Movistar + Series highlights local elements

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La Mesias”, of the creators of “Veneno”, Javier Ambrossi and Javier Calvo, draws deeply from the Catholic tradition, from its very title – literally, “The Female Messiah” – to the iconography and focuses on faith.

Another long-awaited series from Movistar+, “The Left-Handed Son”, created by “The Plague” screenwriter Rafael Cobos, was presented to the press in July in a spectacular setting including, just in front of a waterway, the emblematic Torre de Oro of Seville and, a little further, the Giralda bell tower of the Cathedral of Seville.

In line with trends in platform production worldwide, rather than downplaying local elements, Movistar+ plays them. For SVOD/pay-TV player Telefonica in Spain, this has been a long-term philosophy, dating back to its first series in 2017.

No major European SVOD player has insisted as much as Movistar+ on capturing hot topics (“Riot Police”, “Simple”), history (“The Plague”, “La Fortuna”), culture (“Spanish Shame”), the traumas (“La Ligne Invisible”) and the landscapes (“Félix”) of his local market.

Yet no other Spanish SVOD player has its international ambitions, as evidenced by co-productions with AMC (“La Fortuna”), Telemundo (“Tell me who I am”), Studiocanal (“En el corredor de la muerte “), and Portocabo, Arte France and Atlantique Productions (“Hierro”).

There is no contradiction, says Domingo Corral, director of original programming at Movistar+.

“The best television is local television, localized and reflecting specific contexts, their culture, their traditions and their people, which gives the series an authenticity, a sense of truth,” he says, quoting “The Sopranos”. and New Jersey and New York and “Breaking Bad” and Albuquerque, New Mexico

Likewise, “The Left-Handed Son” captures two Sevilles, that of its emblematic monuments and that of its much lesser-known working-class neighborhoods and outer radius.

Cobos, born in Seville, he had the obligation to highlight the local elements? No, he replies, but it’s “a natural impulse for creators to seek out what you know and enjoy another space, nature and reality”.

Portraying the two Sevilles, Cobos will use the same realistic – albeit more “kinder” – tone of his work with Alberto Rodríguez, from 2005’s ‘7 Virgins’ to Goya’s 2015 Best Picture winner ‘Marshland’, ‘La Peste’. and now “Prison 77” and an episode in “Offworld”.

However, to reach an international audience, certain elements of a series must be universal. Corral cites two: “Emotional Conflicts and Production Levels.”

Backed by Telefonica, which achieved a turnover of 39.2 billion euros ($38.5 billion) in 2021, Movistar+ can scale up to the series of production-level plate financing it needs , which could be considerable in the case of “La Mesías”. Javier Calvo calls it “very complex and very ambitious, and spanning many different eras”, ranging from the 80s to the present day.

“La Mesías”, as Calvo describes it, is a “family thriller”.

Mixing genres and eras, it turns on Enric, who is heavily impacted by watching a viral video of a Christian pop group made up of five sisters. Enric himself is still traumatized by a childhood marked by the religious fanaticism of a mother with delirious messianic ambitions.

“‘La Mesías’ is about overcoming trauma, faith as a tool to fill a void, and art as the only escape from horror,” Calvo said during the presentation of “La Mesías”.

These three themes are universal, Corral added.

In “The Left-Handed Son”, Lola, a well-heeled divorced mother of two, witnesses her teenage son becoming increasingly involved in a local neo-Nazi gang. A mother from an early age, in an attempt to understand and recover her son, she befriends Maru, from the small suburb of Seville, who faces a similar situation.

“The love of a mother or the growth of a son that overwhelms us, forcing us to review our identity: it is global, ancient, recognizable and wonderful material to work with,” says Cobos.

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