Onza Distribution Thrills Audiences with Heartless

Apr 2nd, 2024

The robust slate at Onza Distribution features something for everyone, with its balanced selection of scripted titles, documentaries and entertainment formats. The company’s biggest drivers, however, are telenovelas and fiction series, says Béatrice Nouh, head of sales.

“We started off the year with some very strong titles, especially with our telenovela Cacao, which premiered in January,” Nouh explains. The drama tells the story of a young Portuguese girl who grew up on a cocoa farm in Brazil and later finds out that her real father is the farm’s owner.


Another major highlight on the upcoming Onza Distribution slate is Heartless, which Nouh is “positive…will be the other big driver of the year’s incomes.” The thriller, produced in-house, sees an unknown criminal threaten the lives of Madrid’s elite businessmen. Judge Lucía Vergara has no other choice than to team up with a man she imprisoned ten years prior to solve the case, but little does she know, he is plotting his revenge against her.

The topics explored in the series are universal, Nouh says, giving it a broad appeal. “Passion is the central theme in this thriller. And really all kinds of passion: the thirst for revenge, the most heartrending sexual impulses, the blind passion for money, the obsessive pursuit of justice, the anxious need to feel accepted and loved. It’s interesting to see that all these passions are in contradiction, and they clash with each other, which will create fascinating conflicts between the characters while we try to untie the thriller plot.”

Nouh ultimately describes it as “a premium European thriller with all the successful elements—universality, originality and tension—to travel to other countries.”

A unique part of the thriller “is that it shows a Madrid that is almost never seen: the Madrid of the ‘Latin aristocracy,’” Nouh notes. “There is an increasingly [large] community of rich Latin American expats in Madrid. It’s a new reality, and I think it’s great that this topic is being explored in a series.”

The international appeal of Heartless comes in part from the fact that it is produced for both Spanish and Mexican broadcasters (Prime Video and RTVE in Spain and ViX+ in Mexico). As such, its cast features a mix of familiar faces from both territories. “The cast of Heartless is full of top talents and top faces from different Spanish-speaking series, and they bring talent, glamor and credibility to the series,” Nouh says.

This includes Ivan Massagué (ParotThe Platform), Kira Miró (Machos AlfaHeadless Chickens), Esmeralda Pimentel (MontecristoA Good DivorceHigh Heat), Jan Cornet (Estoy vivoEl barcoThe Skin I Live In) and Carlos Ponce (Perro AmorLuis MiguelDevious Maids), many of whom have starred in titles that found global success on platforms such as Netflix, Prime Video, HBO and more.

Heartless is showrun by Alonso Laporta and Gustavo Ron, who both worked with Onza previously on its hit legal drama Parot. “They bring the needed spark to create a great series,” Nouh says. “They bring all their talent and experience working together to make Heartless one of the most [anticipated] Spanish series of 2024.”

The series is part of a genre “that travels particularly easily abroad, as [thrillers] are usually centered on human, universal topics and real facts that can happen anywhere,” Nouh points out.

It complements the slew of other thrillers in Onza Distribution’s catalog, including Parot, about criminals released after the annulment of the Parot legal doctrine, and Flowers Over the Inferno, in which a criminologist battling Alzheimer’s leads a team to confront a child-protecting killer. These titles continue to find sales in a variety of countries, Nouh notes, pointing to the continued popularity of the genre and the ease with which it—and titles such as Heartless—can find a home anywhere.

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