Fernando Díaz’s Machaco Films and Roxana Ramos’ Aramos Cine have partnered to set up a joint venture: La Puerta Roja, focused on horror and fantasy movies as well as working with prominent genre directors from Ibero-America. Both companies are based in Buenos Aires.

The idea sprang from Machaco and Aramos’s co-production partnership on Demian Rugna’s next project “When Evil Lurks.” Machaco had already produced Rugna’s “Terrified,” awarded at the Austin Fantastic Fest among a flurry of international kudos, and whose remake rights were acquired by Guillermo del Toro.

A cinema-TV production company, Machaco Films was founded over 20 years ago. Productions include Fernando Díaz’s “Soul’s Square,” and Rossana Díaz Costa’s “Trip to Timbuktu” and “A World for Julius,” based on Alfredo Bryce Echenique’s same-titled novel.

As for Aramos, it has raised international expectations with Alexi Tolstoy’s short story adaptation of “Vurdalak Blood,” by popular Argentine genre filmmaker Santiago Fernández Calvete and co-produced with Córdoba-based Jaque Content. Cleopatra Entertainment has recently acquired the North American and English-speaking territory rights to Calvete’s horror film after it won prizes at Blood Window and BiFAN NAFF co-production market. Other Aramos productions are Tom Espinoza’s “Arpon” and Diego Fried’s “The Silent Party.”

First title out of the gate for La Puerta Roja will be Rugna’s “When Evil Lurks,” which is scheduled to shoot in the first quarter of 2022.

“We’re convinced that horror and fantasy audiences follow the genre beyond languages and the star system. Horror films can be made in Spanish and we know there will be fans in Poland or Greece waiting for them,” Díaz told Variety.

Ramos added: “This is the great advantage that we Ibero-Americans have and perhaps one of the few spaces through which we can get into the world market by speaking our language and showing our idiosyncrasy. The genre audience is not prejudiced.”

With partnerships already established with international sales companies, and no set minimum number of annual productions, La Puerta Roja has a lively five-title line-up taking in not only “When Evil Lurks” and  “La casa de los muertos” (House of the Dead) from Fernández Calvete, as well as “El grito del gato, the second feature of Jorge Caterbona, who made Darío Grandinetti-starrer “La casa de Tourner.”

Also on the first slate is “Paraíso ciego” by Gonzalo Calzada (“Nocturna: Side A – The Great Old Man’s Night,” “Resurrection”) and “Preciosísima Sangre” by Andrés Kaiser, prized at Los Cabos for “Feral.”

“Our experience tells us that the terror is currently going through a peak momentum in international markets which are rapidly evolving. But scripts pushing formula – a low budget, artistic and commercial risks – are no longer the only way to reach the market,” Diaz said.

Ramos added: “Nowadays viewers demand good stories and greater artistic risks translated into higher productions, boosted by new technologies. We understand that our Ibero-American stories are the most important thing. With this alliance we seek to give each film a quality and differential value in the international market.”