Netflix Renews Pedro Alonso’s “Berlin” for Second Season

Pedro Alonso isn’t leaving Berlin just yet…

Netflix has renewed Money Heist spinoff Berlin, starring the 52-year-old Spanish actor, writer and artist, for a second season.

Pedro AlonsoHailing from Álex Pina and Esther Martínez Lobato, the new season of the acclaimed series will begin filming next year.

Berlin, played by Alonso, will return alongside his entire gang for another run of the spinoff, which was made off the back of the huge global success of Netflix Spain’s La Casa de Papel (Money Heist). The series acts as a prequel to Money Heist, following the protagonist on a different caper.

Along with Alonso, the series also stars Michelle Jenner, who plays Keila, an expert in electronic engineering, Tristán Ulloa as Damián, a philanthropic professor and Berlin’s confidant, Begoña Vargas is Cameron, a kamikaze who always lives on the edge, Julio Peña Fernández plays Roi, Berlin’s faithful squire, and Joel Sánchez brings Bruce to life, the relentless man of action in the gang.

Netflix said Berlin was its most-watched series globally during premiere week last year, reaching the top 10 in 91 countries. It then remained in the non-English TV top 10 for seven consecutive weeks, amassing 348 million hours viewed and 53 million total views, Netflix added.

Pina’s Vancouver Media is producing again.

Money Heist ran for three seasons across five parts, first on local network Antena 3 and then on Netflix. It ended in 2021 and is one of Netflix’s most popular international titles of all time.

Angeles Cruz’s “Valentina or the Serenity” Named Best Picture at Huelva Ibero-American Film Festival

Angeles Cruz is celebrating a big win…

The 54-year-old Mexican actress, film director and screenwriter’s Valentina or the Serenity claimed the best picture award in a high-caliber main competition at this year’s Huelva Ibero-American Film Festival.

Angeles CruzThe film by the fast-emerging Mexican auteur, delivering knowing and cross.grained takes on life in Mixtec communities, also picked up the best actress awards for Myriam Bravo.

Best actor went to Money Heist star Rodolfo de la Serna for his weighty turn in Paramount Television Intl. StudiosThe Rescue.

Cruz’s win underscored the focus and value of Huelva. Despite funding challenges, Latin America’s big three – Mexico, Brazil and Argentina – alone produced 660 features in 2022. It is simply impossible for the media to pay sufficient attention to all but a highly select clutch of top titles.

“Ibero-American cinema is constantly evolving. Now, it is very easy to find great films, if not in budgetary terms, then in artistic ambitions,” Huelva director Manuel H. Martin told Variety in the run-up to the festival. Valentina played Toronto and Mexico. Despite that, it deserves far more attention.

Valentina or the Serenity, Angeles CruzTitles, moreover, buck cliché and expectations. Valentina turns on a young Mixtec girl’s attempt to process her father’s death, which runs from guilt and denial to final remembrance. Critics’ consensus, to the extent that it has received reviews, is that the final effect is an entertaining film.

Huelva’s Audience Award winner La Suprema, from Colombia’s Felipe Holguín, is set in a dirt poor hamlet off the Caribbean coast. That said, it delivers a heart warming ode to community solidarity as the villagers rally round to fufill a long girl’s dream.

Here’s a look at this year’s winners:

Huelva Ibero-American Film Festival Winners:
The prizes are named after Colombus, “Cólon” in Spanish, who set sail from Huelva in 1492 to discover a new route to the Indies, ending up in the Americas.

Golden Colón, Best Film
“Valentina or the Serenity” (“Valentina o la Serenidad,” Mexico)

Silver Colón, Special Mention
“The Buriti Flower” (Portugal, Brazil)

Silver Colón, Best Director
Sofía Auza (“Adolfo,” Mexico, U.S.)

Silver Colón, Best Acting
Rodrigo de la Serna – “The Recue” (“El Rapto,” Argentina)
Myriam Bravo – “Valentina or the Serenity” (“Valentina o la Serenidad,” Mexico)
Lead cast – “Prison in the Andes” (“Penal Cordillera,” Chile, Brazil)

Audience Award
“La Suprema” (Colombia)

Silver Colón, Youth Jury – Best International Ibero-American Short Film
“Antes de Madrid” (Uruguay)

Silver Colón – Best National Short Film
“Si me queréi, irse” (Spain)

Silver Colón Youth Jury – Best Andalucian Short Film Director
Fer Pérez (“Hipocampo,” Spain)

