Sony, Alex de la Iglesia Shoot ‘Veneciafrenia,’ The Fear Collection’s First Feature (EXCLUSIVE)
“Beautiful Youth’s” Ingrid García-Jonsson and “Instinto’s” Silvia Alonso head the ensemble cast of “Veneciafrenia,” the first feature from The Fear Connection, a horror film anthology backed by Sony Pictures Intl. Prods. (SPIP) and Alex de la Iglesia’s Pokeepsie Films, in association with Amazon Prime Video.
Announced in May, The Fear Collection saw De la Iglesia, one of Spain’s most bankable directors whose remake “Perfectos Desconocidos” earned $25.8 million in Spain in 2018, commit to direct or produce The Fear Collection’s titles via his Madrid-based Abel Pokeepsie.
“Veneziafrenia” went into production on Oct. 5, shooting in Venice and Madrid, with De la Iglesia both directing and producing. Its ensemble cast also features Goize Blanco (“El Futuro”), Nicolás Lloro, Alberto Bang (“Spanish Shame”), Cosimo Fusco (“Angels & Demons”), Enrico Lo Verso (“The Falcon and the Dove”), Armando di Razza (Cavan in De La Iglesia’s breakout “The Day of the Beast”), Caterina Murino (“Casino Royale”) and Nico Romero (“Riot Police”).
Written by De la Iglesia and his career-long co-scribe Jorge Guerricaechevarría, the synopsis of “Veneziafrenia” begins by claiming that in nature there is an unbreakable bond between beauty and death. “Like mosquitoes drawn to the brightest light, tourists follow the light of the most beautiful city in the world,” it says, referring to Venice.
That, however, has a downside. Compounded by the anguish of the last decades, the rage of the Venetians against this foreign invasion has now reached a flashpoint, with some now giving full rein to their instinct for survival. Oblivious to this, a simple group of Spanish tourists travel to Venice to have some fun. They will soon be fighting for their lives.
“We could not be more fortunate to have Álex de la Iglesia on board to direct the first picture from the Fear Collection. Fans should know this is just the start of things to come,” said Laine Kline, head of Sony Pictures Intl. Prods.
Produced by SPIP, Pokeepsie Films, Amazon Prime Video and Mogambo Productions, “Veneciafrenia” will be first released in movie theaters in Spain by Sony Pictures Entertainment Iberia and then be made available on Amazon Prime Video.
Founded by De la Iglesia and partner Carolina Bang, Pokeepsie Films has already emerged as a hothouse for a new generation of Spanish horror talent, producing movies such as “Musarañas” (Esteban Roel and Juan Fernando Andrés), “Los héroes del mal,” “En las Estrellas” (Zoe Berriatúa) and “Pieles” (Eduardo Casanova) and “La Casa de Tiza” (Ignacio Tatay).
Pokeepseie has also launched feature projects such as “El Bar” and “Perfectos Desconocidos.” Given the value of the horror genre in a streaming space, some sort of tie-up with major companies was always in the cards. Pokeepsie launched HBO Europe TV series “30 Coins,” De la Iglesia’s latest work, which world premiered at the Venice Film Festival. It can now play off a multi-year deal with SPIP and Amazon Prime Video.
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