Spanish Academy Award-winning filmmaker David Pérez Sañudo (“Ane is Missing”) is shifting his gaze to the small screen, writing the upcoming eight-part drama series “Detective Touré,” which he will co-pen with novelist and TV writer Carlos Vila (“Los misterios de Laura”).

Based on the “Detective Touré Saga” books by Basque author John Arretxe, the series is produced by Oscar-winning studio Tornasol (“The Secret In Their Eyes”) and DeAPlaneta, a prolific sales-distribution outfit now focused on producing literary adaptations  (“Ana. All In”).

Just this week, the project was picked as one of 15 finalists selected to pitch at next month’s Series Mania Co-Pro Pitching Sessions, with a €50,000 ($56,000) cash prize on the line.

Set in the northern Spanish city of Bilbao, the series, like the six books on which it is based, follows Touré, an undocumented sub-Saharan African immigrant living in the Basque Country. With no badge and no papers, Touré uses his gifts of wit and deduction to become the best detective in the city.

“When we read Jon Arretxe’s novels, we were fascinated by Touré’s charisma,” DeAPlaneta’s Elena Bort explained to Variety when it was announced the series would be pitching at Series Mania. “We also felt there is an appetite for light crime procedural series in the international market. So, this series combines all these elements: a genuine character, pure entertainment and cultural diversity as a background.”

While delivered in the form of classic detective novels, Arretxe’s books use the police narrative as a tool to publicize the social differences and xenophobia that exist in Spain, and the Basque Country more specifically.

“We are excited to present Detective Touré, a unique, vibrant and exciting take on immigration, a highly relevant topic that is very rarely featured in television,” added Tornasol producer Mariela Besuievsky. “We want to make the invisible visible by giving a voice to an intelligent and charismatic protagonist who manages to integrate into a culture opposite to his own. The international audience will end up falling for his personality.”

Series Mania Forum 2022 returns to its in-person format – though with an important online interface – in Lille this March 22-24, under the larger Series Mania Festival umbrella. 16 projects will pitch to potential partners, financiers, sales agents and broadcasters at the Co-Pro Pitching Sessions. Previous projects which have benefited from participation at the Sessions include Fremantle’s “No Man’s Land,” Mediapro’s “The Head” and last year’s winner “Red Rainbow,” from producer Alexander Rodnyansky (“Leviathan”).