Cyprus’ first scary film has UK premiere

3 mins read

Cyprus’ film industry made its international debut in the dark genre of horror films, as the first major scary production to be filmed entirely on the island made its UK premiere.

Another Olivewood milestone, The Ghosts of Monday, was screened at the prestigious FrightFest held in London, convincing a thrill-thirsty audience that Cyprus can make the cut.

FrightFest, also known as Arrow Video FrightFest, is an annual film festival held in London and Glasgow.

The festival holds three major events each year: a festival running five days over the UK late August Bank Holiday weekend, a Halloween event held in London in late October, and a festival in February as part of the Glasgow Film Festival.

Following its screening at the Fright festival, the film will also get its official UK premiere as Reel2Reel, a UK entertainment label, announced that the supernatural thriller will be released on September 5.

The Ghosts of Monday will be available to stream and download in UK and Ireland via Amazon, Sky, iTunes, Google Play, Microsoft and YouTube.

A release date for USA and Canada will be announced shortly.

With Hollywood actor Julian Sands in the lead role, The Ghosts of Monday boasts an international cast and several Cypriot actors.

Sands is known for his roles in films such as The Killing Fields, A Room with a View, Arachnophobia and Boxing Helena.

The film was produced by Cypriot Altadium and was directed by Italy’s Francesco Cinquemani.

Apart from Oscar-nominee Julian Sands, it also stars Mark Huberman (of Netflix’s VIKINGS VALHALLA), Marianna Rosset (SOS – SURVIVE OR SACRIFICE), Eva Trill (JURASSIC WORLD Dominion), Antony Skordi and Flavia Watson.

Based on Barry Keating’s script (Nightworld, Hidden in the Woods), the film is a ghost story expected to send chills down the spine.

It follows a television director embroiled in an occult conspiracy after travelling to Cyprus to make a reality tv show about a haunted hotel.

A group of US filmmakers travel to Cyprus to shoot a documentary about the tragically infamous Hotel Gula.

In this once-popular resort, more than 100 people were killed under mysterious circumstances.

Julian Sands (Bruce) is the presenter of a popular American paranormal TV series: The Ghosts of the New World.

The network pulled the plug after a tragic accident in the season’s finale.

But redemption comes in an offer to travel to Cyprus to make a pilot about the tragically famous Hotel Gula, where people died in mysterious circumstances 25 years before.

But what begins as just another day at the office becomes a terrifying journey into the unknown.

It dates back to 1990 when the hotel was the scene of a mass poisoning that claimed 100 lives.

The crew is drawn by the fact the place has been considered cursed by locals ever since, as legend had it that the owners at the time had committed suicide.

The new owners have convinced Bruce that a movie that celebrates the idea the place is haunted could give him a future.

Quality production

In comments to the Financial Mirror, a member of the Altadium production team and actor Marianna Rosset said the audience at the London scary film festival was left impressed by the Cypriot film.

“What we are trying to show the world, with both our previous film SOS – Survive or Sacrifice, and now with the Ghosts of Monday, is that you can produce good quality films in Cyprus without investing a fortune,” Rosset said.

Produced during the lockdown, The Ghosts of Monday was filmed on location at the St Raphael Resort Hotel in Limassol, which had been forced to close due to the pandemic.

The hotel doubled as a location, production office and accommodation for cast and crew.

Rosset also transferred Sands’ impressions of the island, saying he was amazed by what Cyprus had to offer the international film industry.

“Cyprus is far more than just a sunny place with nice beaches.

“Cyprus is part of the mythology of an ancient history.

“For us, we were unfortunate to be filming during the pandemic and lockdowns; it was a great disappointment as so much of the local culture was off-limits,” said Sands.

Rosset paid tribute to the Cyprus incentive scheme for film productions on the island.

An earlier version of the scheme provided Cypriot and foreign producers with incentives, cash rebates and/or tax credits of up to 35% on qualifying production expenditures.

It has now increased to 40% but covers expenditures made in Cyprus.

Altadium Group is developing a TV series based on Rosset’s FANYASHA books, successfully published in Russia and the US.

The live-action TV series is written by Francesco Cinquemani, Simon Boyes and Allen Copeland and represents Altadium Group’s first approach to mainstream media.