Netflix’s First-Ever Colombian Series Is Coming Soon

Lead Photo: Ciro Guerra, director of 'Embrace of the Serpent.' Photo by Mario Acevedo. Courtesy of Oscilloscope Films
Ciro Guerra, director of 'Embrace of the Serpent.' Photo by Mario Acevedo. Courtesy of Oscilloscope Films
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Netflix has become a prime mover and shaker for the Latin American market, unsurprising considering Latin Americans are the main demographic binge watching their series. You can find an amazing wealth of Spanish-language television shows and movies or Brazilian features, and even the delightful Latino reboot of One Day at a Time which still needs a renewal. Now, the streaming service is turning towards Colombia with a trio of new series set to enter production.

The first is producer Cristian Conti‘s Distrito Salvaje, a 10-episode series that started filming earlier this month in Bogotá. It tells the story of Jhon Jevier (played by Colombian actor Juan Pablo Raba) as he struggles to find a new life after years of being a guerrilla fighter. Distrito Salvaje will include fellow Colombian star Carolina Acevedo, Alina Lozano and Juan Fernando Sánchez. Raba is best known for his work on Netflix’s other Colombian-based drama, Narcos.

Netflix will also debut Green Inferno, a series about a detective and her partner who traverse the Amazon hoping to solve a string of murders. It’s being executive produced by Ciro Guerra, best known stateside for his Academy Award-nominated feature Embrace the Serpent from 2015. It will be an eight-episode series shot entirely in 4K. to showcase the lush Amazonian landscape. They’ll also release Siempre Bruja, a series about a slave who is rumored to be a witch and time travels to modern day Cartagena to avoid being burned at the stake. As with Green Inferno it’ll be a 4K-shot series, but received a 10-episode order a la Distrito Salvaje. Unlike the other two series, Siempre Bruja (inspired by Isidora Chacon’s novel Yo, Bruja) is aimed at a young adult audience. Both are set to premiere in 2019 while Distrito premieres later this year.

In 2013, Colombia became the top destination for studios to film their movies due to advantageous tax breaks of up to 40%. It’s unclear whether those numbers have changed, but Netflix’s faith on not only filming there but having Colombian directors, producers, and writers craft these shows demonstrates a serious interest in both utilizing the monetary and audience advantages of the country. The fact that all three are different, and aren’t mired in narco culture should be a refreshing change of pace for people looking for more diverse Latin American stories to stream.