Things got personal at Cannes Market’s Fantastic 7 showcase this year, highlighting upcoming genre projects selected by seven festivals including Spain’s Sitges, Bucheon in South Korea, Cairo, Guadalajara in Mexico, SXSW and Toronto, as well as Whanau Marama New Zealand Intl. Film Festival.

“I think it’s my most personal film ever,” said director Jaume Balagueró, also behind “[REC],” co-directed with Paco Plaza.

In his latest film “Venus,” presented by Sitges, he will combine elements of survival drama and modern witchery. Starring Ester Expósito, it’s produced by Álex de la Iglesia and Carolina Bang.

“Why? Because it combines many elements I am personally interested in,” he told Variety.

“It’s a horror, but it’s also a very moving film about love and revenge. It’s very special to me.”

In “La mala madre” (“The Bad Mother”), director Alicia Albares will also draw from her own experiences, moving along the lines of such stories as Jennifer Kent’s “The Babadook,” “Hereditary” or “Relic.” Alberto Díaz, Alexandre Bas, Cristina Urgel and Eva Moreno are producing.

“I am 37 and I have never wanted to be a mother. It is something that has always been questioned. People think you are missing your life’s greatest experience,” she said.

“Have you ever made a decision because you were following a social mandate, doing what was expected of you? Something similar happens to lead character Victoria. She becomes pregnant, and she regrets it.”

Albares said that while she doesn’t believe in women’s cinema, she believes in the female point of view.

“Like Victoria, I don’t want to do what is expected of me. I believe in women making all kinds of cinema,” she added. Just like Berkley Brady’s debut feature “Dark Nature,” in which a therapy group – including a survivor of domestic violence – will see their retreat in the Canadian Rockies turn horribly wrong.

The completed film will “dig into deep themes,” promised producer Michael Peterson, while Peter Kuplowsky, Midnight Madness programmer at Toronto, also commented on its “distinctly Canadian setting,” beautiful and terrifying at the same time.

In Paul Campion’s “contained horror feature,” based on a novel by Brian Keene, “The Cage,” a customer and staff held captive in a home electronics store must escape from a fanatic. South Korea’s “Seoul Horror Story” will have a much wider scope, teased as “the first horror with the city of Seoul as its protagonist” and showing a darker side of the city that never sleeps.

“It’s a fascinating term, but also very frightening. In order to keep it open 24/7, many people work endlessly and tirelessly,” said director Kim Hyunjin via interpreter, with his producer Lee Dongha calling it a “grotesque but intriguing tale.”

The film, budgeted at $2 million, will start production in late 2022 or the first half of 2023.

Syrian-French filmmaker Chadi Abo came to Cannes with conceptual fantasy anti-war film “The Portal,” about an orphaned girl with special powers living among war drones, fundamentalists and displaced refugees. Finally, with “Moshari” – which means a mosquito net in Bengali – writer and director from Bangladesh Nuhash Humayun will scare the whole world with what scared him as a kid.

“If you are South Asian like me, you might have a very specific memory of it. I remember going to sleep inside of these nets, feeling there could be something else on the other side,” he said in the video.

In his film, the world has been destroyed by blood-thirsty creatures – ones that can be kept away by “moshari,” however. As two sisters struggle to survive, horror morphs into dysfunctional family drama.

“They are healing from their trauma and the [Indian] subcontinent is healing from its colonial past. Yes, there is apocalypse, but this is not the first time the world has tried to suck us dry,” said Humayun, calling “Moshari” an “insanely political, insanely personal story.”

This year’s “Fantastic Godmother,” Ana Lily Amirpour, joining online, also managed to say a few encouraging words to the participants.

“Enjoy it, because you worked really, really hard to get to this moment. There are very few people in the world that get to make a film, so you already won! And don’t wait too long before you start your next movie.”

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Cannes Market’s Fantastic 7