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Punching Ratings Highs in Spain, Premium Telenovela ‘Dreams of Freedom’ From Atresmedia and Banijay’s Diagonal TV Hits Cannes MipTV Market


The ambitious Begoña Montes is locked in a toxic marriage to a magnate in the thrilling telenovela period drama “Dreams of Freedom” (“Sueños de Libertad”), produced for Antena 3 by Banijay’s Diagonal TV alongside Atresmedia – who produced  groundbreaking shows “Money Heist” and “Velvet.”

“Our relationship with Diagonal is, and will continue to be, very good. We worked with them hand-in-hand on many productions, including ‘Amar es para siempre’, the predecessor of ‘Dreams of Freedom,’” Atresmedia fiction director, Montse García, told Variety.

The biggest fiction premiere on free-to-air Spanish television in the past two years, racking up a 14.1% market share and 2.0 million viewers on its linear Feb. 25 bow, the daily series opens with a tense chase through lush forests. 

Begoña (Natalia Sánchez), with daughter Julia (Amanda Cárdenas) in tow, runs feverishly through the brush and soil to escape her betrothed, Jesús de la Reina (Alain Hernández), meeting his brother Andrés (Dani Tatay) and a getaway car on a deserted rural road. Jesús reaches the pair before they can flee and a panicked standoff opens the series before scenes retreat to the past to build-up the events that led to the pivotal exchange. 

“Dreams of Freedom” takes place in 1958 and the set is marked with an elaborate and retro aesthetic. From clothing, to color palettes, scenic textures and all points in-between, the viewer is transported through time and place with ease as the whispers surrounding the De la Reina dynasty blow through the cast of characters like a summer breeze, laying bare disputes, betrayals and all of their best-laid plans.

“‘Dreams of Freedom’ is one of Atresmedia’s main fiction bets for 2024. After the success of ‘Amar es para siempre’ which came to an end after more than 2,800 episodes, Antena 3’s new primetime title had to live up to expectations,” says Atresmedia head of fiction Montse García.

“At the production level we’ve made a great leap in quality and that’s reflected in all the visual elements of the series; a fundamental factor that the audience is valuing very positively and that means that ‘Dreams of Freedom’ is being perceived as a different sort of soap opera, with photography, costumes and locations taken care of in detail.”

“At the plot level, ‘Dreams of Freedom’ has a captivating story full of secrets, love and revenge, but we’ve also made great progress in terms of production, achieving cinematic quality and filming mostly in natural settings, exterior environments,” she noted.

Created by Beatriz Duque y Verónica Viñé and directed by Joan Noguera (“Un Paso Adelante”), the series is loosely inspired by the successful Turkish series “Lifeline” the melodrama touching on social issues like class warfare, the patriarchal boundaries imposed on women and unhinged masculinity while incorporating universal themes of forbidden love, strained familial dynamics and sisterhood.

“We were inspired by ‘Lifeline’ to create ‘Dreams of Freedom.’ We’re aware of the great global popularity of Turkish dramas and the appeal of their stories,” García relayed, adding that, “Despite the fact that both titles share similar dramatic elements such as the protagonist’s escape, the development of the story of “Dreams of Freedom” will take a totally different path.”

Cohesive and exciting, the narrative maneuvers a hefty cast through side plots that merge to form this intriguing set of histories, trauma and triumphs that run parallel to Spain’s burgeoning business sector and those at the top who seek to control it by any means necessary.

Rounding out the key cast are Nancho Nova (“La Celestina”), Marta Belmonte (“Los Favoritos de Midas”), Ana Fernández (“Sé Quién Eres”), Javier Beltrán (“Sin Límites”), Guillermo Barrientos (“Velvet”), Carolina Lapausa (“La Señora”), Roser Tapias (“Alba”), Agnès Llobet (“Money Heist”), Candela Cruz (“La Peste”), Isabel Moreno (“Lo que queda de nosotros”), Alba Brunet (“Patria”), José Milán (“Fuerza de Paz”) and Antonio Romero (“Money Heist”).