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Movistar+ & Telefonica partner with Beta on first originals

CANNES: The Spanish telecom giant Telefonica and its premium Pay-channel Movistar+ partner with Beta Film on their first original productions, The Zone and the Velvet-spinoff Velvet Collections.

The prestigious, high-budget series The Zone is plays out in a post-Fukushima-like mid-sized community and rural area in the North of Spain whose struggle for a return to any semblance of normalcy is severely hampered by a sudden series of gruesome killings in the no-go zone. Velvet Collections takes the best of the ratings-hit into the next generation, when the Marquez-clan opens a glamorous shopping palace in Barcelona.

The Zone and Velvet Collections are the latest productions in the cooperation of Beta Film and Telefonica, which also includes the Tom Tykwer event-series Babylon Berlin, Oliver Hirschbiegel’s The Same Sky and Sky Italia’s political thriller-series 1993.

Beta Film’s EVP Acquisitions & Sales Christian Gockel: “We’re extremely proud and bullish about this new installment of our long-standing, successful partnership with Spanish broadcasters and media houses, further underpinning BetaFilm’s position as an essential partner in helping to bring great Spanish TV product to the screen and international marketplace. We are thrilled to be a part of this groundbreaking effort of taking the already high standards of Spanish storytelling and production quality to the next phase.”

Written, directed and produced by Jorge & Alberto Sánchez-Cabezudo, the Zone (eight hours) follows Inspector Hector Uria, the only survivor among those who were the first to help after the meltdown in the nearby nuclear power plant and his quest to conquer not only the killer but the demons of his own past. Physically recovered but mentally far from it, Hector is drawn into the investigation of the killings which show traces of cannibalism. The eight hour, highly ambitious series marks Telefonica’s first venture into Spanish domestic production and will be delivered at the end of the year.

Velvet Collections from the Spanish production powerhouse Bambu follows in the footsteps of its outperforming Free-TV-predecessor, sold to more than 100 territories worldwide including a format-deal to the U.S., when the clan sets his sights on the Catalan capital Barcelona where new opportunities call. Telefonica has scheduled ten episodes of the glamorous series for its PayTV-platform Movistar+.

Both series are currently in pre-production and will be presented by Beta at MIPCOM 2017 in Cannes.

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