Concord’s Film & TV division has closed a deal with producers Sherry Marsh of Marsh Entertainment (“Pose,” “Vikings“), Jorge Granier of Aquarius Pictures (“Jane the Virgin”, “Nicky Jam: EL Ganador”) and Sergio Pizzolante (“Nicky Jam: El Ganador”) to develop a scripted film and/or television project about the history of FANIA Records, the label that popularized salsa music. Concord’s Sophia Dilley and FANIA’s Bruce McIntosh will co-develop the project and serve as executive producers.
Concord, considered the independent worldwide leader in the development, management and acquisition of sound recordings, music publishing and theatrical rights, acquired FANIA in 2018 making it a part of its Craft Latino catalog.
Considered by many to be “The Motown of Latin Music”, New York-based FANIA Records flourished in the 1970’s and 80’s, founded by Dominican-born Johnny Pacheco and Brooklyn-native Jerry Masucci. Highly influential both musically and culturally, FANIA Records spread the sound of salsa music from the clubs of New York City to the rest of the world and became a revered global brand in the process.
FANIA created its own unique sound: the apex of tropical music, combined with the swing of big band jazz and the gritty vibe of American R&B. The label provided an artistic haven for a young generation of ground-breaking musicians including Willie Colon, Celia Cruz, Hector Lavoe, La Lupe, Ruben Blades and Eddie Palmieri —taking Latin music and transforming it into a global movement.
“I’m ecstatic to see this deal take place as an important step in bringing the powerful story of FANIA Records and its artists to the world,” said Bruce McIntosh, VP of Concord Craft Latino. “The FANIA story is a trifecta of creativity, commerce and the perseverance of Latinos in the US.”
Concord will commit substantial resources to the development and a writer search is underway.
“We are so excited to be working with Sherry, Jorge and Sergio to bring the FANIA story to life. The FANIA catalogue is rich with powerful stories that encompass a global movement in Latin music. It is an honor to dive into this history and build upon the legacy for the next generation to enjoy,” added Sophia Dilley, Concord’s VP Film & Television Development and Production.
Granier, executive producer on the Golden Globe nominated series “Jane the Virgin”, also recognized with a Peabody Award, People’s Choice and AFI Honors commented: “I’ve been a fan of FANIA my whole life and it’s and honor and great responsibility to bring this incredible story to the screen. Latin music has taken over the world and they did it by standing on the shoulders of giants such as the Fania All Stars. This is a powerful story of talent, perseverance and grit by Latinos and immigrants that’s as relevant today as ever”. The executive also produced the Netflix series “Nicky Jam: El Ganador” based on the Latin music mega star’s life. His company Aquarius Pictures is currently developing Octavia E. Butler’s Dawn with Ava DuVernay, Charles D. King, Victoria Mahoney and Gary Pearl.
“When Jorge and I first approached FANIA, it came from our shared passion for genuine latin stories with global appeal. Today’s urban music global phenomenon had its roots in the Salsa movement from NY in the 60’s, it was the first latin invasion”, said Pizzolante, Executive Producer of the Netflix series “Nicky Jam: El Ganador” and the YouTube Original feature length documentary “Maluma: Lo que fui, lo que soy, lo que seré.” He is the former Senior Vice President & General Manager of Sony Pictures Television Latin America and Brazil as well as the Executive Vice President & General Manager of E! Networks Latin America.
“I love this project and I am so excited to be working with Sophia and her colleagues at Concord, along with Jorge and Sergio. Our FANIA project allows me to continue my commitment to develop stories that are inclusive and diverse, embracing the richness of different cultures. Music has always been important to me. It speaks to all people. It can be healing and an expression of humanity. It’s something that touches us all,” added Marsh, executive producer on FX’s Emmy-nominated “Pose,” which recently won a Peabody Award, and is currently producing “The Banker’s Wife,” a series based on Cristina Alger’s best-selling book, for Amazon. Along with Universal Television, Marsh recently acquired the rights to Bruce Holsinger’s bestselling novel “The Gifted School,” currently being developed as a series. She is also an executive producer on History’s award-winning series “Vikings” and is developing the Rock Hudson biopic feature “All that Heaven Allows” with Universal and Greg Berlanti.
The FANIA project follows Concord’s recent deal between Rodgers and Hammerstein -whose catalogue it owns – and Skydance Television on a series based on “Oklahoma!,” to be directed by John Lee Hancock and co-written by Bekah Brunstetter. Concord also recently executive produced “Billie,” a documentary about legendary artist Billie Holiday, which premiered at the Telluride Film Festival. Concord’s Film & TV Development and Production division, led by Dilley, is responsible for developing original long form content to support Concord’s vast library of assets.