Dynamic pace of fiction production, a benchmark in the main markets and festivals

Emiliano de Pablos
13 October 2023
La Mesias

La Mesias

"Spain continues to generate great expectations, with some very promising projects." Caroline Servy, Managing Director of The Wit

Spanish fiction continues to be a benchmark in the main international markets and festivals, while the industry maintains a dynamic pace of production in terms of new projects.  

Although these days we are facing a global slowdown in investment in platforms, the fiction series sector in Spain continues to grow in a difficult economic environment, prolonging the glorious period that started in 2018, when TV series such as Money Heist conquered the world.
According to Caroline Servy, managing director of audience research company The Wit, the current cost rationalization that is taking place is not affecting the volume of projects planned in Spain.
The number of television fiction series, explains The Wit, has gone from 67 titles commissioned between September 2021 and August 2022, to 82 between September 2022 and August 2023.
 "Spain continues to generate great expectations, with some very promising projects," says Servy.
In Spain, the largest content producers are mainly the local linear television operators Atresmedia and RTVE, which are increasingly promoting the online exploitation of their content. Behind them are the major platforms Netflix and Prime Video, which are increasingly committed to co-production as a way to finance their TV series.

Leading role in San Sebastián
In one way or another, Spanish fiction continues to take center stage at international industry events, as was clear in the recent editions of the San Sebastián International Film Festival and the Iberseries event in Madrid.
One of the most important premieres of the fall, La Mesías, a Movistar Plus+ and Suma Content production by Los Javis, creators of Veneno, had its world premiere in San Sebastián, a premiere that underscored Movistar Plus+'s strong commitment to support the production of auteur TV series with the capacity to attract important audiences in pay TV and SVOD.
Also celebrating its premiere in San Sebastián was the miniseries Camilo Superstar, a Buendía Estudios production for Atresmedia. The commercial premiere is scheduled for November 19 on the AtresPlayer platform. This TV series points to an outstanding international track record in markets such as Latin America.

Importance in Iberseries
Spanish fiction was particularly important during the third edition of Iberseries & Platino Industria, which took place from October 3 to 6 at Matadero Madrid.
There, content screenings were once again offered to international buyers for distribution in different regions, with the participation of platforms, television operators and production companies from Latin America.
Among the 25 screenings held at Iberseries in the presence of 160 buyers and commissioners from 20 countries, the Chapter One section featured the miniseries Los mil días de Allende, a Chile-Spain-Argentina co-production led by Chilean production company Parox, with the participation of Spain’s RTVE and Mediterráneo Media Entertainment.
Also screened in the same section was the Movistar Plus+ original series Galgos, a business and family drama produced by Buendía, written by Francisco Kosterlitz, Clara Roquet, Pablo Remón and Lucía Carballal, and directed by Félix Viscarret (Patria) and Nely Reguera (Valeria).
In Coming Soon, Iberseries attendees were able to enjoy previews of three RTVE co-productions: Zorro, in association with Secuoya Studios and Prime Video; Detective Touré, with Tornasol Media, DeAPlaneta and Basque broadcaster EITB, and Operación Barrio Inglés, together with Onza Producciones and Emociona Media.
Two other productions in which Prime Video participated - Los Farad, in association with Mod Producciones and Espotlight, and Memento Mori, with Zebra Producciones - also offered their previews in Coming Soon, as well as the aforementioned Camilo Superstar by Atresmedia and Buendía.  
STEP, an Ibero-American fiction series project by Cacao & Cía (the joint venture launched in January by Grupo iZen and Non Stop) that competed in the Co-Production and Financing Forum, was selected to participate in the next edition of SoloSeries at Ventana Sur, "because of it reflects the strong connection between Spain and Latin America," said the jury.
Iberseries & Platino Industria have received the support of ICEX Spain Export and Investment, through its umbrella brand Audiovisual From Spain.
The fast pace of production in the fiction industry is leading to an avalanche of new titles. "For the last two to three years we have been seeing an immense volume of productions. There is still a lot of production to show, the storerooms are full," says Sonia Martínez, editorial director at Buendía.
This can be seen at Mipcom, the big audiovisual industry event that starts on October 16, where there will be a massive presence of Spanish fiction companies and productions, in line with the weight and international importance that the industry has achieved.
This presence is mainly channeled through Audiovisual from Spain, ICEX Spain Export and Investment’s umbrella brand, which has announced numerous activities, including Spain & Canada: focus on Co-production, bilateral co-production pitching on the 16th, co-organized with Telefilm Canada.
The following day, the first edition of Spain Brand New Content, a sales event designed specifically for international buyers, will be held. On the 18th, the Audiovisual from Spain networking lunch will host partners and clients of Spanish companies to learn about their most recent and outstanding productions.
The world premiere of Zorro - a TV series marketed by the agency Mediawan - will be attended by its leading actor Miguel Bernardeau, in what will be one of the most important events on the eve of Mipcom. On the 16th there will also be a market screening of the first episode of La Mesías, with its creators, Javier Ambrossi and Javier Calvo, Los Javis.
Two Spanish TV series have been selected as candidates in the seventh edition of the Diversify TV Awards. One is Fácil, a Movistar Plus+ original series, produced in collaboration with Destrucción y Salvación, which competes with other fiction series that address the issue of disability, and the second is Nights in Tefía, a series by Atresmedia and Buendía Estudios Canarias, which will be competing in the LGBTQIA+ fiction content section.
Spanish talent will also be present at Mipcom through Sara Fernández-Velasco, CEO of Izen, who will be sharing her views on the links between the Latin American and European industries; Álvaro Benítez, Director of Business Development at Plano a Plano, who will be part of a panel focused on the challenges facing independent production, and Laura Fernández Espeso, CEO of The Mediapro Studio, who will be giving a keynote on Tuesday 17 as part of the Media Mastermind program, dedicated to the most influential voices in the industry.  
The Spanish presence in the Content Innovation Awards is also outstanding, as Los Argonautas, produced by Portocabo for RTVE-Clan, is in the running for Best Live Action Kids Drama. In the Best New Scripted Series Non-English Language section, two TV series with Spanish participation are competing: Bosé, produced by Shine Iberia, Elefantec Global and Legacy Rock for Paramount+ and Skyshowtime, and Motel Valkirias, by Galician company CTV, Portuguese company SPi for TVG and RTP, sold by Onza Distribución.
Zeppelin's Time Zone for HBO Max is up for Series Launch of the Year, while Falso amor, a program by Cuarzo Producciones for Netflix, has been nominated for the Reality Show of the Year prize.


Related news