Miami – Psychological suspense, romance and intrigue are coming to the small screen on Sept. 3 with the youth series "El ultimo año," MTV Latinoamerica's third soap opera.
The soap opera, which is currently being filmed in Mexico City, will premiere on that date in Latin America, broadcast by MTV Latinoamerica, and later in the United States via "Tr3s: MTV Musica y Mas."
The story revolves around Martin, a good boy who is studying at an elite school where he shares rooms with another student, Benjamin. The situation gets complicated when both young men fall in love with the same girl.
Amid the intense drama, the series - which stars Martin Barba (as Benjamin), Mauricio Henao (as Martin) and Kendra Santa Cruz (as Celeste) - will explore issues affecting young people today including sexual health, birth control, HIV/AIDS and cyber bullying, among others.
According to Fernando Gaston, MTV's senior vice president for production, programming and strategy, the aim of the show is to both inform and entertain young people.
"We're combining elements that capture the audience, with new (elements) and different situations to what is normally seen on soaps. At the same time, it will be loaded with intrigue, lies, flirtation, romance and music," he said.
Written by Chile's Josefina Fernandez and scriptwriters Claudia Bono, Francisca Bernardi and Hugo Morales, the soap was inspired by the saga of the central character in the novel "The Talented Mr. Ripley," by English author Patricia Highsmith, as well as the film "Catch Me If You Can," starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
"It's a story that mixes the intensity of young people with suspense really well," said Fernandez, the creator and scriptwriter for the second season of the Chilean television series "Los archivos del Cardenal," the winner of the Altazor 2012 award.
For Fernandez, as well as for Gaston, sending a positive and constructive message is a fundamental part of their commitment to young people.
"I believe that film and television are very powerful media for presenting the reality we experience and that carries with it a great responsibility," Fernandez said.
Beyond the television screen, the program will use multiple platforms - like blogs, the social networks and other extensions - to stimulate debate among the audience about the issues that the program deals with.