Despite the challenges, major Spanish producers are betting on increasingly ambitious content, which is necessary to establish a position in a market led by the platforms
The series "Veneno," produced by Atresmedia TV in collaboration with Buendía Estudios and Suma Latina and with associate producer Apache Films, has proven to be a drama that appeals to both Spain and the international market.
A fictionalized series about the life and death of Cristina Ortíz, an LGBT icon in Spain, created by Javier Calvo and Javier Ambrossi, "Veneno" is the primary commercial asset of Atresmedia International Sales at this edition of Mipcom Online+, which runs from October 5 to November 17.
Nominated for the Diversify TV Excellence Awards in the LGBTQ+ scripted category, the series comes to this virtual edition after being acquired by HBO Max for the United States and Latin America.
Like "Veneno", the series "Benidorm," another of Atresmedia's new products for Mipcom Online+, has premiered on OTT Atresplayer Premium, before being shown in primetime on Antena 3, the group's general interest channel.
With "Benidorm" Atresmedia revisits comedy with Plano a Plano, with whom they produced the primetime hit "Down there." "Benidorm" is about a wealthy notary who gets scammed while looking for the love of his life.
"There is a real appetite for Spanish content, and it’s even increasing due to the postponement of new productions," says Diana Borbón, director of International Sales for Atresmedia.
Regarding Mipcom's virtual celebration of the Covid-19 pandemic, she says: "Although we were used to meeting face to face, we have to adapt and take advantage of the online editions of the market. Mipcom is an essential market for us, bringing together companies from all over the world. We are confident that the online version will be as productive as the physical one.
Mediterráneo, with "Mothers: love and life"
After announcing an agreement with Amazon Prime Video in February for the premiere of several works of fiction and docu-series before their open launch, Mediterraneo Mediaset España Group, Mediaset España's content sales and distribution subsidiary, is presenting one of the titles that is part of this agreement at Mipcom: the drama "Mothers: love and life," as its most notable product.
With Belén Rueda among its main characters, "Mothers" is an Aitor Gabilondo creation for Alea Media, as is the ambitious "Patria," which has just been released simultaneously by both Telecinco in primetime and HBO in the United States, Europe and Latin America.
Also previously released on Amazon Prime Video were "Caronte,” a legal-police drama produced in collaboration with Big Bang Media, and "Dangerous Moms," now in its second season.
This Mandarina production already attracted the interest of the international market last year. After winning the MIPDrama Buyers Coup de Coeur Award at the 2019 MIPDrama Buyers Summit, it was pre-sold in many territories.
The Mediterráneo lineup also includes "Disappeared. The series," a Curro Royo creation ("Hernán") produced by Mediaset España in collaboration with Plano a Plano.
"For Mediterranean Mediaset España Group, participation in Mipcom is very important. We have no doubts about being present as part of this online model, which is new for all of us. We have quality content, which has already been tested in our country, so we hope that it will also be of interest to the international market," explains Silvia Cotino, deputy director of Mediterráneo.
Among the screenings of Spanish fiction announced by Mipcom Online+ is “Tell Me Who I Am,” a production of DLO Producciones for Movistar Plus, which co-produces Telemundo International Studios and sells Beta Film.
With Irene Escolar as the protagonist, this blockbuster is a recent example of the growing involvement of producers from both North America and Latin America in series projects with Spanish companies, which has enabled them to create products with a larger budget and an international scope. The first three episodes of the series were presented in September at the Movistar Plus Gala of the San Sebastian Festival.
In San Sebastian, as part of the Official Section of the out-of-competition event, Movistar also screened the six episodes of its original series "Riot Police," created by Rodrigo Sorogoyen. At Mipcom Online+, Movistar, which manages international sales, will offer screenings of this Caballo Films production.
"The Miramar Murders: The State vs. Pablo Ibar," by Filmax
International interest in content produced in Spain is not limited to fiction: genres such as documentaries are also leading to major partnerships for the Spanish industry.
Shortly before its world premiere in San Sebastian, HBO Europe acquired the rights to the true-crime series "The Miramar Murders: The State vs Pablo Ibar" for broadcast on HBO Spain and HBO Portugal. This documentary mini-series, directed by Olmo Figueredo and produced by La Claqueta PC, La Cruda Realidad and Irusoin, is being sold by Filmax.
The series, which consists of six 55 minute episodes, is "very possibly the best true-crime ever made in Spain," says Ivan Diaz, head of international sales at Filmax. "It is an excellent series, at the level of the best true-crime being made in the world and we are sure that it will travel very well outside Spain."
Beyond "Veneno," the fourth edition of the Mipcom Diversify TV Excellence Awards has another Spanish documentary among its finalists in the LGBTQ+ non-scripted section, "Queer Memory," broadcast by Canal Sur and produced and distributed by Medina Media, the company led by Ignacio Medina.
In addition, the Disability non-scripted competition includes "Auténticos” produced by Buendía Estudios which distributes Talpa (ITV), and broadcast in Spain by Atresmedia through laSexta.
Atresmedia International Sales will also be selling two new soccer documentaries at Mipcom Online+, which have been very popular on Amazon Prime Video: "Footballers around the world” (Futbolistas por el mundo) and "Fernando Torres, the final symbol” (Fernando Torres, el último símbolo), both with the help of Atresmedia Studios, a content production company launched by Atresmedia in 2018 that has now merged with Buendia Studios after the recent Atresmedia-Telefónica partnership.
For its part, Mediterraneo will also present the docu-reality series "Operation Muzhungu” (Operación Muzhungu), as well as the formats “Fort House” (La casa fuerte), created through Bulldog TV, and the reality show from Mitele Plus “All Alone” (Solo/Sola).