley.” She has since starred in major films, including Marvel’s “Eternals” and Ridley Scott’s “House of Gucci.”
“We are thrilled to work alongside Salma Hayek Pinault, a global icon adored by audiences everywhere, as well as José Tamez and the rest of the incredible team at Ventanarosa Productions, to illuminate stories that celebrate our Latin culture,” said Rodrigo Mazón, EVP & GM of ViX Plus at TelevisaUnivision.
“ViX Plus offers a space where Spanish-speaking storytellers can freely share their vision and partnering with a mega-talent like Salma demonstrates how the creative community has embraced the service as well as our commitment to delivering best-in-class original content for our viewers,” he continued.
ViX Plus enters an increasingly crowded market dominated by streaming giants Netflix, HBO Max, Disney Plus, and Amazon Prime which all include Spanish-language film and TV series in their programming. Univision’s broadcast rival in the U.S., Telemundo, will launch Tplus this fall on Peacock’s premium tier. It’s also up against LA-based Spanish-language platform Pantaya, owned by Hemisphere Media, which has been investing heavily in original Spanish-language premium content and partnering with some key players. In October, Pantaya and Latino Hollywood studio Pantelion signed multi-year first look deals with Latin American companies El Estudio, The Lift and Traziende Films. It also forged content partnerships with Corazon Films, Dragon Films and star Mauricio Ochmann.
Lionsgate recently renewed its first-look film deal with 3Pas Studios, the production company run by producer Ben Odell and Mexico’s star actor-director-producer, Eugenio Derbez.
Among the most anticipated series is Lucía Puenzo’s “Señorita 89” which bows on Pantaya on Feb. 27. “Señorita 89” is produced by Academy Award winners Pablo and Juan de Dios Larraín’s (“A Fantastic Woman”) shingle Fabula, Pantaya, Starzplay and Fremantle.
Pantaya and similar rivals face the formidable resources of Televisa and Univision who jointly own the largest library of owned content and boast of advanced production capabilities that power its streaming, digital and linear television offerings, as well as its radio platforms. Univision and Televisa own premium streaming services PrendeTV and Blim TV respectively, which together offer 50,000 hours of original Spanish-language programming and now, the two-tier global streaming platform ViX. Companies officially unveiled ViX Plus on February 15, some three weeks after securing regulatory approval for their $4.8 billion merger deal.
Salma Hayek Pinault and Ventanarosa Productions are represented by CAA, Management 360, and Edelstein, Laird & Sobel. Jorge Colón is represented by Bridge Works Entertainment and A3 Artists Agency.