Spanish TV Talents to Track

Fran Araujo, Aina Clotet, Isaki Lacuesta and Almudena Monzu
Courtesy of Fran Araujo, Aina Clotet, Isaki Lacuesta and Almudena Monzu

The battle for success on the new drama series scene is the battle for talent, led by screenwriters. Following, portraits of Spanish TV scribes or creators, sometimes writing teams, who’ve made an impact, or look set to do so:

Fran Araujo

2022 was Araujo’s year. He co-wrote Berlin Competition’s “One Night, One Day” and “Rapa,” Movistar+’s biggest 2022 bow. “Offworld,” a collective series he coordinated, was a Variety’s International TV Show of the Year. An iconoclast – “if I do the same thing, I get bored,” he says –  who tears up the rule book.

Aina Clotet

Best known for acting, winning at Malaga for “The Wild Ones,” but a driving force as co-creator, director and star behind “This Is Not Sweden” a €1.5 million grant recipient and groundbreaking Spain-Scandinavia-Germany co-pro, turning on a couple who think they’ve found a model lifestyle. But “there are no guarantees,” says Clotet. 

Claudia Costafreda, Ana Rujas

Written by both with Costafreda directing and Rujas starring “Cardo” turned the two into one of the hottest young writing duos in Spain, alongside Los Javis who produced. “Cardo” portrays Maria, 30, who with no future, living in a quick pleasure-fix present of sex and booze. Rarely have characters been portrayed with such unremitting candor. 

Claudia Costafreda and Ana Rujas Credit: Tamara Arranz

Isaki Lacuesta

Over 20 years Lacuesta has run up quite unjustly a reputation as a high-art film purist. “Offworld” showed triumphantly that he and partner Isa Campos could write and direct large audience fare. Now set to direct a searing political thriller, “The Chauffeur’s Son,” a Berlin Co-Pro Series entry, for “Elite” producer Zeta Studios.

Almudena Monzú

One of Spain’s most in-demand scribes, her breakout out came with “Picadero,” a playful, ironic and carnal neo-noir detective series set up at her label Amor y Lujo, Zeta and Caolombia’s Fidelio. Also brought on by a “Perfect Life’s” Leticia Dolera to co-write upcoming series “Puberty.” 

Laura Sarmiento Pallarés, Verónica Fernandez

Topping Netflix’s non-English shows worldwide in June 2022, “Intimacy,” a women’s sex tape drama, meant breakout recognition for showrunner Sarmiento and co-creator Fernández. Sarmiento has gone on got create Netflix’s highly anticipated “El cuerpo en llamas,” starring Money Heist’s Úrsula Corberó, Fernández to serve as Netflix España’s director of fiction series. 

Laura Sarmiento Pallarés and Verónica Fernandez Courtesy of Laura Sarmient/ Netflix, Carlos Alba

Borja Soler

Co-creator-writer-director of “La Ruta,” a series set on Valencia’s Ruta de Bakalao club scene and, in virtuoso writing, told chronologically backwards from 1993 to 1981. Also a partner at Caballo Films, fast consolidating as one of Spain’s most daring indie producers, behind “La Ruta,” selected for Series Mania, plus Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s “The Beasts.” 

Borja Soler Credit: Laia Lluch

Pablo Tébar, Jorge Valdano Saénz

Co-creators of HBO Max soccer agent dramedy “Headless Chickens,” welcome recognition for vet Tébar who put his of genre sensibility in “Plastic Seas,” pioneering free-to-air series with cable edge, and Valdano Saenz, director of praised doc feature “Messi.” Tébar is now working on a big production and Valdano a thriller, both for Netflix.   

Pablo Tébar and Jorge Valdano Saénz

Marc Vigil

Enjoying a direct contact with writers on Mexico’s “Niño Santo,” director Vigil has moved in ever broader creative roles from “The Department of Time,” impressing helming 2019’s “Malaka,” an seedy Malaga crime drama of unseemly characters, and writing “Nasdrovia,” Season 2. He now looks set for weightier productions of international heft at Mediapro Studio.  

Marc Vigil

Joana, Mireia Vilapuig

Teen stars of “The Red Band Society,” Spain’s biggest fiction format. But that was in their day. A decade later, Joana is dumped by her boyfriend, Mireia dismissed from a shoot in “Selftape,” their semi autobiographical series sluiced in generational angst. “We’re just trying to find a way in life,” says Joana Vilapuig.  

Joana Vilapuig and Mireia Vilapuig Credit: Maria Jou Sol