Netflix last week celebrated the opening of its first European production hub in Tres Cantos, Madrid, the first in a multi million Euro investment in Spanish language content, which will help to support Spain’s growing creative community.
Since launching in Spain four years ago, Netflix has invested heavily in local stories created by local talent and produced locally. It has now added added another two new original shows – “El inocente” and “El crimen del siglo” -– to its 2019 and 2020 slate that includes series such as “La casa de papel Part 3”, “Alta Mar”, “Las chicas del cable Season 4”, “Paquita Salas Season 3” and Elite Season 2.
In 2018, more than 13,000 cast, crew and extras have worked on Netflix originals This year, that number is set to increase to 25,000 – including “La casa de papel” and “Las chicas del cable”, both of which have been international hits.
“Our aim is to be part of the Spanish creative ecosystem. We are investing for the long term, We are here to stay and to participate”, said Reed Hastings during the presentation. “It’s been amazing to see Spanish shows like ‘Elite’ and ‘La casa de papel’ win the hearts of fans not just in Spain, but globally. This is our first European production hub and we’re excited about the great stories that will be produced here in Spain, and watched by the world.”
“El Inocente” is an adaptation of Harlan Coben's bestseller, the 8-episode series created by Oriol Paulo. One night, nine years ago, Mateo innocently interceded in a fight and ended up becoming a murderer. Now he’s an ex-convict who takes nothing for granted. His wife, Olivia, is pregnant, and both are about to get the house of their dreams. But a shocking and inexplicable call from Olivia’s cell phone again destroys Mateo's life for the second time.
“Los Favoritos de Midas” is a 6-episode series of a free adaptation based on the short story by Jack London, published in 1901. The story depicts Victor, a rich businessman, who is being blackmailed in a strange way: a mysterious organisation threatens to kill a person randomly on the date they indicate, and will continue to kill other victims periodically unless they get something from him.
The launch saw Reed Hastings’ Francisco Ramos and Maria Ferreras hosting writer and creator Alex Pina, executive producers Teresa Fernandez-Valdes and Belen Atienza, writer, director and president of the Film Academy Mariano Barroso and actor Alvaro Morte for a discussion about creativity and production in Spain.
“Traditionally, Spanish fiction has always been much more watched in Spain than American fiction, now I believe that the challenge ahead is to make the leap to other markets. With “La casa de papel”, we are experiencing success in many countries with cultures very different from our own, such as Saudi Arabia, which is incredible,” Pina said.
Atienza, executive producer of “El Inocente” and “Alma” said: "Our engine are the stories, I find it very exciting that cultures so different feel close to our characters. I have read many times that the consumption of fiction contributes to creating better human beings because it helps us to travel with other characters, to put ourselves in their place and to understand other kinds of conflicts".
Barroso, director of “Criminal” said: "On the debate between film and television and the distribution windows, I think that we should work hand-in-hand with the Television Academy to support this very good moment for our industry, in which there is room to work with all market players and explore all kinds of exhibition formats.
“During the industry crisis, we creators couldn’t think of stories that we already knew couldn’t be produced for budget reasons. Now we see that we can have the resources to dream and develop more ambitious projects,” added Fernandez-Valdes, co-creator of “Las chicas del cable” and “Alta Mar”.
“We are very proud of the ongoing productions we currently have, the ones we are developing and the new ones that we have announced today. Stories in Spanish for Spain, Latin America and the rest of the world. Bringing our unique and personal stories of diverse genres and formats to every corner represents a great opportunity for our creative community.”