Rodrigo Sorogoyen, director of ‘As Bestas’, ‘Riot Police’ and Oscar-nominated ‘Madre’, brings ‘La Guerra’ to the international market, a six-part drama offering a new take on the Spanish Civil War that resembles as one of the greatest Spanish series ever made.
Sorogoyen will direct all six episodes. Isabel Peña, Sorogoyen and Eduardo Villanueva, the writing team of “Riot Police”, have a fairly definitive version of three episodes, with the rest in an initial phase.
“La Guerra” originally premiered at Movistar Plus+. In an out-of-court settlement – Sorogoyen continued to direct and promote an episode of Movistar+’s original “Offworld” in San Sebastián last week – after Movistar Plus+ pulled out of the show, Sorogoyen and the Madrid label de Villanueva, Caballo Films, picked up the rights.
The series is believed to be attracting great interest from potential partners in Spain. By unveiling “La Guerra” at the Iberseries & Platino Industria Funding Forum, Sorogoyen and Villanueva now aim to attract foreign production partners to secure financing for the completion and position the series strongly in the international market, said Villanueva. Variety.
‘La Guerra’ catches up with Sorogoyen, Peña and Villanueva at a propitious moment. “Les Bêtes” (“As Bestas”), a modern-day Spanish western thriller starring Marina Fois and Denis Menochet, recorded 310,000 admissions in France and won the San Sebastian Audience Award for Best European Film on Friday. . The collective Movistar Plus+ series “Offword” (“Apagon”), whose first episode, “Denial”, is written by Peña and directed by Sorogoyen, was also a great success in San Sebastián. “Riot Police”, a thriller that spoke of “important themes, relevant to the present of Spain – emigration, corruption, machismo – is still one of the most watched series of Movistar Plus.
Caballo Films is producer of almost all of Sorogoyen’s films, including “The Beasts”, “Madre”, “May God Save Us”, “Madre”, as well as “Riot Police” and the anthology feature “En Casa for HBO Max. Caballo scored last week at the world premiere of the San Sebastian Festival to applaud “The Route”, an original and artistically daring release by Atresplayer Premium on the Bakalao nightclub scene in Spain.
In “La Guerra,” Sorogoyen aims to follow a line similar to “Riot Police,” he said, “by making tense, addictive but also relevant fiction.”
A university history student, Sorogoyen laments that the Spanish Civil War is not taught in schools. That said, the ability to use a 300-minute series on it was “not only fascinating but kind of a must,” he said. “A people who know their history are healthier, freer and more modern,” he added. The civil war, moreover, remains “extremely alive”.
“La Guerra” will not feature famous characters, but will have anonymous people as central characters. “Historical facts will provide the context, the insights informing each episode, but what interests us are the stories of those who lived through the war,” Sorogoyen said.
The series “will revolutionize classic Civil War imagery, shying away from good or bad portrayal of characters. “We will not only have bloody executioners and innocent victims. Fiction is more compelling when it explores the gray areas of characters, and it feels more like reality.
In rebellion against many traditional visions of the Civil War, the fresco of the series must be as wide as possible, structured around six independent episodes exploring a different conflict in the six corners of Spain. The series will also adopt “the most up-to-date viewpoints possible,” Sorogoyen said, following, for example, a shepherd in the Rif mountains who fights in Spain for a pittance and vague promises of life. future there, while Moroccan soldiers are normally considered savages, he commented.
Another episode seems set to take place against the backdrop of the little-known but bitter battle of Teruel, in the winter of 1937, the coldest for 50 years.
Each story will have a direct relationship with the present. As a lover of hyperrealism, Sorogoyen said he was not interested in “artisanal images”. “I want the audience to feel like the characters are being filmed by someone who has a camera in that exact spot at that exact moment,” he concluded. .
“The Spanish Civil War not only marked the future of Spain forever, but had a decisive impact on the rest of the international community,” said writer-producer Villanueva, who produces ‘La Guerra’. for Caballo Films.
So “La Guerra” is not just a Spanish series, he argued. “The human conflicts of its protagonists are universal. And, sadly, timeless: we see them repeated over and over again in today’s wars.
“La Guerra” is Sorogoyen and Caballo Films’ most ambitious project, “an ambition of scale, relevance, impact and distribution strategy,” added Villanueva.
An example of scale: The series will shoot in three blocks over an entire year to capture distinct seasons in different locations in Spain, Villanueva said.