Jeronimo Rocha, an emerging talent from Portugal, is all set to make his feature debut with sci-fi horror “Daedalus,” one of the six genre projects at the IFFAM project market.

The film will follow a blue-collar girl hired to bring back to Earth a decrepit spacecraft which uncovers the secret of humankind’s deadly first contact with an alien species.

Rocha has spent more than a decade making genre shorts. “Daedalus” is based on his 2013 short “Dedalo” that has won several awards, including best short at the CinEuphoria Awards.

“I love to explore within the horror genre different types of scenarios, instead of just focusing on sci-fi or any one particular kind,” says Rocha.

Rocha is currently in the process of cutting down his latest script draft to 90 pages, focusing on the most claustrophobic aspects of the story.

“We believe that this is not just a film for Portugal,” says Rocha. “It is an international film, so we need an international cast. That will define the budget.”

Experienced producer and director, Frederico Serra (“Blood Curse”) will produce via their Lisbon-based outfit Take It Easy. The budget is currently set at between $3-5 million. Serra aims to complete financing through 2018 and commence production in 2019.

Rocha is a firm believer in in-camera effects rather than expensive post-production work. As with his short films, he will aim to achieve these effects by using prosthetics, miniatures and smoke. “The horror has a lot to do with what you cannot see, and that helps me tell the story better,” says Rocha. “If I show you only enough, and for that I can do it in-camera. For the rest I let people do it in their own minds, because that’s where the horror lives.”