NATPE Hot Pick: Valdivia

Gerardo Mejía, the actor and singer of ‘Rico Suave’, is the writer and force behind Valdivia, which is setting out to be the Latin equivalent of The Walking Dead.

Mejía was one of the originators of the zombie novella and also plays the lead, Joaquin, a formerly corrupt cop seeking a peaceful life as a pastor in the Ecuadorian fishing town of Valdivia. However, that plan is made impossible by a pandemic that leads to a zombie outbreak, setting up a Spanish-language drama about the survivors attempting to live through the undead apocalypse.

Joaquin leads a group of survivors defending Valdivia in the young adult-skewing series. Other key characters include Joaquin’s brother Octavio (Javier Meija) and Arturo, an ex-military man who joins the band of survivors.

Produced by Unit Films and directed by the show’s other creators, Ali and Eman Shahkamrani, the zombie series will launch internationally at NATPE this year with Crossbones and The Black Box distributor Sierra / Engine on sales duty.

Sierra / Engine boss Chris Philip says he is confident of sales in the wake the NATPE launch. “It’s perfect for a US Hispanic broadcaster and for buyers from Latin America. We hope also to sell it to one of the key pan-regional [pay TV operators].”

The thirteen-part drama is in production and Sierra / Engine will have early footage to show buyers in Miami ahead of the series delivering this spring/summer.

The push for Valdivia comes in the wake of Sierra / Engine landing a deal for another Spanish-language show, My Problem with Women, about a bachelor who seeks therapy.


The show: Valdivia
The distributor: Sierra / Engine Television
The producer: Unit Films
The broadcaster: TBC
The concept: Spanish language zombie novel from Gerado Mejía