Europe Greenlights ‘Patria,’ its First Original Production in Spain – Variety

MADRID — HBO Europe has greenlit “Patria,” its first Spanish original series, written and produced by Aitor Gabilondo (“El Príncipe”) and directed by Venice-winning Pablo Trapero (“The Clan”) and Goya-winning Félix Viscarret (“Under the Stars”).

The eight-part series adapts the same-titled novel by Fernando Aramburu, published in 2016,  of the most acclaimed of recent Spanish bestsellers.

Trapero, a leading light of the New Argentine Cinema who win a Venice best director plaudit for “The Clan” in 2016 and has made movies which deal in weighty social and political issues but appeal far beyond arthouse audiences – Cannes competition contender “Lion’s Den” and Ricardo Darin starrer “Carancho” –  will serve as lead director. Viscarret, who directed the Wild Bunch-sold Caribbean noir series “Four Seasons in Havana” for Tornasol, will direct some of the series’ episodes.

A huge 646-page work, the novel presents a vision of the impact of the Basque conflict on ordinary people on both its sides, such as the widow of a man shot dead by ETA who returns to her home village after the 2011 ETA ceasefire, and her former intimate friend, the mother of an incarcerated terrorist.

Both families must deal with grief and moral contradictions while life goes on. The series asks if they will be able to someday forgive, erase their differences, and move forward, HBO Europe confirmed in a press announcement Monday.

The series is produced by Alea Media, co-owned by Mediaset España.  It will go into production in 2019 for a planned 2020 premiere.

Antony Root, EVP of original programming and production, HBO Europe, called “Patria” “a personal, human story that unfolds against the backdrop of political violence in the Basque country, and which explores themes of grief, community and forgiveness,” adding that it is at once acutely local and affectingly universal.”

“To me, “Patria” is not only the challenge of adapting a powerful and moving novel that has reached readers all over the world,” the Basque-born Gabilondo added, calling the adaptation  “also a personal journey which, through these characters, takes me back to the toughest years of ETA that made such an impact on my youth.”

For Miguel Salvat, commissioning editor of original programming, HBO España, “‘Patria’ is the perfect expression of HBO Europe’s ambition regarding original production. We want to create something different, with great quality, that lives up to the legacy of our brand.”

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