Welcome to Deadline’s International Disruptors, a feature where we will be focusing on executives and leading companies outside the US, rocking the offshore market. This week we talk to Dani de la Torre, co-creator and presenter of the Movistar + anti-terrorism drama series Unit (Unit) and director of the recently released function Life is Life, in relation to local developments, the emergence of Spain as a major European center of drama and his love for the creation of nostalgic films of the 1980s.
Dani de la Torre represents one of a growing number of creative talents coming from all over Spain who are making the world sit back and take into account the stories pouring out of the country. The country was once not considered a major player in European production stocks, but a series of discounts, new studio constructions and (substantially) the advent of established broadcasting services – local and global – have pushed Spain to the center of international scenarios. . bum.
With the AVS Hub government’s five-year plan, € 1.6 billion ($ 1.7 billion) is already well developed – promoting domestic talent, attracting further foreign investment and selling Spain as a major manufacturing hub for international broadcasters and producers – the country is growing and writer, producer and director de la Torre is at the forefront of change.
“It is a historical fact that we have always dreamed of having an industry like the US, a place where the creative community is able to do what it wants,” says de la Torre. “These days there is a lot more work in the sector and moreover in surprising and ambitious projects. We think we can now produce works that can compete perfectly with U.S. and Latin American literature and that makes us more ambitious and gives impetus to build the future for a new generation of creators. They will probably continue to do better things than us, but we are building the way for them to do it. “I hope the current situation continues, as it is something that has been amazing for Spain.”
The emergence of the country as a global production giant can best be understood from the Netflix hit Theft of money (Theft of money), but de la Torre’s main contribution to the growing domestic canon is it’s Unit (Unit), a police thriller series he created with Beto Marini. The show produced by Buendía Estudios is currently in its third season for Spanish-language broadcasting giant Movistar +.
With a budget at the highest level of investment of Movistar + drama series, the series follows members of the intelligence service, the General Information Commissariat, as they track down a terrorist organization that intends to attack Madrid. The second season began in March and filming on the third will follow, set in Afghanistan. For de la Torre, a source of pride is that much of the filming of each season took place in his native Galicia, in the north of the country. This is despite the fact that most of the stock is located in many countries around the world or in the Spanish capital Madrid.
Movistar + International, has sold the show to some buyers like HBO Max and Viaplay and with its global stories, it is not at all surprising. “I’ve noticed interest in performing outside of Spain, especially all over Europe,” says de la Torre. “Unit has a universal theme: terrorism. Unfortunately, it has suffered all over the world – high school shootings in America, jihadist attacks and global terror. “It’s something globally common and a key component of the show.”
He reveals plans for a spin-off show if the third season will perform as successfully as the first two. “Let’s see how the shooting will go,” he adds bitterly.
The series is very much a reflection of de la Torre’s extensive work in the thriller genre, but also reflects how Spanish production has walked the path of the American production model in many ways – it’s a lot of his vision and that of writer Marini, who are showrunners common.
“In Spain, the presenter of the show is a recently created role,” says de la Torre. “Traditionally, there were producers and screenwriters, but having that unique position – a caretaker who maintains the philosophy of the story and makes sure to be tactful despite the problems that may arise – makes sense for the unique vision of a play. “They take care of the budget and can make modifications that respect history if something changes, keeping the philosophy and securing the core of the project.”
De la Torre began his career as a Spanish producer after studying film mode, initially working for local broadcaster Television de Galicia and directing short films, promos and commercials. After the realization of the miniseries evaluated by the critics free seawho was selected for film festivals in Houston and Chicago, he directed his first film in 2015, political thriller retribution (Unknown), who played in Venice and San Sebastian. Shadow of the Law (Shadow of the Law/City of weapons) followed in 2018 earlier Unit was put to work two years later.
His latest film, a rhythm change for the director, is Life is Life, a comedy-drama set in Galicia that debuted on June 3 in Spain, with Warner Bros. Pictures España attached as local distributor. The screenplay by Albert Espinosa tells the story of five new friends in 1985 who meet in a town in Galicia during La Noche de San Juan (St. John) on June 23, which changes their lives forever.
De la Torre says it channels the nostalgia for those fun, family-friendly movies in the US in the 1980s – something he thinks modern cinema lacks. “I miss those adventurous movies of the 80s Stay close to me AND Goonies,” he says.
“This kind of cinema has been lost and exists only these days Foreign things AND it. They are movies with great doses of entertainment that make us better people – they encourage us to live, dream and take advantage of opportunities. “The average in cinema is lost – now they are just Indian stories or successful movies.”
As such, he sees success for the film through a traditional filter. “The best victory would be for people to go to the cinema to see the movie with their families, as they did years ago,” he says.
He also hopes that Spain’s dramatic series and features will become more and more diverse with the emergence of new talent. “It is a slow process to bring in new voices, but every year it brings more representation,” he says. “In Spain there has been a great wave of cinema stories and television dramas made by women, immigrants and other minority groups. These stories are important because their vision of the world is interesting and vital. Society is now more sensitive than in the past so maybe we as a society can speed up that process. “We need to be open to those different visions of the world – as a creative society and community it is essential that we achieve this.”
Back in front of the TV, de la Torre’s focus afterwards Unit the third season is running a drama series for Movistar + about organized crime in southern Spain, focusing on the mafia in Marbella. Also in the proposal is a thriller project with a female lead for Atresmedia Studios. Details for both projects are scarce and are not thought to be in the green light phase.
Beyond that he plans to experiment in more genres, giving answers Life is Life encourages him in that direction. “As an industry we have to take the risk to produce different and innovative projects, try to reach big-budget films and entice audiences with them. In the end, we have to explore all kinds of genres to entice the audience. “Taking risks is the right way to evolve.”
This week’s edition of International Disruptors is presented by Guillotine Vodka.
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