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Cepa Sets ‘Primavera,’ ‘Crónica,’ ‘La Agencia,’ ‘Héroe,’ ‘MBO’ for First TV Drama Slate (EXCLUSIVE)

Emiliano De Pablos

Cepa Audiovisual, the Argentina-based outfit producer of Ricardo Darín hit feature thriller “7th Floor,” has unveiled its initial slate of TV drama projects, led by Conecta Fiction 3 Pitch CoPro Series title “En busca de la primavera” (“In Search of Spring”).

With a pilot episode written by Patxi Amezcua and Alejo Flah, the creative team behind “7th Floor,” “En busca de la primavera” is an action thriller designed as an eight-episode, 50-minute series, inspired in real-life facts.

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The series narrates the Latin American odyssey, begun in 1924, by a group of young Spanish anarchists headed by Buenaventura Durruti and Francisco Ascaso, named Los Errantes, that traveled across the American continent searching for political and financing support to battle against General Primo de Rivera dictatorship in Spain.

Los Errantes’ failure drive them to commit a string of bank heists

“En busca de la primavera” is presented for the first time ever to potential international partners by Cepa co-founder Andrés Longares at the Pitch Copro Series, the major industry event at Pamplona’s Conecta Fiction 3.

A Buenos Aires-based production company, Cepa Audiovisual has produced 25 features in the last ten years.

Beyond “7th Floor,” Cepa co-produced in Perú Salvador del Solar’s “Magallanes,” a Toronto and San Sebastian Festival player; in Ecuador it co-produced “Feriado,” by Diego Araujo, selected for Berlinale’s K12+; “Pendular,” a co-production with Brazil helmed by Julia Murat won the Fipresci Award at Berlinale 2017.

“Two years ago we started to develop series projects directly in Spain, with the idea of producing in both Spain and Argentina, taking advantage of our structure there. The idea is to start presenting them at Conecta,” Longares said.

Further TV series projects Cepa will be pitching at the event takes in:

*”Crónica del vacio,” a thriller drama set in the Asturias mining zone, where a multiple girls are found murdered. Two police officers uncover a network of men that kidnapped the girls. The story suggests how an area’s depopulation can also help to create a moral vacuum.

*”La Agencia,” a eight-episode, 50-minute series in development, based in Xavier Ayen’s book “Aquellos años del boom.” Set during the last years of Franco’s dictatorship and the Spanish transition to democracy, “La Agencia” portrays the magical years in which some of the best Spanish-language writers lived in Barcelona protected by Carmen Balcells and her Barcelona-based literary agency.

“We think this is a unique project since it puts the focus on a strong woman character and a lot of original characters, in the peerless setting that Barcelona was in that period,” Longares said. Cepa is looking for co-development partners and advancing on financing.

*”Heroe Local.” A six episode documentary series against the background of the Afinsa scam, but with a twist: The story is told from the point of view of the basketball team that was the emblem of the company for two decades. An undisclosed director is already attached, while producers are look for development financing.

*”MBO.” A 24 episode, 12 minutes fiction format, marking a mix of “Suits” and CNBC reality show “The Profit,” focusing on the financial world and mergers and acquisitions operations, following a female character who has been driven out of that world and works advising as intermediary in this type of operations.

“Our aim has been always to tell stories. It’s true that there are stories such as ‘En busca de la primavera’ that can’t be told in 90 minutes,” Longares said.

“The strategy with the TV series is the same as in film: to join someone else that can contribute with their own baggage, we never produce alone. So it’s not a transition that we are making. The only thing that is really different is that the partners in TV series are new, and the idea of attending Conecta is precisely to start to know them,” he said.

“Cepa’s main contribution is not so much the film but our large experience in managing complex co-production structures which the film’s production requirements in each territory,” Longares added.

“En busca de la primavera” seems predestined to have multiple partners.

The series is structured as a potentially organic co-production between Spain, Argentina and further Latin American territories, allowing the option of tapping actors from other countries such as Perú, Colombia, Brazil and Uruguay, to play roles of people that accompanied Durruti and Ascaso in the original travel.

The production will be mainly shoot in Buenos Aires and surroundings, with targeted trips to Salta in Argentina and Montevideo in Uruguay, or directly with a second unit to film locations in Havana, México DF, Valparaíso and Santiago de Chile.

A Europe-America co-production meet for TV drama, the third Conecta Fiction runs June 17-20 in Navarre’s Pamplona.

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