Further expanding its already robust talent roster in Spain, Latin America and the U.S. Latino market, VIS, Paramount’s international studio, has signed an exclusive first-look deal with Madrid and Los Angeles-based Morena Films to develop and produce films and series for the company’s portfolio.
The titles will have a strong focus on Latin America, Spain, and U.S. Hispanic markets, VIS and Morena announced Thursday. The deal is one of the biggest to be unveiled during this week’s Conecta Fiction & Entertainment, where reference will be made to the agreement during two on-stage conversations on Thursday, one between Laura Abril, senior VP and head of VIS EMEA and Asia and Federico Cuervo, senior VP, and head of VIS Americas, and the other featuring Abril and Morena Films producer-partner Pedro Uriol.
The agreement plays off the two partners’ production of “Las Invisibles,” about five hotel maids working at an establishment on Spain’s Mediterranean coast, which is scheduled to stream on Paramount Plus later this year.
In Morena Films, VIS is now partnering with one of Spain’s best in class and most international market-focused of production houses. Morena also boasts an impressively broad base of notable productions tapping Spanish and international talent and made in Spain and beyond.
Notable titles range from upscale Spanish movie blockbusters – “Champions” (2018) and Cell 211 (2009) – to international co-productions – Asghar Farhadi’s Cannes Festival opener “Everybody Knows” (2018) with Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem – as we’ll as movies from high-profile directors, such as Steven Soderbergh (“Che,” 2009) and Oliver Stone (“Looking for Fidel,” 2006) and platform wows like “Below Zero” (2021), globally the sixth most-watched non English-language film ever on Netflix.
Produced by Morena, Carlota Pereda’s 2022 Sundance hit “Piggy” signalled one of the most notable Spanish feature debuts of this year.
Morena has also been behind series, including Netflix’s “Diablero” (2018-20). The films, series, and miniseries projects produced by VIS and Morena will be made with leading talent both from Europe and America, destined to Paramount’s extensive glocal content portfolio, the partners said.
“As VIS continues to nurture Paramount’s international portfolio of top-quality Spanish language-focused content for our international audiences, expanding our partnership with Morena Films is a logical next step,” said Abril.
”We are thrilled to announce this deal with one of the best and largest films and series producers, such as Morena Films, as part of our strategy to work with the best talents from around the world,” added Cuervo, “This deal consolidates our position as a leading studio producing Spanish-language content.”
“We are really excited to continue our collaboration with the great team of VIS both in Spain and Latin America, with whom we get along really well, it has been a love at first sight!” enthused Pilar Benito, CEO Morena Films.
“For Morena Films, this deal with Paramount Global means a natural step to continue producing global content and looking for international audiences which has been part of our DNA from the beginning,” she added.
The deal is a significant addition to VIS’ extensive collaborations with international production companies such as Gaumont, El Deseo, Cattleya, 100 Bares Productions, 11:11 Films & TV and Indigo, among many others.
VIS has also signed first look deals with high-profile directors, producers, actors or hyphenates such as Paco Cabezas, Juan José Campanella, Santiago Segura, Frida Torresblanco, Marc Anthony, Diego Boneta, Manolo Cardona and Luis Gerardo Méndez.