CANNES — Barcelona-based Filmax International has taken all rights to fantasy horror “Errementari – The Blacksmith and the Devil,” the feature debut of Basque country-born Paul Urkijo Alijo. The new acquisition will be presented to buyers for the first time at the Cannes Marché du Film.
“Errementari” is godfathered and produced by celebrated Spanish director Álex de la Iglesia (The Bar,” “The Day of the Beast”), in co-production with Kinoskopik, Pokeepsie Film, Nadie es Perfecto PC, Gariza Films, Euskaltel and The Project Film Club.
Based on a Basque folk tale, ”Patxi herrementaria,” collected by priest, archaeologist and anthropologist José Migel de Barandiarán in 1903, the story is set in the Basque region in 1845, in a universe inhabited by mythological diabolic creatures, battling to capture the souls of the unwitting.
“It’s a Gothic horror demonic tale, with adventure and black humor. I intend to plunge the spectator into Basque folk fantastic imagery that I love so much.” Urkijo told Variety.
The mix of fantasy and period horror piece marks the debut of Urkijo, whose shorts “Monsters Do Not Exist” and “Playing with the Death” collected a flurry of kudos on the festival circuit.
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As a producer, director Álex de la Iglesia has backed other directors’ features such as Eduardo Casanova’s “Skins” and Juanfer Andrés and Esteban Roel’s “Shrew’s Nest.”
Prior to diversifying its production slate into other genres and formats Filmax Intl. specialized in horror movies building at internationally acknowledged genre brand, led by Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza “[REC]” franchise.
“Over the last few years, the market has become saturated with horror films. With so many titles to choose from, audiences worldwide have become more demanding and only high quality horror films are making waves at the box office,” Filmax Intl. head of sales Iván Díaz said.
He added: “For this reason, we’re extremely careful about the genre projects we board. In this case, we have no doubt that “Errementari” ticks all the right boxes and is set to be an exceptional and highly commercial movie.”
Filmax International will also introduce to buyers in Cannes a second feature, “The Solar System,” co-produced by Spain’s Pontas Films and Peru’s Señor Z, and directed by Bacha Caravedo and Chinón Higashionna (“Perro guardian”).
“System” is a Peruvian family drama starring Adriana Ugarte, co-star of Pedro Almodóvar’s “Julieta,” and Peruvian Gisela Ponce de León, seen in Jesús Álvarez’s “Quizás mañana,” plus César Ritter, who starred in Frank Pérez-Garland’s “Margarita.”
An adaptation of the stage play of the same name penned by Mariana de Althaus, the feature meshes drama and black comedy to depict the relationships between the members of a family who come together after years apart to celebrate a rumbustious Christmas dinner.