Juan Ramón Jiménez Award – Andalucian Talent
“Reflejos de una Habitación” (Spain)

Pantalla Huelva Best Short Film
“Donde no habite el olvido” (Spain)

Pantalla Huelva Audience Award
“La Última” (Spain)

Radio Exterior de España Award

“La Suprema” (Spain)

Camilo a la Libertad – Asociación Cultura con Orgullo Best LGTBQI+ Screening Award
“Power Alley(Levante)” (Spain)

AAMMA Women Award
Lillah Halla (“Power Alley” Levante)” Brazil)

Huelva Transfusion, Tissue and Cells Center Award – “Película Más Solidaria” Award
“Valentina or the Serenity” (“Valentina o la Serenidad,” Mexico)

Ibero-American Journalist Association Award
“The Rescue” (“El Rapto,” Argentina)

ANCCO Award – Broken Heart Award
“Valentina or the Serenity” (“Valentina o la Serenidad,” Mexico)

IES Pablo Neruda – Best Feature Film
“Reflejos en una Habitación” (Spain)

IES Pablo Neruda – Best International Short Film
“Antes de que te vayas” (Chile, Mexico)

Ibero-American House – Best Official Selection Film Award
“The Buriti Flower” (Portugal, Brazil)

Huelva León Ortega Art School Award – Feature Film Best Cinematography
“Adolfo” (Mexico)

Huelva León Ortega Art School Award – Short Film Best Cinematography
“Apnea” (Mexico)

Alba Flores to Star in the Sci-Fi Thriller “Ulterior”

Alba Flores has an ulterior motive…

The 36-year-old Spanish actress and Money Heist star will star in and executive-produce Ulterior, a sci-fi thriller film from Matt Brodlie and Jonathan Kier’s Upgrade Productions and Spain’s Morena Films.

Alba FloresCreated by Money Heist director Alex Rodrigo and Vida Perfecta’s Manuel Burque, the film follows a young singer and influencer who wakes up in a life that she does not recognize in a world where humans are given the opportunity to virtually connect to a simulation of their own lives. Protagonist Ada must play along with the game in order to return to her real life and, with the help of a mysterious stranger, unravel the puzzle of her new existence.

Flores is best known for playing Nairobi in Netflix Spanish smash hit Money Heist. No broadcaster is attached as of yet.

Brodlie and Kier called Ulterior a “chilling and complex science fiction story,” adding: “Manuel Burque and Alex Rodrigo have crafted a visionary and timely thriller and we’re excited to bring their distinct and authentic voices forward.”

Endemol Shine Boomdog Acquires Rights to Carlos Fuentes Vampire Novel “Vlad,” Developing TV Series

Endemol Shine Boomdog is vlad about Carlos Fuentes’ work…

The Mexico City-based production company, a unit of Banijay Americas, has acquired the rights to the late Mexican novelist and essayist’s vampire novel “Vlad.”

Carlos FuentesEndemol Shine Boomdog will develop a series based on the bestseller with lauded showrunner J.M. Cravioto attached as both showrunner and executive producer.

Jerry Rodriguez, Endemol Shine Boomdog’s senior VP and head of scripted content, and Clara Machado are developing the project for Endemol Shine Boomdog.

Carl Zitelmen is adapting Fuentes’ novel for television.

The story follows the mythical vampire who arrives in Mexico City in search of the soul of his beloved Mina, reincarnated as a Mexican woman. To his consternation, Vlad finds her inhabiting a progressive liberal who is not impressed at all by him. Having lost touch with the modern world, the 600-year-old predator struggles with panic attacks and blackout episodes, while he satiates his cravings for fresh blood.

“Vlad offers us the opportunity to reimagine a classic horror story and transform it into a modern thriller. It’s a love story, a high-concept drama that shows us both the savage and the vulnerable side of an immortal being,” said Rodriguez, adding: “We are always seeking out, adapting and creating interesting stories that navigate between genres with ease, stories that can take us from terror to tenderness, from tears to laughter and connect with different audiences in many levels and ‘Vlad’ is a great example of this kind of story.”

“We are looking at ‘Vlad’ as a multi-season series; It’s a character-driven show with complex characters that everyone can relate to,” Rodriguez told Variety. “The vampire himself is going to face a lot of conflicts that are part of the human condition nowadays,” he said, adding that rights negotiations with Silvia Lemus, Fuentes’ widow, was “always amicable and in the best of terms.”“She cares a lot about the property and we went to great lengths to ensure that we would produce a high-concept series that would honor both the author and his story,” Rodriguez explained.

