Launched by “El Chapo” producer Camila Jiménez and its creator Silvana Aguirre, L.A.-based The Immigrant, in which Fremantle has a 25% stake, has hired Oscar-nominated filmmaker Javier Fesser (“Binta y la gran idea,” “Camino,” “Campeones”) to direct its upcoming Spanish series “Custodia Repartida” (“Shared Custody”), a dramatic comedy from María Mínguez (“Vivir dos veces”) and Juanjo Moscardó (“Amor en Polvo”).
The company recently expanded its Mexican team with the appointment of Claudia Valdez as director of physical production. Valdez brings more than two decades of experience from across film and television to The Immigrant and will be critical as the studio enters production on multiple television projects.
One such project, “Shared Custody,” is a dramatic comedy unraveling after the fallout of separation between two parents, and an examination of that increasingly common dynamic in the modern world. Many families cannot afford to live alone, because often those with money have little time and those who do have time frequently struggle financially. The “only” solution then, as proposed by the series, is the “abuse” of relationships with the people who never fail us… our grandparents.
In the series, Cris and Diego have just separated. Neither of them can afford to live alone and also take care of their five-year-old daughter Cloe, so they are both forced to move back into their parents’ houses. The grandparents are delighted that their children, and especially their granddaughter, are back in their lives more regularly, but things quickly deteriorate as once divided lives become intertwined again and what started as a mutual and respectful split quickly turns ugly.
“I find the characters very attractive, so funny but with so much truth, so recognizable, and I really like the naturalness with which they all swarm the series at such a deliciously frenetic pace,” said Fesser. What I like most about ‘Custodia Repartida’ is that we know it’s a comedy but our characters don’t. They can’t even imagine what we’re going to laugh at with their catalog of everyday calamities.”
According to Jiménez, the project has been “Cooking slowly. We knew we had something very special with Juanjo and María from the beginning: This is a story that is deeply personal, every character is filled with truth. We wanted to get it right and get the right director attached. I believe we’re at that point now, and we’re so excited to go out with it.”
“Shared Custody” is an important milestone for The Immigrant, as it looks to push further into the Spanish marketplace, having already worked extensively in the U.S. and Latin America, including developing a drama series with Guatemala’s Jayro Bustamante (“Ixacanul,” “La Lorona”) and Spain’s Javier Ruíz Caldera (“Superlópez”).
“Last year we were very focused on setting up Mexico,” Jiménez explained. “We have a lot of production ramping up this year including a film and a couple of series. Now we are ready to take to market a few of our very special Spanish projects.”