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Starzplay, Pantaya, Fremantle, Fabula team up for sci-fi miniseries El Refugio

Lionsgate-owned streaming service Starzplay and Spanish-language streamer Pantaya have partnered once again with European production group Fremantle and Chilean prodco Fabula on the Spanish-language sci-fi thriller El Refugio.

Pablo Fendrik

Production of the six-part one-hour miniseries, helmed by Argentinian director Pablo Fendrik (Ardor), wrapped last week in Chile, where filming took place primarily in rural areas of the capital, Santiago.

The show will premiere on Starzplay in Latin America, Brazil and Spain, while in the US and Puerto Rico it will launch on Pantaya. Fremantle is handling international distribution for the miniseries under the title The Shelter. A premiere date has not yet been set.

El Refugio is co-written by Julio Rojas (La Vida de los Peces), who came up with the original concept, Francisco Ortega (Logia) and Enrique Videla (La Jauría).

The genre-melding series follows a family who believe they are under attack from aliens or some other unidentified force. However, when they go outside to investigate, nothing seems out of the ordinary.

Executive producers are Fabula’s Juan de Dios Larraín, Pablo Larraín, Ángela Poblete and Mariane Hartard and Fremantle’s Christian Vesper. The coproduction deal was brokered by Sheila Aguirre, exec VP content distribution and format sales, Caribbean and Hispanic US for Fremantle, Paul Presburger and Mario Almeida for Pantaya and Jeff Cooke for Starzplay.

The project stars Alberto Guerra (La Jauria) and Ana Claudia Talancón (Como Caído del Cielo) in the lead roles. The cast also includes Zuria Vega (En Las Buenas y en las Malas), Paloma Woolrich (La Muchacha Que Limpia), Alfredo Castro (El Club), Diego Escalona (La Suerte de Loli), Camila Valero (Herederos Por Accidente), Isabella Arroyo (A Love Letter), Jorge Guerrero (Roma), Gabriela Cartol (La Camarista) and Fernanda Urrejola (Narcos).

The companies involved in El Refugio previously collaborated on Señorita 89, which was unveiled in August 2020 as part of Starzplay’s slate of international originals. Filming on the drama series, helmed by showrunner Lucía Puenzo, got underway in Mexico City in the spring.

Starzplay owner Lionsgate previously held a majority stake in Pantaya, which launched in 2017 as a joint venture between Lionsgate and Hemisphere Media Group. In April 2021, Hemisphere acquired Lionsgate’s 75% stake for around US$124m.

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