Noting that Boomdog is currently developing a number of horror genre IPs, Rodriguez remarked: “This adaptation of “Vlad” goes way beyond a classic horror, or even a horror show; it’s a mixed genre project that has elements of a modern thriller, a love story, a powerful drama and even some comedy… just like life itself.”

“I find it very attractive and well-timed to propose a new look at classic genres such as thriller and horror through vampirism and romance,” Cravioto agreed. “I think ‘Vlad’ pays homage, preserves and rethinks this classic story from Fuentes’ novel, which on a personal level as a director and story seeker, poses a new narrative and formal challenge,” he added.

Cravioto, one of the most celebrated of film and television directors, producers and screenwriters in Mexico, served as showrunner and director for Netflix’s Diablero and as director of series Monarca, among others. His feature film Malvada will debut in theaters later this year while Corazonada is heading to Paramount+.

Winner of a slew of top literary honors, including the Miguel de Cervantes Prize and the Belisario Dominguez Medal of Honor, Fuentes was regarded as one of the illustrious writers in the Spanish-speaking world before his death in 2012. Some of Fuentes’ most acclaimed novels include The Death of Artemio Cruz, Aura, Terra Nostra, The Old Gringo and Christopher Unborn.

Vlad was first published in 2004 as a short story as part of Fuentes’ Inquieta Compañía and was later released as a novel in 2012, shortly before his death. The New York Times in its 2012 review of Vlad, said “it displays the strengths of a great writer’s late oeuvre to excellent effect” and Publisher’s Weekly stated the novel “follows the pattern of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but infuses the story with a modern sensibility and vivid imagery.”

Interest in the legendary vampire has sparked recently in the wake of news in September about two separate takes on the making of the Spanish-language version of the Bela Lugosi classic, Dracula.

In the first project, Eugenio Derbez is attached to star and executive produce comedic series They Came at Night (working title), which is in development at TelevisaUnivision’s SVOD platform Vix+.

Separately, Gato Grande announced at Madrid TV event Iberseries & Platino Industria that Money Heist star Alvaro Morte would play the actor Carlos Villarias who took on the Dracula role in the Spanish-language version.

Fernando Soto to Star in Vix+’s Spanish-Language Series “Travesuras de la Niña Mala”

Fernando Soto is getting into trouble…

The 54-year-old Spanish actor and director has joined the cast Vix+’s Spanish-language series Travesuras de la Niña Mala, which is based on the novel by Nobel prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa.

Juan Pablo Di Pace, Travesuras de la Niña Mala, Macarena AchagaIn addition Vix+ has revealed a first look trailer.

Soto, who plays Ángel in Antena 3/Netflix smash Money Heist will be joined by co-star Fernando Cayo, who plays Coronel Tamayo.

They join previously announced stars Juan Pablo Di Pace and Macarena Achaga.

Others to join the cast include Martijn Kuiper, Rowi Prieto, Vanessa Saba, Victor Civeira, Nestor Rodulfo, Steph Bumelcrownd and Javier Dulzaldes.

Money Heist director Alejandro Bazzano is helming the show and has been joined by director Pavel Vázquez.

Filmed in London and Paris, TelevisaUnivision’s flagship series for Vix+ tells the epic love story between Arlette (Achaga), a nonconformist and adventurous woman, and her once teenage love, Ricardo, a man trapped in a predictable routine. Thanks to Arlette, he slowly learns to get out of his comfort zone. These two characters’ lives will intertwine over 40 years, through reunions across Lima, Paris, Madrid, Tokyo, London, and more.

María López Castaño wrote the series based on the acclaimed novel of the same name.

Úrsula Corberó to Star Opposite Kevin Hart in Netflix’s “Lift”

Úrsula Corberó’s career is getting a Lift

The 32-year-old Spanish actress and model, who rose to acclaim on Netflix’s The Money Heist, will star in Kevin Hart’s Netflix-film “Lift.”

Ursula CorberoCorberó is among a stellar cast that includes Sam Worthington, Burn Gorman, Jean Reno and Jacob Batalon.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Vincent D’OnofrioBilly Magnussen, Yun Jee Kim, Viveik Kalra and Paul Anderson are also on board.

Gary Gray will direct the film, with Dan Kunka and Jeremy Doner penning the script. Netflix landed the package last year.

Hart will play a master thief who is wooed by his ex-girlfriend and the FBI to pull off an impossible heist with his international crew on a 777 flying from London to Zurich.

