May 24, 2024

Chile’s Storyboard Media is making its first foray into series production by joining forces with Chilean actor-producer Pablo Díaz del Rio of Ríos Estudio and Argentina’s Juan Pablo Gugliota of MagmaCine to co-produce a historical fiction series, “Habitación 205” (“Box 205”). 

The deal with MagmaCine was closed during the Madrid forum Iberseries & Platino Industria on Oct. 3. 

Created by Díaz del Rio and written by Mateo Iribarren, the four-episode series is inspired by the 20-year-long judicial investigation into the death of former Chilean President Eduardo Frei Montalva, who died in an allegedly botched medical procedure. It will also be adapted into a 120-minute feature film.

“We are elated that our maiden venture into series-making begins with “Habitacion 205” and judging from the responses we received at the San Sebastian Festival and now Iberseries, it looks like it would appeal to both our local and international audiences,” said Gabriela Sandoval who co-founded and runs Storyboard Media with biz partner, Carlos Nuñez. 

“Furthermore, working with Pablo, whom I’ve known for a long time as a producer and creator of audiovisual content, and producing his debut work in both series and film, is extremely appealing to me,” she said.

On what motivated him to write about the incident, Díaz del Rio, who will also serve as the showrunner and director, said: “From a dramatic standpoint, this case has been an obsession of mine. I conducted extensive research on it and found it very intriguing.”

He added: “The core of the storyline is set in the 2000s, tracking the progression of the investigation spanning over two decades. Through the testimonials of the case, the series will weave in some scenes set in the 1980s, commencing with Eduardo Frei Montalva’s speech at the Caupolicán Theater following the 1980 plebiscite and culminating in his demise two years later.”

Gugliota pointed out that Argentina and Chile were not only neighbors but also shared cultural, political, and social ties, thus making them natural partners for stories that transcend international boundaries. “When Gabriela extended the invitation for me to participate in both the movie and the series, I was drawn to the prospect of joining a political thriller with cross-border resonance.”

“My understanding of the real-life case deepened through Pablo’s investigative work, and we were captivated by the perspective he brings to the project. This perspective harmonizes well with the projects my partner, Nathalia Videla, and I have been nurturing at MagmaCine,” he noted, adding that a pivotal factor in finalizing their agreement at Iberseries and Platino Industria has been the success of their past co-productions. 

“This collaboration has cultivated a robust and strategic creative partnership, which bodes well for steering these projects forward,” he said. 

Storyboard Media, which also runs the Santiago Film Festival (Sanfic), has produced more than 10 fiction and documentary films, including such notable titles as “Santiago, Italy” by director Nanni Moretti, “Pacto de Fuga” by David Albala, and “El Pacto de Adriana” by Lissette Orozco, among others.

Founded in 2005 by Videla and Gugliotta, MagmaCine is behind such international hits such as “1976, the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight title by Manuela Martelli”; Argentina’s submission to the 89th Academy Awards, “The Distinguished Citizen,” and the upcoming “El vos confio” by Agustin Toscano, which participated in Malaga Film Festival’s WIP section, where it won three awards.

Río Estudios has produced over 50,000 minutes of fiction for both film and television and operates a 700-square meter studio facility custom built for direct sound recording, HD mobiles and post-production.

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