“This is a great time to be in TV in Latin America,” Lali Esposito said. The judge on Talento Fox — a new talent show that aims to find the best unsigned singers across the region — is in Cannes with other Fox Latin America stars promoting a new raft of programmes that they believe will have international appeal. “Production quality has risen, and we’re making shows across multiple genres that appeal to the whole region, as well as the Hispanic demographic worldwide,” she said.
Esposito shared the red carpet at MIPCOM’s opening night with actors from Me Chama De Bruna (My Name Is Bruna), Sitiados (Besieged) and El Host (The Host).
“Around 10 years ago we started our original production unit, specifically with the object of going beyond the boundaries of the telenovela,” said Edgar Spielmann chief operating officer, Fox Networks Group, Latin America. “From the very beginning our challenge was that on Fox, FX, on our premium channels, we had to programme an original production side by side with Hollywood productions.” Now, he believes that technical production levels are equalling the onscreen and scriptwriting talent. “Technology has allowed us to do this,” he said. “If the picture looks exactly the same, the actors are well-known local actors, and the stories are relevant as well, then you have a great product.”
One of the shows Fox Latin America is showcasing is Sitiados, a retelling of the Spanish conquest of South America, currently in production in the Caribbean, Patagonia and Mexico. Another is Me Chama De Bruna, a Portuguese-language production about a middle-class girl who runs away to become a call girl. Bruna, starring Maria Bopp, is now in its third season.
“It’s been a great performer across Latin America, we’ve sold the format and sold the tape in many other countries. And it’s based on a true story,” Spielmann said.
“We produce stories that reflect our DNA,” said Mariana Perez, senior vice-president of production and development. She highlighted a series in development about legendary Argentinian politician Eva Peron, based on a book, Santa Evita. “It’s about what happened when Eva Peron died,” she said. “This story is about Argentina, but it’s for all Latin Americans, because she’s for everyone.”
“It’s a very relevant story also outside Latin America,” Spielmann said. “At the same time, the angle we’re taking for the show is that this is a woman who is at the centre of power. So it’s very relevant for today.”
This and more in the MIPCOM News Issue three, out October 17. This article was written by Max Leonard and edited for MIPBlog.