As genre makes much of the running in sales at this year’s Cannes Film Market, Filmax, traditionally one of its biggest vendors, has swooped on “32 Gats,” the next feature from Hèctor Hernandez Vicens who broke out with the 2015 SXSW premiere, “The Corpse of Anna Fritz.”
Filmax will handle distribution in Spain as well as sell international rights.
Produced by Carles Torras at Zabriskie Films, ”32 Gats,” writer-director Hernández Vicens’ fourth feature, turns on a couple, Ana, 36, and Salva, 49, who move into a house in the country where there’s space for the 32 cats that Ana has adopted in the last years.
Ana is two-months pregnant. The couple begins to rehabilitate the house for the baby’s birth, but Ana begins to sense a presence in the house, and she isn’t the only one, it seems. The cats also see something.
“32 Gats” is a “supernatural psychological thriller and independent auteur movie targeting realist drama film-buffs and the genre/ghost film fanbase,” said producer Carles Torras at Zabriskie Films, who as a director swept best film, actor and script at the 2016 Malaga Festival with “Callback.”
Its director, he added, is “recognised by international critics for his personal way of creating sickly atmospheres and psychological suspense with a reduced number of characters, elements and settings, as he showed in ‘The Corpse of Anna Fritz.’”
“Most people would not put their hands in the fire to argue that spirits do not exist,” Hernández Vicens maintains in a director’s statement. Ghosts are the most authentic supernatural figure, he adds. “The ghost in ’32 Gats’ has to be constructed from the most quotidian elements so that spectators could never be totally sure it exists.”
“This is a horror film but also a drama,” Hernández Vicens said. “It’s a bet on genre, the supernatural, coming in from an angle of truth, honesty and naturalism.”
Pushing the envelope, even for genre, “The Corpse of Ana Fritz” begins with what seems necrophilia, as two friends, one a mortician, take advantage of a beautiful dead celebrity’s body in a morgue – a broad metaphor, reviewers said at the time, for the intrusiveness of internet culture into the intimacy of celebrities.