Jaume Balagueró’s upcoming horror “Venus” will be part of Cannes/Sitges Fantastic 7

Jaume Balagueró's upcoming horror "Venus" will be part of Cannes/Sitges Fantastic 7
Jaume Balagueró with his actress Ester Expósito filming Venus. Photo copyright by Jorge Fuembuena

Sitges – International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia, in partnership with the Marché du Film – Festival de Cannes and INCAA International Affairs Manager Bernardo Bergeret, returns to Cannes this year with the 4th edition of Fantastic 7. Launched in 2019, Fantastic 7 is designed to foster emerging filmmakers and connect them with potential business partners in Cannes for funding and co-production opportunities. Every year, seven top-notch festivals, dedicated to, or with strong traditions of, highlighting genre cinema and talents, select seven genre projects to be showcased at the Marché du Film.

The seven projects selected this year are promising and looking good.

Sitges – International Fantastic Film Fest of Catalonia is participating with Venus (2022), the upcoming work of the most noted Catalan genre director Jaume Balagueró. The movie is produced by Álex de la Iglesia and Carolina Bang, and it’s described as a supernatural horror story set in an urban survival environment with elements of modern witchery. Fernando Navarro, the writer of popular Spanish thriller and horror movies Spy Time (2015), Toro (2016), Verónica (2017), and Muse (2017), has been in charge of the screenplay. Ester Expósito, known for the dark thriller When Angels Sleep (2018) and the Netflix hit series Elite (2018– ) is leading a cast that also includes Ángela Cremonte, Federico Aguado, Fernando Valdivielso, and Magüi Mira.

The Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival is participating this year with Seoul Horror Story (2022), by Kim Hyunjin. The movie is formed of 3 Colored omnibus stories occurring in Seoul. First, fluorescent blue color: “A Ghost station” in the northern area of Seoul. Second, colorful neon color: “Lost face” Plastic Surgery in Gangnam. And, finally, gloomy Ash Gray: “Two worlds” College graduates looking for work in Noryangjin.

Cairo International Film Festival is bringing The Portal (2022), the debut feature film for visual effects specialist and digital artist Chadi Abo who has worked in popular movies like The Matrix Reloaded (2003), 300 (2006), Speed Racer (2008), and Blood Machines (2019). His movie is a fantasy and science-fiction thriller set in a war zone, where a little girl prays for salvation. A cosmic power comes to help her. From now on, Sana will resurrect dead children. Hanaa Zahran, Razane Jamal, Jamal Souleyman, and Ahmad Qontar star.

The Festival Internacional de Cine en Guadalajara brings the horror tale The Bad Mother (2022), entitled La mala madre in the original Spanish language. This is the debut feature film of Alicia Albares, whose short film To the Other Side (2013) collected a bunch of nominations in several international film festivals. The Bad Mother (2022) centers on Victoria, a journalist who has written a highly controversial book on motherhood and wakes up in a house with no memory. Ángel, a doctor, tells her that she has had a car accident, in which her daughter died. The presence of a pregnant woman will help her discover the truth.

SXSW – South by Southwest Film Festival is bringing horror and fantasy Bangladeshi drama Moshari (2022) by director Nuhash Humayun. A “Moshari” is a traditional South Asian mosquito net, made for protection against vermin at night. When the world is overrun with bloodthirsty creatures, the last of mankind perseveres in Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. By spending their nights inside the moshari, the only known shelter from the unknown threat.
Two sisters, Apu and Ayra, must navigate this strange new world to survive. However, their strained relationship is becoming as much of a threat as the dangers outside.

The Toronto International Film Festival is bringing Berkley Brady’s debut feature film Dark Nature (2022). She achieved some nominations in Canada with her TV series The Secret History of: The Wild West (2021– ). She’s been also the writer of the screenplay together with Tim Cairo, one of the writers of the comedy thriller Lowlife (2017). Dark Nature (2022) is starring Hannah Emily Anderson, Madison Walsh, Roseanne Supernault, and Madison Walsh, and it centers on a therapy group who are forced to confront the monsters of their past when an isolated weekend retreat in the Canadian Rockies tests not only their emotional resilience but their ability to survive.

And, finally, the last of the seven films brought by the New Zeland International Film Festival, is the horror movie The Cage (2022), the new movie of visual effects artist and filmmaker Paul Campion after his debut with The Devil’s Rock (2011) and being part of the horror anthology World of Death (2016) with the segment “Eel Girl“. In the movie, A customer and staff held captive in a home electronics store must escape from a fanatic who intends to use them as human sacrifices to summon an evil interstellar deity.

The Fantastic 7 pitching session will be held on Sunday, 22 May in Cannes and open to all Marché du Film participants upon presentation of their accreditation. American-Iranian filmmaker Ana Lily Amirpour has been officially named godmother of this year’s Fantastic 7. The event will also be live-streamed on the Marché du Film online platform, and you can find more information on its official site here.