Filmax primes exports, int'l co-production

MADRID — Miguel Angel Vivas, winner of the horror feature and directing prizes at the 2010 Austin Fantastic Festival for “Kidnapped,” is teaming with screenwriter Alberto Marini (“Sleep Tight”) on “I Will Die Tonight,” produced by Filmax.

The vendetta thriller turns on a man framed in a murder case. Marini has written a first draft of the screenplay.

Pic is one of three English-language genre pics that Barcelona-based Filmax is prepping as it focusses on international markets. The other pics are “The Returned” and “Torment.”

The films, talked up to buyers at this week’s Spanish Film Screenings in Madrid, show Filmax making two moves in response to the country’s economic crisis: A focus on genre, Spain’s prime film export, and a return to international co-production.

“The Returned,” to be helmed by Manuel Carballo (“Exorcismus”), is written by Hatem Kraiche (“The Hidden Face”) and co-produced by Toronto’s Ramaco. The horror-thriller is about a nurse returning zombies to a human-state — or so it seems.

Filmax chairman Julio Fernandez produces with Gary Howsam (“The Tudors”) and Bill Marks (“Casino Jack).

Written by Michael Foster and directed by Jordan Barker (“The Marsh,” “Duress”), “Torment,” a home invasion slasher, is produced by Toronto’s Gearshift Films. Fernandez and Borga Dorter produce.

“Returned” and “Torment” are both casting and roll early October in Canada, with post-production in Barcelona, said Filmax Intl.’s Ivan Diaz.

Foreign sales and co-production reduce Filmax’s dependence on Spanish funding and markets as B.O. on youth-skewed local fare and Hollywood tentpoles plunges, while local TV finance shrinks.

“Genre films can have large export potential, even in Spanish if the titles are strong,” Diaz said.

Jaume Balaguero is writing “Rec 4: Apocalypse,” another Filmax title.

Filmax also showed a promo of Daniel Calparsoro’s post-Iraq war thriller “Invader” at the Screenings, which end today. Disney releases the pic in Spain in December.

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