Alfonso “Fosco” Blanco, CEO and executive producer of the Galician production company Portocabo

Portocabo in #PRODUprimetime: The challenge is to offer content in Spanish regardless local expressions and accents
25 de marzo de 2022

Alfonso “Fosco” Blanco, CEO and executive producer of the Galician production company Portocabo (Hierro, Auga seca), announced on #PRODUprimetime with Ríchard Izarra that they are working on three projects and will soon will be give information of one with Latin America.


They will soon announce a production with Latin America. "I hope that before our summer we can announce our first transoceanic collaboration agreement." Blanco said that the challenge for producers is to offer the public content in Spanish regardless of local idiomatic expression and accents. They want the relationship with Latin America to become recurring, and Blanco promised that this will happen before the company reaches its 13 anniversary (one year from now).

"What I'm looking for is alliances with talented producers from across the pond and, from there, build together."


He assures in a production the script, the talent, the content comes first, and then the financing model and not the other way around. “Because if you start thinking about financing and forget about the content, in the end you can end up with a strange hybrid,” he said. If content comes first, the co-production arises in an organic way, he explained.


With the Hierro series, what they wanted was to connect with the reality of the Canary Islands where the story takes place. “Our feeling was that we were missing something, because the Canary Islands has an incredible cultural richness. So, when we started to film, we wanted to exploit that, to connect the story with the reality of the environment where it takes place.”

He explained that “the environment where it happens matters; and it matters from the content and also the talent. It was very difficult for me to go to the Canary Islands and take 100% of the team from the peninsula or bring actors to try to get them to act with a Canarian accent, it makes no sense”. The formula seemed to work. Hierro was Movistar's most watched series and was acquired by several media abroad such as HBO LatAm; Univision, USA; and in European’s countries. His next project for Movistar —which is now going to be presented at the Malaga festival— also follows a bit along the path opened with Hierro and Auga seca.


After 12 years –since its inception- Portocabo will be finally moving to new offices next week, after the pandemic hindered their plans for 2020. "The company has grown into another dimension and, in accordance, we need a space in the center of Coruña." For Blanco, this move not only means more space to develop their work better, but also it is like the beginning of a new period for the company.


For Blanco, regarding coproductions, it is essential to be owners of what we do -owners or co-owners - of what they do. “And we have achieved that'', he highlighted. “I am very proud and it is our great victory, that we are probably one of the production companies in Spain —unfortunately among the few— that own our IP”. Although he confesses that they have a new project with Antena 3 in which they’re not keeping the IP, "but it was a project that we wanted to do" and, perhaps they will have to do also an exception to some projects they are developing for Netflix.


The creation of the School of Image and Sound in A Coruña, created at the end of the 90s, trained almost 80% of the technicians and creatives that are working on now. “It was an incomparable school, it didn't happen anywhere else in Spain. And that generated a group of young people with desire and with the opportunity to be able to develop from very early on doing a lot of production and with tight budgets; because Galician television produced a lot, but with a tight budget”. From there came Bambú, Vaca, Ficción, CTV, Voz.


This year they are going to develop three productions . "The key to do these three projects is having three creative teams." He confesses that if a fourth were to arrive, neither he nor Ana Míguez, the production director, nor Nina Hernández Gazquez, the content director, "would have the capacity to dedicate the time it deserves."

They are already preparing their second film and have announced their first collaboration with Antena 3. “We have the rights for the version in Spanish of the series Your Honor”. And soon we are going to announce for this year a new Movistar series” and possibly another with Conecta Fiction. “The truth is that we have quite a volume of work in co-production and with content that we like,” he said.


“For me the most important thing in co-production is to sharing the same content objective. If that content is well consolidated and organic, the next steps are easier.” He noted that it is very unusual for them to get involved in projects that are already fully developed, "because we consider ourselves as a content boutique." His goal is to make ideas grow.

View interview here