Gorefest cut swathes through Holland

MADRID — Spain’s Film Factory Ent., and Holland’s Tom de Mol Prods. and Parachute Pictures have inked for Film Factory to acquire international sales rights on Santa slasher movie “Sint” (Saint).

Los Angeles-based XYZ Films is handling North American sales rights.

A November release and big B.O. hit in the Netherlands, “Saint” is the latest genre offering from Dick Maas (“Amsterdamned,” “The Lift”), one of Holland’s highest-profile directors.

“Saint” scored the biggest opening week for a Dutch film through early December, taking Euros 901,132 ($1.24 million) off 96 screens, and ending up becoming Netherlands’ third-biggest local earner of 2010.

Saint Nicholas traditionally hits Holland in early December, bearing Christmas gifts.

Maas’ pic, however, has an off-the-rails Santa, a risen-from-the-dead medieval bishop, abducting children and reducing notably Holland’s adult head-count, in league with his resurrected robber band of cutthroats.

“The high level of production and breathtaking action sequences make this a surprising horror film, pure entertainment,” said Vicente Canales, who launched Film Factory in December.

Like 2007′s “Killer Babes,” also produced by Maas and De Mol, “Saint” reps a return to Dutch-language genre by Maas, who also directed the “Flodder” film series, before turning to English-lingo pics “Do Not Disturb” (1999) and “Down” (2001), with Naomi Watts.

While working out of First Floor Features, De Mol produced Academy Award-winning “Character.”

Canales’ slate is roughly divided into genre pics with a fresh twist from young directors, and quality fare with broad audience appeal from more experienced directors coming out of Spain. But, he said he’s open to movies from other parts of Europe or Latin America — if they fit these characteristics.

Film Factory will screen “Saint” at the Berlin festival’s European Film Market. Fest runs Feb. 10-20.

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