Gran Hotel

39 x 70 minutes

The prestigious turn-of-the-century Gran Hotel of Cantaloa on the northern Spanish coast is about to celebrate its "festival of light", a glamorous festivity with the most distinguished guest list. For the first time, the hotel will be illuminated by electric light, an event which will establish the Gran Hotel among the leading houses of the world!  But while   the exquisite crowd gawks at the spectacle, one of the house’s maids, Cristina Olmedo, knows something she shouldn’t about Doña Teresa, the recently widowed landlady and unflinching matriarch of the luxurious abode.

Cristina goes missing that very night, something her brother Julio is by no means willing to accept. Though of modest means and lineage, he undertakes the long trip to Cantaloa by train and, once arrived, masquerades as a staff waiter to investigate his sister’s disappearance. With nothing to rely on except his own audacity and the occasional,  eluctant support from his colleague and soon-to-be chum Andrés, Julio pieces together clues and truths no one wants to hear in the exquisite institution where, contrary to surface impressions, no one trusts his neighbor or next-of-kin.

Julio’s quest seems to come to a forced ending when he is discovered by none other than Alicia, Doña Teresa’s eldest daughter. But, despite the abismal class divide and etiquette separating them, Alicia, promised by her mother to the conniving hotel manager Diego, feels mysteriously drawn to the raw but righteous Julio, all the more so when  he  s forced to realize the mystery of Cristina’s disappearance is deeply rooted in her own family’s unholy extravaganzas than she could have imagined in her worst nightmares.

Stories are the single most powerful weapon in a leader’s arsenal.

Howard Gardner