Netflix has set its sights on the border city of Tijuana. First, it was through external productions, such as the series Fear the Walking Dead, but now also betting on the creation of series such as Tijuana, I Love You.
Colosio: La Historia de un crimen, El Desconocido, and now also Tijuana, are just some of the series shot in the city; fiction films inspired by real stories or characters that became real-life heroes. The formula has been successful, and the company is willing to continue shooting in Baja California some of the 50 Mexican series and films they announced for 2019 and 2020 when they opened offices in Mexico City.
Estudios Baja will host one of them. These studios have made such important productions as Titanic, and recently the film China, The Rescue, by director Dante Lam, which left an economic flow of 14 million dollars for the region.
"Estudios Baja is just one piece of the puzzle," said film director René Bueno. "It's a fact that they have facilities and that you can make a great investment but, if they weren't there, Baja California would still be the best destination for film production.
Recently, Netflix showed the first trailer of Tijuana, where a group of journalists becomes the protagonists when risking their lives to expose the truth in the weekly newspaper Frente Tijuana.
In these images, we see how Damián Alcázar and Tamara Vallarta pay tribute to the important profession of journalism in Mexico, together with Claudette Maille, Rodrigo Abed, Teté Espinoza, Rolf Petersen, Iván Aragón, Andrés Delgado, Martha Claudia Moreno, Roberto Sosa and more. When the gubernatorial candidate is murdered in the street, reporters from Frente Tijuana run to cover the story, but the facts they discover are much deeper than murder.
This series that will be recorded in Mexico City and Tijuana tells the story of the assassination of a presidential candidate in the streets. This fact triggers an exhaustive investigation on the part of the reporters of a local newspaper that looks for answers to the murder and discovers that everything is related to a network of corruption that can place in danger their lives.
"This is a critical time to talk about what journalists around the world face every day in the search for the truth, particularly in Mexico," said Camila Jiménez Villa, executive director of FMG Studios. In addition, he noted that "Tijuana" presents a pair of strong female characters that will give much to talk about.
Although not yet known all the actors who will participate in the work, Jiménez Villa announced that the casting is already being developed. However, some well-known actors that will represent key characters of the series have already been announced, as is the case of the producer of "El Chapo", Daniel Posada, who will act as showrunner of "Tijuana" together with the creator of the series, Zayre Ferrer.
"Netflix is a great match for us as we seek to co-produce series that are relevant to us, but that can transcend and resonate beyond Mexico and Latin America," Villa Jiménez said. "This expansion of our relationship with Netflix reaffirms the value of the content we are producing"
Recall that the first season of "El Chapo" was very successful on Netflix. This story narrates the rise and fall of the Mexican drug trafficker, who is currently incarcerated in the United States. "El Chapo" debuted on Univision in April 2017 and on Netflix in June 2017.
Since its premiere on Netflix, the series has become one of the most viewed in Mexico. At the moment they are broadcasting the second season of this series on Univision, which has become a great success and has enchanted many viewers. Hopefully, this success expands internationally when launched on Netflix.
Proximity to Hollywood
"The film we shot recently was bought by Netflix with international distribution," Bueno said. "I get streams from Israel, from the Nordic countries, from France, and from all over the world, it's very interesting to see how a story created in Tijuana has repercussions in countries I don't even know.
This is because the U.S. company has globalized the offer by changing the narrative structure of the series and films, allowing them to draw attention to small products in the ocean of the audiovisual offer.
Mexico is one of the most important markets for Netflix, and the young creators of Tijuana are taking advantage of the opportunity, there have been several series related to drug trafficking and the situation of insecurity that live in the countries where they are recorded.
El Chapo, Narcos, are just some of the series that the North American company has filmed with this profile, standing out recently. And while those stigma-laden issues are employing a large number of filmmakers in Tijuana, local directors plan to tell their own stories to the world.
"There is a stereotype of Tijuana, like a city of drug trafficking, polleros, and prostitution," said film director Omar Yñigo. "That's why when they want to shoot a film about migrants or violence, they think of this city, but the people who live here, who know about another reality, understand that there are other stories to tell.
The people of Tijuana have the means, the creativity, and the desire to tell their own stories for the world, but they must compete with productions from other countries, which exceed in budget and advertising, which has hindered the development of local cinema.
"Currently, digital media are contributing a lot so that our work can be known. We don't have to fight with changes, we have to adapt, the important thing is to believe in the dream, to aim at the moon".
With information from Hoy Los Angeles