Baltasar Kormákar, the Icelandic director of “Everest,” has boarded  “Red Fjords,” a large scale historical crime thriller inspired by a true story which Kormákar will produce via his own outfit RVK Studios.

RVK will team with Basque producer Eduardo Carneros CEO of Euskadi Movie AIE, who originated the project, and Madrid-based Tornasol Films, for “Red Fjords,” a feature film based on Iceland’s most infamous crime that involved the slaughter of 32 Basque whalers in 1615.

“Red Fjords,” directed by Basque helmer Koldo Serra – whose credits include “The Backwoods”and “Gernika” —
chronicles the adventures of Ishmael, a young hunter who buries his wife and his son and enlists in a Basque whaler that sets sail for Iceland which is ravaged by famine. Although a law forbids trading with foreigners, a local chief sells whale fat to the Basques but a storm sinks their galleon. Suddenly, still in Iceland, they represent an incriminating threat for the local lord. Spain’s Miguel Gomez-Tejedor wrote the screenplay.

“Red Fjords” has been set up as a 50/50 co-production between Iceland and Spain. It looks set to use new Basque tax breaks and Icelandic rebates, Carneros said. Observing historical accuracy, it will shoot in Icelandic, Basque, Danish and Latin. The scenes of whale-fishing will require the use of a water tank, he added.

Iceland’s biggest production outfit, RVK Studios is behind “Everest,” “Contraband,” “Virgin Mountain,””The Sea,” “Jar City,” “The Deep” as well the recent TV hit series “Trapped” and the thriller “The Oath.”

“Red Fjords” was unveiled at San Sebastian where Kormakur is presenting his latest directorial outing, “The Oath.”

Tornasol Films has produced over 130 films, including Oscar-winning “The Secret in Their Eyes” and most recently Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s “May God Save Us” which world premiered yesterday at San Sebastian, currently rates with ‘Lady Macbeth” as one of the best received of competition titles by the Spanish press.

“Red Fjords” co-production deal comes as Iceland and the Basque Country have associated in Glocal in Progress, a pan-European initiative of Europe’s minority-language countries – those not using the languages of its big five territories – to promote their movies and generate more international co-productions and collaboration. San Sebastian will launch a Glocal in Progress pix-in-post showcase in 2017.

John Hopewell contributed to this report