HBO Europe has green-lit its first original Spanish series Patria, an eight-episode adaptation of Fernando Aramburu’s bestselling novel, written and produced by Aitor Gabilondo and directed by Venice-winning Pablo Trapero and Goya-winning Félix Viscarret. Produced by Alea Media, Patria will start shooting in the North of Spain early 2019. The series is an HBO Europe Original Production, with the participation of HBO Latin America.
Acclaimed by critics and the public in Spain and beyond since its publication in 2016, Aramburu’s novel Patria is adapted by Aitor Gabilondo (creator of El Príncipe and Vivir sin permiso) who serves as writer and producer. Internationally-recognised filmmaker Pablo Trapero – whose credits include 2015’s The Clan which won the Venice Silver Lion for Best Director, and upcoming The Quietude – will serve as lead director, with Félix Viscarret (Four seasons in Havana, Bajo las estrellas) directing some episodes.
Set in Spanish Basque Country and taking place over thirty years during the separatist terrorism of ETA, Patria tells a story through the eyes of two families divided by the violent conflict.
The lives of Bittori and her family implode the day ETA kills her husband, Txato, on his doorstep. The relationship with her intimate friend Miren, whose son belongs to an ETA command, also comes to an end. Both families must deal with grief and moral contradictions while life goes on. Will they be able to someday forgive, erase their differences, and move forward?
Antony Root, EVP of Original Programming and Production, HBO Europe, says: “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, Patria is at once acutely local and affectingly universal. That we have such an outstanding creative team to bring it to life is testament to our ambition for the series, and its appeal to both Spanish and international audiences. It is the perfect project to kick-off HBO Europe’s drama slate in Spain.”
Aitor Gabilondo says: “I’ve dedicated almost a year to adapt Patria for TV. Now, it’s time to bring these characters to life and recreate the painful past reflected in this work of fiction. That the wounds of this recent history are still open in the Basque Country fuels my commitment and forces me to sharpen my sensibility. Luckily, HBO has enabled me to be surrounded by an exceptional technical and artistic crew who share the same commitment. To me, Patria is not only the challenge of adapting a powerful and moving novel that has reached readers all over the world. It’s 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.”
Miguel Salvat, Commissioning Editor of Original Programming, HBO España, says: “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. I am convinced that with Fernando Aramburu’s great book as the basis, and Aitor Gabilondo’s huge contribution adapting the novel and leading this team, Patria will be a series like no other ever made in Spain.”
Pablo Trapero is an award-winning Argentinian director whose films have received worldwide recognition, premiering at festivals including Cannes, Toronto and Venice, and winning multiple awards including a Venice Silver Lion for Best Director and a Goya Award for The Clan. His other credits include The Quietude, White Elephant and Carancho. Félix Viscarret’s credits include TV mini-series Four Seasons in Havana, and the feature adaptation of another Aramburu novel, Bajo las estrellas, which won two Goya Awards for Best Actor and Best Screenplay.
One of Spain’s best-known showrunners, both writing and producing, Aitor Gabilondo’s credits include popular procedural El Comisario and local primetime hit El Príncipe, among other series. He founded production company Alea Media in 2017.
Patria is HBO Europe’s first original production in Spain. The 8×60 series is produced by Alea Media, co-owned by Mediaset España. It will go into production in 2019 for a planned 2020 premiere.
Patria will premiere day-and-date across HBO Europe territories, and will also premiere on HBO Latin America. It will also be available to HBO’s U.S. subscribers across the channel’s platforms, including HBO GO, HBO NOW, HBO On Demand, and participating television and streaming partner platforms.