Series Mania’s Forum to Unveil Spains Biggest Panel Presence Ever at a Major TV Market

Spain’s TV industry will make history at Series Mania Forum 2022, with its biggest panel and sneak peek series presentation presence ever at a major TV market. 

The Spanish conference attendance – alongside Finland’s panel spread – also weighs in as the biggest from any single country at the upcoming edition of the most important co-production event for scripted TV series in Europe.

Series Mania Forum runs on-site over March 22-24 in Lille, northern France, under the larger Series Mania Festival umbrella.

Organized by ICEX Spain Trade & Investment, the country’s export and inward investment board, the Spanish pavilion at the Lille Grand Palais will host a record-breaking delegation for Spain of around 20 companies and more than 50 executives.

That’s a sign of just how much Series Mania has grown as an industry forum in the last few years, and of Spain’s ambition to ramp up exports of Spanish movies and TV content via a Spain AVS Hub plan whose total investment through 2025 is tabbed at $1.8 billion in state incentives and government-engineered financing.  

Presented under its newly-designed Audiovisual from Spain brand, ICEX activities range from the introduction of projects in search of financing to the promotion of soon-to-release or just bowed series. 

Previously announced, TV series project “Detective Touré,” a co-production between Tornasol Media and DeAPlaneta, will be the only Spanish title presented at the Forum’s Co-Pro Pitching Sessions this year, being pitched on Tuesday March 22. 

Adapting Jon Arretxe’s novel saga, the series is written by David Pérez Sañudo, director, co-writer and producer of the multi-award-winning Spanish film “Ane is Missing,” and Carlos Vila (“Los misterios de Laura”). Tornasol’s Mariela Besuievsky and DeAPlaneta’s Elena Bort will produce and present in Lille.

The Coming Next From Spain sidebar will offer, on the same day, a sneak peek of four of the most awaited Spanish dramas, in a session moderated by María Rúa Agüete, senior research director at Omdia.

Atresmedia Television sales director Miguel García will present “The Route,” an eight-episode series co-produced with Caballo Films, the production outfit partnered by filmmaker Rodrigo Sorogoyen, co-creator of Movistar Plus high-end series hit “Riot Police.” 

“The Age of Anger,” a high-school mini-series exploring the values of Spain’s youngest generations produced by The Mediapro Studio’s Big Bang Fiction and MasFicción for Atresmedia, will be presented by TMS’ Marta Ezpeleta, head of distribution, co-productions & acquisitions, and Javier Esteban, head of distribution strategy & sales of North America, Latin America & MENA. Atresmedia shas international sales rights.

María Valenzuela, who leads Movistar Plus Internacional, the recently launched arm for content distribution of top Spanish paybox Movistar Plus, will lead the presentation of “Rapa,” a Galicia-set thriller produced by Portocabo, the company behind Movistar hit series “Hierro.”

Pubcaster RTVE and Mediterráneo Mediaset España Group’s Alea Media are bringing to the Coming Next from Spain section primetime series “Peace Force,” pitched by TVE’s head of cinema and fiction José Pastor and Alea showrunner Aurora Guerra.

On Wednesday, March 23, a Case Study & Screening session will focus on Amazon exclusive mini-series “Operation Black Tide” (“Operación Marea Negra”), an ambitious high seas adventure co-production, set up at Galicia’s Ficción Producciones with sales handled by eOne. 

A panel moderated by Ficción Producciones’ Mamen Casal will drill down on the innovative financing model of the series, whose flexibility is becoming a mantra for much international dealmaking. 

This saw the sale of a true-fact local story about narco trading to a network of regional broadcasters – Spain’s Forta – the incorporation of a foreign pubcaster – Portugal’s RTP – and partnership with Prime Video, which allowed producers to keep the majority of the IP. 

Participants in the session include series’ executive producer Mamen Quintas, Amazon’s Ricardo Cabornero, Fernando Ojea of Galicia’s TVG, José Fragoso of Portugal’s RTP, eOne’s Noel Hedges and the series star, Álex González. 

During another session, Spain Pitching Breakfast: Coffee and Hot Projects, which takes place on Thursday March 24, five Spanish projects will be presented to an audience especially selected according to the needs indicated by their producers and creators.

The project selection takes in “The Residence Hall,” set up at Fedent Spain, which will be pitched by Managing Director Toni Sevilla and Laura Oliva, head of content. Series details the true-life first years friendship of Salvador Dalí, Luis Buñuel and Federico Lorca who shared rooms in a student residence in Madrid in the early ‘20s.

“Lucio’s Treasure,” an action crime series project based on the true story of an apparently modest bricklayer living in Paris, responsible for the largest network of travellers’ cheque counterfeiters, is executive produced by Ana Manresa and Hugo Menduiña at Barcelona-based Friki Films.

Mediacrest, one of Spain’s fastest-rising indie TV companies, will unveil new TV fiction “Fake,” a six-episode series project presented by executive director of Fiction Gustavo Ferrada and Emma García, VP international sales and coordination.

The eight-seg series project “Halfbreeds,” set up at Madrid-based production-distribution house Onza, will be defended by Valentina Pozzoli, VP development & international co-productions, and series creator Raúl Barranco; Albert Rull, executive VP production & content at Vértice 360, will present series project “Play of Mirrors.”

Finally, in From Limited to Returning, also on Thursday, March 24, former Keshet executive and “Homeland” producer Ran Tellem, now director of international content development at The Mediapro Studio, will explain the imagining of the sequel to TMS’ hit series “The Head.”

Further Spanish companies represented at the Series Mania Forum 2022 under the Audiovisual from Spain umbrella take in Inside Content, Kottbusser, Sete Media and The Film Agency, as well as the Canary Islands’ public organisations Instituto Canario de Desarrollo Cultural and Tenerife and Gran Canaria’s respective Sociedad de Promoción Económica trading entities.

John Hopewell contributed to this article.


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