Morena Films, producer of Cannes Festival opening movie “Everybody Knows,” is teaming with David Martínez, a reputed TV executive who helped catapult Spanish fiction into a modern age, to launch Morena TV.
The new TV company will focus on fiction production. Martínez will serve as its CEO, overseeing the development and production of projects.
Backing movies by Oliver Stone (“Comandante”), Steven Soderbergh (“Che”), Pablo Trapero (“The White Elephant”) and Iciar Bollaín (“Ever the Rain”) as well as box office hits such as “Cell 211” and now “Champions,” the biggest Spanish hit of 2018, Morena Films produced entertainment formats in its early years, linking to Argentina’s Cuatro Cabezas to make “El Rayo” and El Trip” for Atresmedia.
Morena Films producers Juan Gordon and Pedro Uriol are currently producing “Diablero,” the first supernatural Mexican Netflix Original Series, show-run by J.M. Cravioto, which is finalizing production in Mexico.
Partnering with Martínez on Morena TV, Morena Films can be expected now to expand powerfully its TV production for both traditional free-to-air broadcast networks and digital platform players, Spanish and international.
“For Morena, to join forces with David is a natural step to move into TV production content,” said Morena managing director Pilar Benito.
She went on: “David’s expertise in the development of TV product together with our brand and production expertise will perfectly allow Morena TV to address the different opportunities of the industry either national or internationally.”
“My expertise is more in TV and script development. Morena has a great brand and extraordinary talent connections in cinema, many of whom will trust in Morena to make the transition into drama series,” Martinez added.
Morena TV lifts off at a time of large energy for series drama production in Spain, with Telefonica’s Movistar + financing 11 series in 2018, across a range of types, broadcast network Atresmedia creating Atresmedia Studios to produce for third party operators, and media group Mediapro striking production and talent partnerships, this year with Turner Latin America, as well as with “The Wire’s” David Simon, for the Spanish Civil War-set “A Dry Run.”
“This is a time of incredible opportunities with linear TV operators and some SVOD players ever more open to co-production and new windowing partnerships, Martinez commented.
Martínez is likely announce Morena TV’s first drama series projects, which he calls “highly ambitious,” in the next few months.
Serving as director of TV fiction over 2007-09, Martínez formed a key part of one of the best management teams ever at Spanish pubcaster RTVE, headed by Luis Fernandez and including Fran Llorente and Gustavo Ferrada in its film division.
Martínez’s earliest commission was “Desaparecida,” show-run by Ramón Campos and directed by Carlos Sedes – both, like Martínez from Galicia – and a milestone in Spanish TV production, bringing the pace and character complexity of contemporary international scripted series to Spain.
Martínez’s scripted series at TVE also included Campos’ “Gran Reserva,” the show-runner’s first hit at his new production house, Bambu Producciones, as well as the multi-prized mini-series “El Día Más Difícil del Rey,” and mega-hit “Aguila Roja.”
After 18 months over 2009-11 as director of fiction at Mediaset España, Martínez returned to his native Galicia to oversee his family business. He is now, however, very much back in the saddle.