Catalan auteur Isaki Lacuesta, winner of San Sebastian’s Golden Shell last year with “The Double Steps,” is going mainstream with black comedy “Murieron por encima de sus posibilidades.”

“?’Murieron’ is a satire of Spain today, with doses of tragicomedy and dark comedy, in the vein of Luis Garcia Berlanga and John Waters,” Lacuesta said.

Pic narrates the story of five Spaniards whose lives have been shattered by the economic crisis. Carted off to a psychiatric ward, they plan to save the worldwide economy by kidnapping and torturing a banker.

“My idea is to reach a wider audience — the very nature of the film makes that possible,” Lacuesta said.

Budgeted at €1.2 million ($1.6 million), “Murieron” is financed to date without public subsidies, said Alejandro Miranda, co-founder of producer-distrib Versus Entertainment.

After kicking-off in August in Barcelona and Girona, shooting resumes there from November for four more weeks.

Ensemble cast includes Josep Maria Pou (“Blancanieves”), Raul Arevalo (“I’m So Excited”), Albert Pla (“Honor de Cavalleria”), Jordi Vilches (“La Bande a Picasso”), Sergi Lopez (“Map of the Sounds of Tokyo”), Bruno Bergonzini (“Every Song is About Me”) and musician Ivan Telefunken.

Production teams Madrid-based Versus and Sentido Films with Barcelona’s Alicorn Films and Termita Films, owned by Lacuesta and partner Isabel Campo.

At San Sebastian, producers are showing a seven-minute teaser to attract further financing.

Well known for left-of-field pics such as”Steps,” an Africa-set docudrama, Lacuesta combines low-budget films with bigger projects.