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Hernandez, Brugues, Grau Pitch at Fantastic Market

Austin’s Fantastic Fest bows first genre coproduction forum

MADRID – Uruguay’s Gustavo Hernandez (“La casa muda”), Cuba’s Alejandro Brugues (“Juan of the Dead”) Mexico’s Jorge Michel Grau (“Somos lo que hay”) Colombia’s 64A-Films (“All Your Dead Ones”) and Spain’s Apaches (“The Impossible,” “Open Windows) will all present new genre/thriller projects at the Austin Fantastic Fest’s inaugural Fantastic Market.

Kicking off Thursday, Austin’s first Fantastic Market is an international co-production mart for new genre pic projects. Homing in on Latin America and Spain, Portugal and the U.S..

FF programmer Rodney Perkins and FF director Kristen Bell are spearheading the initiative, teaming with El Rey founder Robert Rodriguez and Mexico’s Canana, headed by Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna, Pablo Cruz and Julian Levin.

The Fantastic Market bows as Latin American genre production is building fast and genre talent is increasingly sought-after by U.S. companies.

The new initiative further consolidates both Rodriguez and Canana – which partners Participant Media in film fund Participant PanAmerica and IM Global in sales company Mundial – as lynchpin-players in Latin America’s fast evolving movie development landscape.

On paper, the 16-project line-up reps an arresting mix of movies from key Spanish-speaking market producers and follow-ups from directors who have bowed to acclaim, international sales and in two cases, U.S. remakes, plus the added attraction of movies from first-time or far less-known helming values.

Hernandez will follow up 2009’s Elle Driver-sold “La casa muda” – the subject of an English-language remake from “Open Water” helmers Chris Kentis and Lara Lau, starring Elizabeth Olsen – with “Small Town.” In it, a man returns to his home-town to claim the coffin of his mother, who died at the hands of a sinister cult led by his father.

A project with an “Ocean’s 11” swagger and a large political canvas, “Wrong Place” –Bruges’ follow-up to Cuban zombie allegory “Juan of the Dead,” robustly sold by Latinofusion — turns on a master thief forced out of discreet retirement in Cuba as U.S.-Cuba business relations resume.

A potential next pic for Grau, whose Wild Bunch-sold cannibal family drama “Somos” was successfully remade by Jim Mickle in “We Are What We Are,” drug trade chamber piece “Yahama 300” has two mules facing off on an open water boat.

Turning on a maybe off-the-rails woman who confronts evil in a nearby forest, “The Elf,” from Jorge Navas (“Blood and Rain”) is set up at Diego Ramirez’s Colombia-based 64-A Films, which has just announced a five-horror-pic production alliance, The Madremonte Project, with L.A’s Jason Gurvitz, at Green Dog Films.

Produced by Apaches’ Enrique Lopez Lavigne (“28 Weeks Later,” “The Impossible”), Belen Rueda (“The Impossible,” “Open Windows”) and Maria Angulo, “Greedy Beasts” is a Las Vegas-set shape-shifter tale set against the background of the excesses of the world’s financial sectors.  “Beasts” is the next from Spanish helmer Juan Martinez Moreno directed 2011’s Sitges fave “Game of Werewolves.”

Canada’s Rodrigo Gudino (“Last Will and Testament of Rosalinda Lee”), the founder of horror magazine rue Morgue, will talk up a Tijuana-set fantasy procedural “The Tree of Oblivion.”

Batan Silva, a director on the Canana-produced TV series “Nino santo,” pitches “Compulsion,” a Mexico City-set noirish thriller.

From Mexico, Emilio Portes (“Know the Head of Juan Perez,”) presents supernatural school killings suspenser “Belzebuth” and Adrian Garcia Bogliano (“Cold Sweat,” “Penumbra,” Here Comes the Devil”) “Club Panico,” a U.S.-Mexico border set satanic cult thriller.

Uruguay’s Pablo Stoll (“25 Watts,” “Whisky”) and Argentina’s Nicolas Goldbart (“Phase 7”) will present the announced “The Summer Hit” and “US Visitor,” respectively.

Also in the mix are three feature debuts: Brazilian first-time feature director Dennison Ramalho’s “Cross of Souls,” about a family’s demonic curse; Mexican Edgar Nito’s “Tatewari,” about a Mexican desert trip gone horribly wrong; Mexican Isaac Ezban’s “The Incident,” an ambitious sci-fi tale meshing two stories about people stuck for 35 years in time/space loops, from Bogliano’s longtime co-producer Andrea Quiroz at Yellow Films.

Chilean martial arts/masked avenger pioneer Ernesto Diaz Espinoza will pitch revenge actioner “Violent Rider,” Argentina’s Tamae Garateguy, famed for erotic wolverine tale “She Wolf,” returns with vampire conspiracy thriller “El Plata.”

The Fantastic Market runs Sept.19-21; Austin’s Fantastic Fest Sept. 19-26.

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