Spanish hip hop artist Mala Rodríguez, the first female artist to win both Best Urban Album and Best Urban Song at the Latin Grammys, will take a role in “Harem, Land of Goddesses” (“Harem, Tierra de Diosas”), a sci-fi drama series set in the land of Ellah, where women reign over men.
Developed at the 8th TV Series Creation Lab, an initiative of Spain’s SGAE Foundation, “Harem, Land of Goddesses” will be introduced to potential producers today Sept. 14 at Pamplona’s Conecta Fiction, Europe’s biggest TV co-production forum with Latin America.
Rodríguez – whose songs have always proclaimed the need for women to stand on their own two feet – fits like a glove in this fantasy parable. In “Harem,” a woman is born for every thousand men, the latter divided into two categories: Valids, or harem studs, and Rejects, who are banned from approaching the palace. Women enjoy the status of goddesses until one, Desirée, does something that threatens their imperious matriarchy.
“Harem, Land of Goddesses” marks the first TV screenplay of Marieta Petchanska who left her native Bulgaria at the age of 18 to study and work in Madrid, Lisbon, and Barcelona, first as a journalist for music publications, then directing, including film shorts.
Petchanska has also shot music vid shows, including with Mala Rodríguez. Touring together, Petchanska filmed and photographed Rodríguez’s tours and directed the shows. She also shot some of Mala’s latest music videos.
“I always felt huge astonishment at the way our society’s accepted the hegemony of men as something that is natural, biological and innate. The maximum expression of this would be a harem in the east, right?” Petchanska says.
She added: “‘Harem’ began as a game. There was something that was addictive in the power that the women had. The context allowed for drama and intrigue, which was how I created the first season of ‘Harem, Land of Goddesses.’”
Petchanska heads up Seleste, an independent production house.