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Director Miguel Marti, Actress-Producer Macarena Gomez Launch Online Hunt For Horror Scripts With Spanish Tinge

Eager to move into horror, Spanish director Miguel Martí is partnering with famed actress-producer Macarena Gómez and distributor Carlos Guerrero on an ambitious project to find their perfect hair-raising script.

The trio’s respective, Madrid-based companies, Wonder Ficción, Cilantro Films and 39 Escalones, have launched the We Are Looking for Your Horror Script initiative, putting the call out to screenwriters with a penchant for chills, thrills and the macabre to submit their works from March 2 to April 16 via the website buscamostuguiondeterror.com.

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The winning script will be announced on July 13 at the Sotogrande Music Festival, one of the initiative’s many partners. The winner will initially receive €4,000 ($4,342) as a four-year option on the script in addition to €3,600 for three months of development work. The producers will seek to finance the production over the four-year period. A purchase of the script under previously agreed upon terms will be effective once financing is confirmed.

“The idea is a contest to search for a script to make a horror film and provide an opportunity to all the people who have screenplays at home, who write, but who have a difficult time reaching the big production companies,” Martí said, presenting the project at Spain’s Malaga Film Festival on Monday. “So we are going to read those screenplays, select one and make a movie that we hope will be stupendous and seen in theaters soon.”

Martí will direct the film, with Gómez set to star, either as the lead or in a secondary role.

“We may suddenly find a formidable screenplay but if the main character is a young 20-year-old woman, I can no longer do that,” said Gómez, . “In that case I can be a secondary protagonist.”

Gómez is already well known in Spain for her work in genre productions, including her Goya-nominated role in the 2014 horror film “Shrew’s Nest” and HBO Max’s hit fantasy series “30 Coins,” from Alex de la Iglesia.

Martí has focused largely on comedies but is now eager to move more into horror, a genre he dabbled in with his 2008 horror-comedy “Sexy Killer: You’ll Die For Her,” which also starred Gómez.

“We are good friends and work together very well and have created a great team,” said Gómez. Their more recent collaborations include last year’s hit comedy “Desmadre incluido.”

Martí and Gómez had already begun to read scripts but did not find any that convinced them. Guerrero then came up with the simple solution to find more scripts.

Noting that horror offers many sub-genres, Martí and Gómez said they are open to everything.

“It can be psychological terror, a horror film with elements of comedy – it’s a very broad spectrum,” added Gómez, who also starred in last year’s U.K. shark thriller “Deep Fear.”

“We don’t have a preference,” Martí noted. “‘The Shining’ is one of the films that I like the most, but the other day I also had a great time watching ‘Dead Snow 2.’”

One thing that is especially important for Martí is that the film reflects Spain. He emphasized that he would like the script to have “a tinge of home country terror,” pointing out that Spain has its distinctive culture and traditions.

“We live in Spain. We have certain qualities when it comes to filming; we have our musical culture, our storytelling. That’s something I would like it to reflect. There’s no reason to make a film that is totally American. We have our own style, our own way of seeing things. We are not copying Dutch cinema or Korean cinema. It’ll be a film made here by us that will have our seal, our traditions, our music and our people, which is worth a lot.”

The team have managed to turn their contest into a major marketing initiative after winning the support of more than a dozen local brands, businesses and organizations, including the Malaga Film Festival and its industry section MAFIZ, the Sotogrande Music Festival, Rioja winemaker Familia Martínez Zabala, media group Henneo, Silbo Telecom, travel agency W2M, Plus Ultra airlines, film magazine Cinemanía, Dakari, Crystaline, Malaga gin maker Wingy Gin and the city’s waterfront restaurant Kaleido.

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