According to Variety, Spain's Filmax Entertainment continues its push into English-language films with the $5.6 million rural thriller The Backwoods (El bosque de las sombras). British thesp Gary Oldman toplines the pic, which will be in both English and Spanish. International cast also includes Virginie Ledoyen, Paddy Considine and Aitana Sanchez-Gijon.

Eight-week lensing began last Monday in northern Spain's Basque country under first-time Spanish helmer Koldo Serra.

The Backwoods is produced by Spain's Filmax, Monfort Prods. and Videntia Frames Prods., the U.K.'s the Holy Cow and France's Divine Prods.

Oldman's producing partner, Douglas Urbanski, exec produces through his SE8 Group. "Monfort got me excited about going to the pool of European talent and bringing in Spanish talent to make films that have international appeal," Urbanski said.

Set in the summer of 1978, film depicts the apparently quiet holiday of a couple of English tourists who travel to a friend's house in a Basque village, where they find a girl in a cabin in the woods with deformed hands.

Barcelona-based Filmax produced Darkness, which Dimension released in the U.S.; it has completed Calista Flockhart starrer "Fragile," which will world preem Sept. 2 at the Venice Film Festival; and it's co-producing costume drama Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, starring Dustin Hoffman and Alan Rickman.

Backwoods marks another step up for producer Iker Monfort, who founded Monfort Prods. last summer. Iker Monfort co-produced 20 Centimeters, a transvestite comedy-musical from Ramon Salazar (Stones), a TLA Releasing pickup for North America. He also has announced the $6.4 million romance/action/drama Arritmia, to be helmed by Vicente Penarrocha (Out of Body). It's a co-production about a prisoner who escapes from Guantanamo; it will lense in September in Cuba and Spain.

Cinemark Movie Club
Evan Jacobs