Starzplay, Bambu Wrap Adult Industry Tale ‘Nacho’
Lionsgate-owned Starzplay, Starz’s premium international streaming service, and Spanish company Bambú Producciones, producer of Cable Girls, are finalizing production on Nacho, one of Starzplay’s best-known productions, while pursuing its burgeoning Build an international original portfolio.
Spanish premium SVOD service Pantaya in the US – already a Starzplay partner on Lucia Puenzo’s Señorita 89, Pablo Fendrik’s El Refugio, and Sofía Auza and Silviana Aguirre’s Yellow – will become Nacho in the US and Puerto Rico publish.
Starzplay distributes in Spain and Latin America. Elsewhere, Lionsgate will oversee international sales.
Starzplay shared with diversity a first look image from the eight part series inspired by the life and times of adult film industry legend Nacho Vidal. Brought to California by Rocco Siffredi in 1998, Vidal became the industry’s first Spanish international megastar.
The series is produced in Spain by partner La Claqueta. Few productions caught visiting a set in late June seem to not only better capture Starzplay’s production philosophy, but also Bamboo’s drive to push drama series production further. Here are 8 take on what “Nacho” says about both of them.
Starzplay: For adults only
“You have to have local production if you want to be relevant. There are just too many good stories with too many good creative players in all of these markets, especially in Spain,” said Jeff Cooke, Starz Senior VP, Programming, International Digital Networks diversity right after the set visit.
Starzplay entered the game relatively late, launching in most international countries as of 2018. Starzplay’s challenge was to quickly become a relevant local player. One way is to obviously stand aside. Starzplay series have “a mature purpose. We don’t want products for the whole family,” Mireia Acosta, director of development and production for Starzplay in Spain, told delegates at Conecta Fiction in June. “Nacho” is an obvious example of this.
Co-production: A convincing case
Nacho will be “produced primarily for Starzplay,” Cooke said. Other titles – “All Those Things We Never Said” with Studiocanal, “Señorita 89” and “El Refugio” with Pantaya, Fabula and Fremantle – are co-produced. Cooke commented: “It’s interesting when we can come to companies and say, ‘Look, we don’t want to do a work-for-hire deal. We realize you need some in-game skin, it’s your creation. We’ve heard that’s a really compelling reason to work with us.” No wonder other Starzplays partners contribute about a dozen international original series Moritz Polter, Executive Producer of “Das Boot,” (“Night in Paradise”) and ” Deutschland 83” co-creator Jörg Winger (“Ouija”).
“Bold, offbeat and provocative”: Starzplay Originals
Starzplay cannot compete with major global streamers in terms of volume production. So again it has to be noticed in different ways. The first look photo features Cable Girls male lead Martiño Rivas as Nacho and María de Nati, who recently starred in Netflix hit The Wrong Side of the Tracks, as the real Sara Bernat , a sex worker who discovers Nacho’s extraordinary talents and takes him to a sex show on stage at Sala Baghdad in Barcelona. At first, Nacho can’t relax in front of a live audience. “We need series that are brand-defining: bold, offbeat and provocative,” said Cooke. “A show needs to resonate, make people turn their heads and say, ‘What kind of show is this? It’s on Starzplay, I need to find out more about this service,” he added. Again, “nacho” fits the bill.
Distinctive styles for different stages of life
Discovered by Spanish director Jose María Ponce, with whom he debuts as an adult film actor, Vidal is taken by Rocco Siffredi’s to his Budapest studio and then on to California. “The show really jumps through time, to different places and career paths,” Cooke said. That opens the door for visual style changes, he added. Bambu and Starzplay actively encouraged the series’ three directors – David Pinillos (“Cable Girls”), Beatriz Sanchis (“The Gigantes”), Eduardo Casanova (“La Pietà”) – to continue their distinctive visual styles. From the first look photo, early scenes at Sala Baghdad are quite poppy. “I was allowed to be myself,” said Eduardo Casanova diversity on the Ibiza set, doubled for California, where he shot a scene of Nacho in conversation with Bellísima (Miriam Giovanelli), costume and decoration in different shades of pink. He used golden tones for Nacho’s earlier scenes in Hungary, where he begins to triumph, he added. “People in the adult industry have lived many lifetimes in one,” noted Giovanelli. The style of the series moves around the same point.
“Nacho”: Told by women
Bambu co-founders Fernández Valdés and Ramon Campos first broke through with 2007’s Desaparecida, bringing an American cable sense of pace, plot complexity and darker psychology to a Spain-set thriller about a missing daughter. With “Grand Hotel” (2011-13) and “Velvet” (2013-16) they attempted to revolutionize women’s melodrama by offering series with exquisite production values and modern gender values for an audience whose mothers consumed telenovelas. Despite being more of a dramedy, Nacho is still very much in that vein. Showrun by Fernández-Valdés, written by Cable Girls, four main writers: Fernández-Valdés, Gema R. Neira, María José Rustarazo and Flora G. Villanueva. “If this series had been written by men, it might not have seen the light of day,” said Fernández-Valdés in Ibiza. “We didn’t want this to be a show that really appealed to the male gaze behind the camera, it was important for us to have some balance,” added Cooke.
….For women – as well as men
“What we discovered in our research was that there were many important women in Nacho’s life, and they are often strong, sexually active women who enjoy sex but are able to set boundaries in terms of consent.” , said Fernández-Valdés. The first part of “Nacho” revolves around his relationship with Sara. When Vidal suggests a certain type of sex, she flatly refuses. Hungarian-born Spanish adult star Sophie Evans, whose character also appears in the series, was hired as a dancer at a street club in Asturias, northern Spain. When she found out she was expected to work as a prostitute, she packed her bags and left that same night. “At least in Nacho’s story, I didn’t discover any women who were victims or felt trapped,” said Fernández Valdés.
Reaching the human dimension of Nacho….
“When we first pitched a script to Starzplay, we took a pretty low-key story and they said, ‘No, we’re looking for something way more offbeat, so we came up with ‘Nacho,'” recalls Fernandez Valdés. After that, Starzplay was “very interested in humanizing the characters, understanding what drives someone to become a porn performer, how that affects their life and how they relate to their family,” she continued. “‘Boogie Nights’ was always like our North Star tonally,” Cooke added. “There’s a preference behind it. These are not people who are being bullied, they want to do it on purpose. Shows have to be entertaining, but they have to have something deeper that makes you feel like you kind of really see yourself and have some kind of empathy with the characters.”
What is “Nacho” really about?
“It’s about identity, about being who you want to be, and not necessarily what society dictates,” Cooke said. “Nacho tears up the rule book, living life to the limit with great intelligence and a total lack of fear,” Rivas added. There were also several messages, said Fernández-Valdés. One is that “Superman doesn’t fly”. “Young people want to know about sex. The easiest access window is watching porn. But we have to tell them it’s fiction, not reality. There’s a script, it’s aimed at men, women play supporting roles. Porn cannot be viewed as a model for a first sex night.”
https://variety.com/2022/tv/global/starzplay-bambu-nacho-pantaya-lionsgate-1235319491/ Starzplay, Bambu Wrap Adult Industry Tale ‘Nacho’