It is an honor, this year, to participate in a very special way in this outstanding organization that is committed to honoring the work of dreamers. To achieve success in these times of excessive audiovisual content, we must dream without creative limits, be disruptors, and always seek excellence in the outcome,” said Valeria Fiñana, Vice President of Production & Development for Telemundo Streaming Studios at NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises.

Content POV: Valeria Fiñana, Vice President of Production & Development for Telemundo Streaming Studios at NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises

Telemundo Production and Development Executive, Valeria Fiñana joins the prestigious 17-member Advisory Board panel comprised of a global assembly of innovative storytellers and industry leaders with expertise across diverse genres.

New York, NY | October 10, 2023

New York Festivals TV & Film Awards would like to highlight our newest Advisory Board member to join the world-class panel of prominent industry executives whose experience and expertise provide insights into the paths to the future for the TV & Film Awards competition.

Valeria Fiñana brings nearly two decades of professional experience and thousands of hours of primetime experience in the U.S. Hispanic market to the NYF TV & Film Advisory Board.  As Vice President of Production & Development, Ms. Fiñana leads the creation and development of entertainment content in short and long format. As a producer and creative leader, Ms. Fiñana is responsible for managing partnerships with third-party production services, as well as producers, showrunners, and talent. Overseeing the budget, strategy, content decisions and internal communications for award-winning projects in the Telemundo Streaming Studios division, she has an extensive track record with many highly successful series.

In a special edition of Content POV, Valeria Fiñana shares insights into the success of Telemundo Streaming Studios’ award-winning global hit series and what projects are coming up next.

New York Festivals TV & Film Awards:You have worked on award-winning global hit series such as “El Señor de los Cielos” (The Lord of the Skies), “Buscando a Frida” (Looking for Frida), “100 Dias para Enamorarnos” (100 Days to Fall in Love), “Armas de Mujer” (‘Til Jail Do Us Part), “El Secreto de la Familia Greco” (The Secret of the Greco Family), “Diario de un Gigolo” (Diary of a Gigolo), and “La Reina del Sur” (The Queen of the South). Could you share some of the backstory on bringing these hit series to air?:

Valeria Fiñana: Behind each of these remarkable successes lie numerous anecdotes. As a company, our core mission is to undertake projects under a unified editorial vision. This involves ensuring that everything from the script to the selection of the creative team aligns seamlessly, encompassing production, editing,  to delivery of the final product. When embarking on a project, success is uncertain, yet every production is executed with love, passion, and meticulous adherence to our established high standards. Following the decision of which region or country will host the production, we develop a production plan tailored to the project's creative requirements.

In the case of "El Señor de los Cielos," it held significant franchise value for us, spanning over a decade, much like "La Reina del Sur" with its elevated production caliber. Each season demanded rigorous pre-production and execution efforts. Both productions were filmed across the globe. We traveled showcasing and honoring the cultural diversity of the talent both in front of and behind the camera across various regions. 

While "La Reina del Sur" found its production base in Colombia for its three seasons, our journey took us through Europe, Latin America, and the United States, which becomes a challenging production task. Being away from home is difficult, in this type of production due to long travel days, occasionally extreme climatic conditions, transfers, flights, and different hotels. As a production company, we pride ourselves in cultivating a unique adaptability that is different from when working in our Miami studios. 

Many of these projects came to life during the pandemic, requiring us to restructure production and embrace the operational and financial challenges. This achievement fills us with immense pride. "Frida" (Buscando a Frida) is a crime-thriller that was produced in Mexico. 85% of the series was filmed in-studio, affording us greater control over workdays and effective contagion management. Conversely, "Armas de Mujer" was entirely shot outdoors in the city of Miami. This marked our first Spanish series for Peacock, featuring top-tier talent. In "Armas de Mujer, we had an original sound design and worked like in a film, from post-production to sound design over the image, similarly in "La Reina del Sur," where we also had original music by the Miami Symphony Orchestra and composer Carlos Rafael Rivera to bring a higher production value.

For "Diario de un Gigoló," a series filmed in Argentina, we took a bold step, proposing a blend of Mexican, Argentine, and Spanish talent, which yielded exceedingly positive results. "El Secreto de la Familia Greco" was also filmed in Argentina, recreating Mexico in the 1980s, featuring talent from both countries,  also being a great success. 

The challenge in "100 Días para Enamorarnos" was to create a modern version as successful as the original, and recreating Houston in Miami. The script and cast proposed on this occasion were pivotal to the series’ success. These three productions were realized under the creative vision and development of our very own Underground Productions, headquartered in Argentina.

New York Festivals TV & Film Awards:  How important is character development/ casting in relation to the storytelling arc in episodic entertainment?

Valeria Fiñana: This phase of production is one of the most crucial and rewarding for us. We take the necessary time to exchange ideas and ensure that characters are authentic and relatable, so the audience forms an emotional connection with the story. We believe it's crucial for the characters to feel realistic within the narrative. The creative process commences with a thorough analysis of the script, its context, and its arc. We assess the directors' and producers' vision, along with the casting team, that significantly improves the artistic quality of the selection by looking for talent that fits the profile. Finding the right actors for the roles enhances the authenticity of the characters and the stories. We understand that a skilled actor or actress can bring nuances and subtleties to their performances that enrich the narrative, rendering the characters believable and unforgettable.

New York Festivals TV & Film Awards: Telemundo Streaming Studios’ programs are very well received across multiple demographics and audiences in multiple countries.  Could you comment on their universality?

Valeria Fiñana: We are a production studio powered by NBCUniversal, dedicated to developing and producing original content in English and Spanish, for the United States, Latin America, and Europe. Our formats include scripted, unscripted, and film. We operate on a global scale with an adaptable model, supported by nearly two decades of experience in production in different formats. We highly value inclusion and make every effort to authentically represent the diversity of stories and talent on screen. These qualities set us apart and enable us to connect with different audiences across the world.

New York Festivals TV & Film Awards:  What new programs are coming soon?

Valeria Fiñana: We are actively engaged in a diverse range of projects, boasting a rich portfolio that spans from traditional melodramas to miniseries based on renowned literary works, stories rooted in real-life events, comedies, crime dramas, sociological thrillers, and documentaries. Currently, we're placing a special emphasis on feature film production. We work closely alongside our extended family at NBCUniversal to craft stories intended for a broad audience. We are currently living in a new era of audiovisual media and experiencing an unprecedented evolution. The ability to be creative and talented has been given a significant place, so it allows us to write compelling and well-developed stories. Additionally, technology has dramatically improved image quality. Because of this, we believe that the future of audiovisual media will challenge established conventions, and now is the right moment to begin telling stories that break preconceptions, experiencing better and greater outcomes.