MALAGA, Spain — “My Parents’ Great Bazar,” from “Ane is Missing” co-scribe Marina Parés, bio “Costus,” on the iconic Madrid Movida artists, and “Villa Futuro,” a queer old age drama from “Locked Up” star Alberto Velasco, all feature among eight winners of Tell Us the Stories That Nobody Tells, a diversity drive contest for movies and TV shows backed by Netflix and Dama, the Spanish audiovisual authors’ rights collection body.
Announced Wednesday at an awards ceremony hosted by the Malaga Film Festival, the winners of the competition, which forms part of the partners’ Cambio de Plano initiative, will receive €6,000 ($6,348) a piece.
Two will also get a teaser financed by Netflix and Dama. As importantly, the partners will pay for mentoring for the development of their projects from Daniela Fejerman, director of Malaga’s opening film, “Someone Who Takes Care of Me,” TV critic and screenwriter Bob Pop (“Maricón perdido”), screenwriter Valentina Viso, co-writer of milestone Catalan movie “Three Days With the Family,” and renowned scribe-helmer Fernando Franco, whose latest film, “The Rite of Spring” played to praise in San Sebastian’s main competition last September.
Fejerman, Viso, Pop and writer-director Arantxa Echevarría (“Carmen y Lola”) served on the jury.
The contest ratifies Dama’s “commitment to diversity, plurality and richness within new proposals to make it easier to tell the stories that no one is telling,” said its president, Virginia Yagüe.
“At Netflix, we know how important it is to feel identified with the stories we watch and tell, so we are committed to local talent and we are very proud to participate in initiatives such as Cambio de Plano, which reflect the richness of the society in which we live,” added Susana Casares, head of the department dedicated to investment and development of creative talent at Netflix in Spain.
For his part, Pop recalled that in the contest’s first edition, the jury received applications which saw diversity as a problem. This time round, however, the call for entries yielded projects that presented diversity as “an addition, a plot in its own right. It is something that generates action.”
The initiative will help Spain catch up on the diversity score. Francisco Franco’s regime sent homosexuals to forced labor camps, the focus of Atresplayer’s “Las noches de Tefía,” one of the standout series at this year’s Malaga’s Festival. Even so, movies with central gay characters date back at least to 1961’s “Diferente.”
Movies embracing Spain’s ethnic minorities, Latin American or Moroccan, are fewer and farer between, however. There is no guarantee, moreover, that a “minority” fiction will play to just minority crowds: One of Spain’s biggest box office hits of recent years has been “Campeones,” featuring a team of intellectually disabled basketball players, which grossed $23.1 million in Spain.
The eight winners:
“Consuelo,” (Nicolás Pacheco)
“A realist take on old age in the LGBTIQ+ community whose whose social critique is moving and makes us ask how we treat and care for our elders,” the jury said. From ECAM Madrid Film School alum Pacheco, whose feature debut, “Jaulas,” a women-on-the-run road movie. bowed at 2018’s Valladolid Festival to excellent reviews.
“Costus,” (Gracia Solera)
An entertainment journalist turned screenwriter behind HBO Max’s Juan Carlos 1 doc series “Salvar al Rey” and the Netflix-backed “En el nombre de ellas,” about a famed sexual abuse scandal. The fictionalized bio miniseries turns on the lives of artists Enrique Naya Igueravide and Juan José Carrero Galofré, better known as Costus, famed painters on Madrid’s 1980s Movida scene. “For its commitment to tell a fascinating story about the yearning for freedom, creation, identity and happiness. For its dramatic, narrative and visual possibilities. A story that marked and will mark an era,” the jury said.
“Gloria Fuentes,” (Javier Rojo)
A series biopic from short filmmaker Rojo (“Velleza,” “Que se muera Almodóvar”) on Spain’s Gloria Fuentes, a poet, children’s author and TV program host. But this series focuses on “Gloria the woman,” the jury said. “A rabidly contemporary woman, who was a feminist, environmentalist and lesbian in Franco’s Spain. An exciting and little known life. The jury unanimously applauded this proposal: We are convinced that this series has to exist, and it has to exist now.”
“My Parents’ Great Bazar,” (“El Gran Bazar de Mis Padres,” Rakesh Narwani, Marina Parés)
Included in Malaga’s Spanish Screenings CoPro Forum, a documentary in which Narwani, director of 2019 short “Black Bass” with Antonio de la Torre, and Parés, turns then focus on his Indian parents as they close their family shop in Málaga, asking why they chose to settle in Spain in the 1970s. “For portraying a community that has rarely or never been portrayed in this country, and doing it from the inside, with the necessary distance required for lucid observation without losing the fresh look or the love for its characters,” the jury said.
“La noche del decreto,” (Hajar Boujtat)
A miniseries from Boujtat, aN ESCAC Barcelona film school and Showrunners alum, director of “¿Tiene sentido contar hasta infinito?’ (2019) and doc short, “Con la esperanza de no olvidar” (2018). “A necessary series, to face the fear of the different and live from the heart of a mother what it means to be Moroccan in an environment full of racism and xenophobia.”
“Las novias de Melbourne,” (Virginia Burgos, Juan Sánchez)
A series project by psychologist Burgos, writer-director of shorts “Orgullo” and “Intolerante,” and playwright-screenwriter Sánchez, tapped by ESPotlight to write a screenplay for María Ripoll, about some of the 700 Spanish women who emigrated – beginning in 1960, with the help of the church – from Franco’s Spain to Australia to marry Spanish emigrants. “The episode serves the authors of this interesting comedy to talk about emigration and uprooting, but also about chosen families, sisterhood and identity.”
“Villa Futuro,” (Alberto Velasco)
From Velasco, best known as a distinguished actor – Palacios in “Locked Up,” for example – but also a content development exec at Daniel Ecija’s Good Mood Productions and a Valladolid
best short director winner for “El rey de las Flores.” A series praised by the jury for the “light that emanates from his song to a diverse and queer old age full of humor, tenderness and an optimistic vision of the future.”
“Yawarkancha,” (Adriana Ferrari, Jorge de Juan Fernández)
Co-created by the Peru-born and Spain-settled writer Ferrari and Fernández, a producer and specialist in social education initiatives, a Spain-set emigration series. Selected, the jury said, “for putting an indigenous and migrant woman at the center of the story, giving voice to the dispossessed of this world with the strength of a cry.”