Spain's aggressively expanding Filmax Group has announced a new slate of films for its fledgling Fantastic Film Factory and is now moving ahead on plans to construct a studio in Barcelona with the aim of transforming the city into the sci-fi and fantasy film capital of Europe.

At the same time, Filmax confirmed this week that it has acquired worldwide sales rights for the first time on a non-Filmax Spanish film, The Warrior's Heart (El Corazon Del Guerrero), produced by Tornasol. Eventually, Filmax intends to pick up non-Spanish titles as well, said head of sales and acquisitions Antonia Nava.

Warrior will debut at the American Film Market next week in Santa Monica, where Nava is also expected to close a string of sales and a possible US remake deal on Jaume Balaguero's award-winning The Nameless (Los Sin Nombre). That horror flick has already been sold to France and Switzerland (Le Studio Canal Plus) and to Japan (Only Hearts).

Balaguero is one of several directors with forthcoming projects on the mixed Spanish- and English-language Fantastic Film Factory slate; his follow-up is an untitled project that is said to have attracted offers from potential US co-producers. Among the other Factory projects are:

  • Brian Yuzna's Faust, which has just wrapped shooting;
  • Jack Sholder's spider scarefest Arachnid, set to shoot at the end of April;
  • Tinieblas Gonzalez's racism-related Roots;
  • Elio Quiroga's high-tech thriller Bugs;
  • a vampire picture from newcomer Grojo;
  • and Stuart Gordon's Dagon.
  • "We're bringing American talent here and making films the world wants to see. It's a real accomplishment that a Catalan company has been able to bring together such a range of talent," said Julio Fernandez, who is head of the production-distribution-exhibition Group.

    Factory titles have attracted much buyer attention since their market debut last year at Cannes, where two- to four-title packages were pre-sold to France's Le Studio Canal Plus, Japan's World TV and Germany's Helkon.

    In addition, three other films are forthcoming from Filmax outside of the Factory including:

  • the cartoon-based Captain Trueno, director Juanma Bajo Ulloa's follow-up to box office smash Airbag;
  • Laura Mana's social drama Anorexia;
  • Joan Potau's Manolito Gafotas II, a freshly-cast sequel to the children's hit movie currently screening in the Berlin Film Festival's Kinder section. At Berlin, Filmax sold all rights on the original Manolito to Angel for all Scandinavia.
  • The entire Filmax production slate will benefit from the backing of Spanish digital satellite platform Via Digital, which has signed a three-year exclusive rights deal which also gives it first and second pay-TV window rights for the 20-25 films annually distributed by Filmax. Included in that deal are titles such as Diamonds (acquired from Miramax International), House On Haunted Hill (J&M Entertainment), Where The Money Is (CLT-Ufa International) Love's Labours Lost (Intermedia Films); Pi (Summit Entertainment) and The Bride Of Chucky (Good Machine International).