Spanish mini-studio Filmax plans to open its genre division Fantastic Factory, co-founded two years ago by director Brian Yuzna and Filmax president Julio Fernandez, to co-production partners.

"We have proved that we can deliver films of quality and range. Now we want to bring on-board co-producers and to increase budgets," said Yuzna.

Fantastic's first production, Faust, a dark, violent picture with a comic-book look, directed by Yuzna, premiered in London yesterday (Tuesday). It was preceded by the showreel for the division's second picture Arachnid, a lighter picture with an adventure style.

Yuzna has committed to delivering to Filmax a minimum of three to four English-language genre features a year, with a quality similar to the Hammer label.

"[Filmax bosses Julio and Carlos Fernandez] wanted to produce the kind of films they were buying from people like Artisan and Trimark," said Yuzna. "Until now budgets have been under $5m, but we'd like to go to $10m-$20m. Then we can start buying in actors from outside the genre and adding the kind of production values that really allow us to compete with Hollywood."

Filmax has already enjoyed considerable pre-sales success with the Fantastic slate. At Cannes StudioCanal grabbed European rights on the first four titles, while Helkon took German rights on Faust. Jaume Belaguero's Darkness was also pre-sold to France, Benelux, Korea and Thailand.