Overlook, as any self-respecting horror fan should know, is the name of the hotel in The Shining. It is also now the name of the sales outfit set up by Verane Frediani and Franck Ribiere.

The company aims to have a presence on both sides of the Atlantic, and is an offshoot of La Fabrique De Films, the Paris-based company launched by Frediani and Ribiere in the summer of 2003. Overlook's head of sales Mathieu Robinet is to be based in New York.

"It's a good way to have one foot in the USA without being in Los Angeles," says Frediani of the decision to have an office on the East Coast.

Overlook specialises in high-quality genre fare. The company launched at the AFM in November with a slate including $8m fantasy adventure Humans from directors Pot & Jom; $4m horror picture The Pack from Franck Richard; $3m mystery film Jennifer Can from Luis Alejandro Berdejo; Xavier Gens' City Of Shadows; and Alex De La Iglesia's The Yellow M.

"The idea is not to produce and sell the usual survival/slasher movie. We want high-profile genre pictures, concept-driven scripts and good packages," says Robinet. He notes that a new generation of genre directors is emerging in Europe. Overlook's debut slate includes titles from French, Spanish, UK and German film-makers.

Frediani sees the business model for La Fabrique/Overlook as akin to that of companies such as EuropaCorp in France and Filmax in Spain: "They're very specialised, in a way," she says, "but they're also producing, co-producing and selling."

Overlook is looking to build long-term alliances. "We don't want to waste our time in every market in trying to raise up the prices from many different distributors," says Robinet. "We want to develop relationships and work with the same people... who like our work and want to carry on the relationship."

The company is handling projects with a range of budgets. The Yellow M, adapted from the work of comic-book artist Edgar P Jacobs has a budget of $37m (EUR28m). City Of Shadows also has a hefty budget of around $26m (EUR20m).

Ribiere believes there are young film-makers in Europe who have turned their back on the old French cult of the 'auteur' and embraced genre cinema, particularly US genre cinema of the 1980s.

"The French New Wave is dead," he pronounces. "People need to know that. (New Wave directors) have polluted the movie business in France for 30 or 40 years. It's over!"

Overlook aims to have new projects to present in Berlin. In the meantime, the company has a test by which to judge would-be collaborators. If you know that Overlook is the name of the hotel in The Shining, they will be far more likely to do business with you.