Canal+ Acquires Rafael Cobos’ Canneseries Winner ‘The Left Handed Son’


In an acquisition which underscores the often shared sensibility between Canal+, France’s biggest pay TV operator, and Movistar Plus+, the largest Spanish pay TV player, Canal+ has acquired Canneseries winner “The Left-Handed Son” (“El hijo zurdo”), a Movistar Plus+ original series.

The series will bow on Canal+ on April 5 in a deal brokered by Movistar Plus+ International.

A psychological thriller with a lyrical undertow which surfaces to moving effect in key scenes, “The Left-Handed Son” marks the auspicious directorial debut of Rafael Cobos, the career-long co-scribe of Alberto Rodríguez, from 2005’s “7 Virgins” through international hit “Marshland” to 2017’s “The Plague,” still one of the biggest series which Movistar Plus+ has ever made.

World premiering at Canneseries in April 2023, “The Left-Handed Son” went on to win best series in the TV festival’s short form competition.

Produced with Átipica Films and co-directed by Paco R. Baños, who helmed four of its six episodes, “The Left-Handed Son” kicks off with Lola, in her late thirties, receiving a phone-call from the police: Her son, Lorenzo, near 18, is being held in custody. When she gets to the police station, she’s told that he’s beaten up a Moroccan kid, nearly killing him. Why? “Because your son’s a skinhead,” an officer tells her.

Lola had no idea. Created by Cobos, “The Left-Handed Son” then traces a sense of inadequacy, felt by an often drunk and absent Lola, who feels she doesn’t live up to her mother’s expectations and indeed to her own. This is inherited by Lorenzo, whose violence is a call for attention from a son who feels abandoned.

The series is set in Cobos’ native Seville, both its upscale restaurants and humble high-rise periphery where Lola finds an unexpected friend who provides her some of the guidance she desperately lacks.

María León, who broke out in her first major movie role in 2011’s “The Sleeping Voice,” winning best actress at the San Sebastian Film Festival and a Spanish Academy Goya, plays Lola. 

“The Left-Handed Son” “contrasts with my prior screenplays, which were fundamentally based on incidents, events sparked by real events where characters often have to carve out a way forward through small details dissolved in the dramatic action – the indisputable driver which many times comes to signify the plot,” Cobos told Variety in the run-up to Canneseries.

“Beginning to develop ‘The Left-Handed Son,’ I decided that characters would for me determine events, surprising me, becoming the basic driver of its conflict, and not the other way round. And that, from this starting point, I’d apply the very same tools of tension and rhythm which I’d used in thrillers, injecting them as the story plays out. In other words, I inverted completely my work method, going against myself,” he added.

The series is memorably scored by Julio de la Rosa, with occasional parts of songs. De la Rosa’s score is “beautiful, lyrical, but underscoring subtext, making it occasionally too obvious. The songs came in to hide this very subtext, lightening the narration and giving it a different texture, another space for the viewer,” Cobos told Variety. 



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