“This award is the result of many years of sacrifice and great teamwork. I am happy because my parents are proud of me, of what I have achieved, of how much I have grown. They are excited to see what I do, especially since at first they didn’t understand why I wanted to study communication, my dad almost had a heart attack when I told him I wouldn’t be a lawyer”, narrates Cantuarias Salaverry.
“Buscando a Frida” was recorded between August and December 2020, in the midst of a pandemic. It is a new version of the Chilean telenovela “Where is Elisa?”. It has Ximena Herrera, Eduardo Santamarina and Arap Bethke in the main roles. Alejandra Barros and Rubén Zamora appear in the antagonistic roles.
The mysterious disappearance of Frida (Victoria White), during her father’s birthday party, changes the life of the Pons family. Clashes break out and resentments come to light, in a hostile family environment, in which everyone is suspected of what happened.
“It was a very difficult project because we did it when there were no vaccines. Before we started recording, the protagonists and antagonists were infected, we suffered a delay of two weeks, we put a lot of effort into it, a great family was formed more than a work team. I am very proud of the result and what we have all achieved. When they named ‘Buscando a Frida’ as the winner, I was frozen because the other three projects that were on the same list were also from Telemundo”, assures the executive producer of the award-winning fiction.
The competitors were: “Latin American Music Awards 2021”, “La suerte de Loli” and “Malverde, El Santo Patron”.
Ximena Canturias joined Telemundo in 2001 to work in production management and human resources for Network Group. She is currently the Senior Vice President of Fiction Production.
How did you get on television?
Everything I do I learned in Peru and I’m proud to say so. I started in television in 1996, as the right hand of Marisol Crousillat. She was my boss and teacher. The first thing I did was “Gisela in America”, in fact Gisela was at the Emmys with Cecilia Gómez de la Torre and Susana Umbert, she went to congratulate me, I was very pleased to see her. Then I was in the production management of América TV with Marisol Crousillat and When we started making “Laura” for Telemundo México, the people from the network met me, They took me to Miami, then to Mexico. I joined them in 2001 until 2009, then I went to TV Azteca in 2015 and then I went to Sony Pictures Entertainment to do “Rosario Tijeras” and several others. I finally returned to Telemundo to do “Play with Fire” with Jason Day, and now I have an executive position within the company, I no longer produce, what I do is supervise all fiction projects.
─Did you propose Jason Day for the main role of “Playing with Fire”?
The Jason thing was very funny because I wasn’t looking for a Peruvian actor but a Mexican one who had certain characteristics, and since I didn’t find any, I remembered that I had seen a Peruvian who went with what I wanted, and it turns out that he was with the same Colombian manager from Margarita Rosa de Francisco, who was already with us on the project. That’s how Jason ended up walking in. I try, of course, to receive Peruvian actors and producers who are looking to grow, but this market is not easy, it is very competitive. Marco Zunino, for example, is beginning to shine in Mexico in projects like “Control Z”.
─Did you interfere in the choice of the Peruvian actors for “La reina del sur 3”, one of the most expensive productions on Telemundo?
In fact, I didn’t know any of the actors we hired, there was an important casting. When I was invited to do “La reina del Sur” my condition was to also record in Peru, I am proud to show my beautiful country to the whole world.
─When do the scenes that were recorded in Lima and Cusco come out?
We are already closing Bolivia, then Peru follows, I estimate that in the first week of December.
─How do you see the Peruvian audiovisual market?
Missing a little push and believe it. When I receive Peruvian projects they are very local, we need to think about universal stories, take risks, invest more, get investment from abroad, see further, create international quality products. This sector is difficult and sacrificed.
─What is the biggest sacrifice you had to make to fulfill your dreams?
The family sacrifice, because if I didn’t have the husband that I have, who supports me so much, in no way would I have been able to do projects like “La reina del sur”, which was recorded in so many countries. I had to be away from home for a long time.
─How do you receive awards such as the International Emmy?
With a lot of calm and humility, I feel that I have done well and I have won because I have my feet on the ground and I am always willing to help others grow because when others grow, you grow too.
─What projects are coming up?
We are doing “The Lord of the Skies 8” and “Game of Lies.” We have finished “’El Conde: Amor y Honor’ with Fernando Colunga and next year we will start with new projects in which I hope there will also be Peruvian talent.