Olivewood creeps into horror movie business

3 mins read

In another Olivewood milestone leading production company, Altadium is preparing to make the first horror film ever shot on location in Cyprus.

Altadium, shortly after releasing their previous film shot in Cyprus, S.O.S. Survive or Sacrifice starring William Baldwin, is throwing itself into filming its next venture under the guidance of Italian director Francesco Cinquemani.

The film entitled “The Ghosts of Monday” is currently in pre-production and should start filming in February boasting an international cast and several Cypriot actors.

Based on a script by Barry Keating (Nightworld, Hidden in the Woods), The ghosts of Monday is a ghost story expected to send chills down our spines.

Altadium, a Cyprus-based film production company is joining forces with Italian producer Loris Curci, who gave the Financial Mirror an inside glimpse of the new movie.

The film is a ghost story about a group of US filmmakers who travel to Cyprus to shoot a documentary about the tragically infamous Hotel Gula, a once-popular resort where more than 100 people were killed under mysterious circumstances.

Curci said the production team will be filming mainly out of an abandoned hotel in Limassol but will be filming across the island.

“We will not be including as many shots, as Altadium’s previous venture, S.O.S., as this is a claustrophobic horror film, so the story will mainly play out at the hotel.”

Curci said film producers have already made sure that a fair number of Cypriot actors will be contributing to the film, as they did in Altadium’s previous film shot in Cyprus.

A cast of 50 people worked on S.O.S.

As for the protagonists, producers are keeping a tight lid on names with only actress and member of the production team Marianne Rosset mentioned as one of the main characters in the film.

More will be made known in the coming weeks, Curci said.

“You should expect to hear a few good names for our leading roles. We are casting through the offices of British casting director Neil McGinley, who was responsible for the casting of films such as The Wrath of the Titans, and Steven Spielberg’s War Horse”.

This is Altadium’s third film shot in Cyprus following S.O.S. and the Portrait of God.

Producers admit to being attracted by the island’s 35% rebate incentive scheme launched to attract big-budget films, but “it’s much more than that”.

“The hospitality, the great food, the talent, and a unique mix of locations that can double for almost anywhere in the world,” said Curci.

Magnificent place

He believes Cyprus is a “magnificent place” for making movies.

“The government is very supportive and what we are trying to do here is tell the world that you can film high-quality films on the island just as good as anywhere in Europe.”

The film’s director Francesco Cinquemani told the Financial Mirror, that Cyprus has what it takes to film any genre.

Cinquemani has directed Hollywood ventures, such as his latest movie The Poison Rose with John Travolta, Morgan Freeman, Forest Whitaker and Trinity of the Soul, a series of documentary films shot in Italy and India.

He was also behind the camera in Beyond the Edge with Antonio Banderas and Andròn – The Black Labyrinth with Alec Baldwin, a sci-fi movie.

“A horror film in Cyprus? Certainly. The island has everything to film a good horror movie. From old buildings to a history filled with legends and stories, influences from both the East and the West.”

Cinquemani argued that Cyprus offers interesting scenery with a mixture of new and old, cultural relics from the East and the West while the island’s light is more than ideal for shooting films.

“The light of the day is different from that in the rest of Europe. It is similar to the light of the day you can find in California. The light is the most important factor for a movie.”

He said filmmakers can shoot from the sea to the mountains, as Cyprus has scenery that you cannot find in northern Europe.

“Cyprus can easily build an important film industry, you have the talent, the scenery, the light and a variety of settings.

“Cyprus is currently underestimated as a movie destination and this is something that needs to be worked on.”

I shot two movies in Malta, which is also an upcoming film destination, and I think Cyprus can do a lot better.”

 “I am grateful to Altadium for giving me the opportunity to shoot an international film in the Mediterranean. I think this will be the first of many movies to be shot on the island”.