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9th May 2024 - By Anna Marie de la Fuente (Variety)

Filmax Nabs International Rights to ‘The Virgin of the Quarry Lake’ by Helmer Laura Casabé, from a Benjamín Naishtat Screenplay (EXCLUSIVE)

Expanding its lineup for Cannes this year, top Spanish indie studio Filmax has snagged international rights to feature “The Virgin of the Quarry Lake” by Laura Casabé, a notable figure in genre filmmaking who won the best director prize at Sitges in 2019 for “Los que vuelven” (aka “The Returned”).

The film has just been announced as one of highest-profile of five titles at a Ventana Sur Goes to Cannes showcase at this year’s Marché du Film.

It’s penned by Benjamin Naishtat (“Puan,” “Rojo”), a major Argentine writer-director in his own right, and draws inspiration from two gripping short stories by genre writer Mariana Enríquez (“El Carrito” and “La Virgen De La Tosquera”).

Combining folklore, coming-of-age and social horror elements, the plot centers on Natalia, a recent high school graduate who finds herself deeply infatuated with Diego, a close childhood friend. However, their bond is tested when Silvia, older and worldlier, enters their lives and captivates Diego. Determined to win Diego back, Natalia enlists the aid of her grandmother Rita and delves into the realm of spells and dark magic to disrupt Diego and Silvia’s burgeoning romance.

It stars Dolores Oliverio who is joined by Luisa Merelas (“The Beasts”), Fernanda Echevarría (“Celeste Soledad”) and Dady Brieva (“The Distinguished Citizen”).

“As a female director, I found that horror movies offered me a space in which to exorcise my fears and it is for this reason I continue to work in this genre, exploring it as a language of its own and using its tools to tell stories of social drama,” said Casabé.

The co-production venture includes Argentina’s Ajimolido Films and Mostra Cine, producers of “Los que vuelven,” as well as Mexico’s Caponeto (“My Tender Matador”) and Mr. Miyagi of Spain, which co-produced “The Platform.”

Said Alejandro Israel of Ajimolido Films: “‘The Virgin of the Quarry Lake’ is a project that had us hooked from day one. Working off Mariana Enriquez’s texts is, of course, a huge commitment and an enormous challenge. The chance to work with Laura Casabé again, after our last film, “The Returned”, was another big motivation for us, because we have such deep confidence in her work. “

“Being able to work shoulder to shoulder with Mostra Cine, here in Argentina, from the very start of the project, and then later having Spain’s Mr. Miyagi and Mexico’s Caponeto getting on board, has really broadened this project’s international aspirations. And now, having Filmax as our sales agent has confirmed the enormous potential of this film, which we hope to premiere in one of the main festivals during the last quarter of 2024,” he added. 

Ivan Diaz, head of international at Filmax, concurred: “This is going to be one of our strongest presentations in Cannes. Our buyers are always excited to see new horror projects from Filmax and they want us to innovate, take risks and bring new ideas and new visions to the genre.”

“Some very interesting things are being produced in Latin America and travelling to the most important festivals in the world, expanding the boundaries of what we consider to be genre films today,” he observed, adding: “The work they’re producing over there mixes fantasy, ancestral, local folklore and the socio-economic realities of those countries, which makes for some eerie movies.”

“We are delighted to be presenting the film in Cannes, where we think it will cause a stir, both in terms of our sales and in the Ventana Sur Goes to Cannes event,” he said.

By Variety - See full article here


Filmax Nabs International Rights to ‘The Virgin of the Quarry Lake’ by Helmer Laura Casabé, from a Benjamín Naishtat Screenplay (EXCLUSIVE)

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