‘Operacion Marea Negra’ Producer Ukbar Filmes Pitching Series on Portuguese Feminist Heroine at Iberseries (EXCLUSIVE)

Lisbon-based Ukbar Filmes, run by Pandora da Cunha Telles and Pablo Iraola, is prepping the period series “The Marquise of Alorna” (“A Marquesa de Alorna”), based on the eponymous bestseller by Portuguese author Maria João Lopo de Carvalho.

Participating in the 2nd Iberseries & Platino Industria’s Co-Production and Financing Forum, the 6 x 50’ episode series will be directed by award-winning helmer Tiago Alvarez Marques, known for “Madre Paula” and “A Impostora.”

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Written by Mário Cunha, Cláudia Clemente and Rafael Afonso, the series turns on Leonor de Almeida Portugal, best known as the Marquise of Alorna, who as a poet, translator and teacher, was deemed among the first and most prominent feminists of Portugal. She is described to have “survived the great earthquake of 1755, political purges and the French Revolution to become the greatest pioneer in education for women.”

“Telling her story is important as it prompts reflection on women’s place in our society, not only in the past but also in the present. Despite the substantial changes in our world, women still face the ongoing struggle to claim their rightful position in a patriarchal society,”

said Iraola, who is also the series’ showrunner alongside Da Cunha Telles.

Ukbar Filmes has targeted principal photography for the Fall of 2024 in the countries where the Marquise was active in the Courts, which include Portugal, Spain, France, Austria and Germany. “Of course, this depends on the co-producers we hope will board the project,” said Iraola, who added: “We feel great confidence in the show’s historical and cultural relevance, as well as its entertainment value, a powerful mix that will make ‘The Marquise de Alorna’an excellent television show, which is meant to inform and captivate audiences.”

The series has tapped the Portuguese Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual fund for its production and the Portuguese cash rebate. The country’s public broadcaster RTP1 is already onboard.

Furthermore, Ukbar Filmes is in early development on “O Provocador” (“Trigger Agent”), an 8 x 50” episode series written by novelist, screenwriter José Pinto Carneiro (“Contado por Mulheres”).

According to the synopsis, the show is set in 2017 where João, a nightclub bouncer with a failed police career, teams up with Carmen, a woman seeking vengeance for her mother’s murder in a past terrorist attack.

Together, they get involved in a dangerous plot involving stolen weapons and a plan to assassinate the Portuguese president. Amidst their growing romance, Teresa, João’s former lover and a prosecutor, is forced to confront and protect him. João takes on a shadowy role to thwart potential attacks in Portugal, adding complexity to this high-stakes thriller.

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