Helmer attached to direct adaptation of psychological thriller

Genre specialist Xavier Gens (“Hitman,” “Frontiere(s)”) is attached to direct psychological thriller “Cold Skin” for Madrid and Paris-based Kanzaman.

Set on an Antarctic island, “Skin” adapts Catalan writer Albert Sanchez Pinol’s eponymous bestseller.

The English-language “Skin” will be produced by Kanzaman partners Denise O’Dell and Mark Albela, co-owners of international sales company 6 Sales.

Spain’s Jesus Olmo (“Linked,” “28 Weeks Later”) penned the script.

Now in pre-production, “Skin” is budgeted at around € million ($23 million), O’Dell told Variety.

It’s one of a clutch of pre-buys unveiled by TVE, the TV division of Spanish pubcaster RTVE, at a joint press conference with Spanish producer umbrella org Fapae held Thursday at the San Sebastian Festival.

Other pre-buys include “Don’t Cry, Fly,” the third feature from Peruvian director Claudia Llosa, winner of a 2009 Berlin Golden Bear for “The Milk of Sorrow.” “Fly” is produced by Jose Maria Morales’ Madrid-based distrib-production company Wanda Films.

Another TVE-backed project is “Villa,” from Argentinean helmer Pablo Trapero (“Carancho”), which is set up at Spain’s Morena Films.

According to TVE head of cinema Eva Cebrian, TVE is ploughing $55.2 million into feature, documentary and animation in 2011, 9% down on 2010.

A driving force behind Spanish film production, TVE has pre-bought 41 features this year from nearly 300 projects it received, Cebrian added.

Presenting the latest statistics on Spanish film production, Fapae prexy Pedro Perez revealed that Spain has produced or co-produced 101 films this year, 12% down on the 116 in 2010.

Spanish films’ market share stood at 14% through Sept. 21, up on 2010’s 9%. Local movies’ total 2011 market share could reach 18%-20%, Perez said.

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