Lift falls under Hart and HartBeat Productions’ creative partnership with Netflix.

HBO Max Orders Second Season of Miguel Ángel Silvestre’s Mystery Horror Series “30 Coins”

Miguel Ángel Silvestre will continue making coin(s)

HBO Max has ordered a second season of Álex de Iglesia and Jorge Guerricaechevarría’s mystery horror series 30 Coins, starring the 39-year-old Spanish actor.

Miguel Angel SilvestrePrincipal photography will begin later this month on the eight-episode second season, which will air next year.

The series will pick up from the end of season one, which dropped on the platform in late 2020.

Most of the people of Pedraza have lost their minds, confined to a psychiatric hospital. Elena lies in a Madrid hospital bed in a coma; Paco, shattered by remorse, tries to take care of her. As horror grows around them, the group of heroes must face a new enemy.

“If the first season was the gathering of the storm clouds, the second will be the maelstrom preceding an epic storm,” said de la Iglesia.

In addition to Silvestre, 30 Coins also stars Eduard Fernández and Megan Montaner.

The show is one of many being produced outside of the U.S. by HBO Max, which is rolling out to more European territories throughout this year.

Silvestre’s previous credits include Netflix’s Sense8, Narcos, Velvet, Sky Rojo and Money Heist.

Carlota Pereda Signs with Creative Artists Agency (CAA)

Carlota Pereda has new representation…

The Latina writer-director, whose debut feature Piggy (Cerdita) recently made its world premiere in the Midnight Section of the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, has signed with Creative Artists Agency (CAA).

Carlota PeredaIn Pereda’s acclaimed Spanish-language horror film, an overweight teen is bullied by a clique of cool girls while holidaying in her village—with the long walk home that follows changing the rest of her life.

The project was selected in 2020 at script stage for the Cannes Film Festival’s Focus Co-Production Initiative.

It expands on Pereda’s breakthrough 2018 short of the same name, which has won 90 awards, including the Spanish Academy’s Goya Award for Best Short Film in 2019, and the 2020 Slamdance AGBO Fellowship.

Pereda has also worked extensively in television—most notably directing episodes of the Spanish-language series Paco’s Men for Money Heist creator Álex Pina.

Becky G Showcases Italian Singing Skills on Remix of “Bella Ciao,” the Unofficial Theme Song of Netflix’s “Money Heist”

Becky G is switching tongues yet again…

The 24-year-old Mexican American singer/rapper, who sings in English and Spanish, has given the theme song to Netflix’s series Money Heist her own twist.

Becky G

Bella Ciao” is an Italian protest folk song from the late 19th century, and the song’s connection to the Spanish heist series (originally titled La Casa de Papel) is because “’the Professor’s whole life revolved around one idea… resistance,” according to an official statement.

In a new extended version, released under Kemosabe/RCA Records, Becky G not only gives the song an uptempo reggaeton beat, but also flaunts her Italian singing skills.

“I have always loved La Casa de Papel and the way this show connected with millions of people across the world,” she said. “’Bella Ciao’ is an iconic song and marks an important moment in the series, so being asked to reimagine it and be a part of the Casa de Papel world is truly an honor. From recording the song to shooting the video, I hope everyone enjoys this cover as much as I do!”

“Bella Ciao” premiered Wednesday alongside a music video, directed by Megan Gamez, which pays tribute to the red jumpsuit, mask and bars of gold from the Bank of Spain, seen on the series.

The show’s finale (part 5, volume 2) will premiere globally Friday on Netflix.

Netflix to Release iIts First Spanish Original Reality Show “Insiders,” Hosted by Najwa Nimri

Najwa Nimri has the inside(rs) scoop… 

Netflix has announced the release date for its first Spanish Original reality show Insiders, hosted by the Spanish actress and Money Heist star.

Najwa Nimri

Premiering around the world on Oct.ober 21, the show has been billed as something completely new to the reality landscape in which its contestants believe, through the entire filming process, that they are only in the qualification rounds for an entirely different show.

With the cameras constantly rolling, the twelve participants are kept in the dark that they are, in fact, being filmed for a hidden camera show.

Set on a 17200 sq. ft. soundstage rigged with more than 250 hidden microphones and 70 hidden cameras, the contestants will unknowingly let their true colors shine right until the final reveal, when one winner will take home €100,000 ($117,720).

Nimri’s previous credits include Locked Up and Open Your Eyes.