24 July 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
Moe Dunford set to star in period horror film Xelter
08 Nov 2023 : News Desk
Film Bridge International launched sales at AFM for period horror film Xelter, starring Moe Dunford (The Dry, Patrick’s Day).

Irish actor Moe Dunford is set to star in a period horror film directed by Martin Bonnici (Tele-Monkey, To My Little Turtle), currently in production in Malta. The film features a cast of up-and-coming Maltese actors, and British actor Bobby Schofield (The Covenant).

The WWII-set movie charts the legend of the Babaw, a supernatural creature known for stalking and killing children. Xelter retells the true story of the citizens of Malta taking shelter from Nazi bombardment in the ancient catacombs underneath the cities, where they suffered deadly peril from collapsing tunnels and entrapment. That experience scarred a generation, and led to stories about creatures that stole children who strayed too far away from their parents.

Xelter was written by Scottish screenwriter and comics writer Emma Beeby, based on a story Beeby wrote with Gordon Rennie. The project was developed and is being produced by Malta’s 10th Man Pictures, the company formed by American producer Noah C. Haeussner (Arctic), Joe Azzopardi, and director Bonnici. Joining the production team are The De Laurentiis Company (Hannibal), Ka-Boom Films, Head Gear Films (Talk To Me), and Film Bridge International.

The De Laurentiis Company was founded by La Strada and Nights Of Cabiria producer Dino De Laurentiis, and his wife Martha. Following the passing of producer Martha De Laurentiis in 2021, the company is now run by Martha and Dino’s daughter Dina with producer Ed Wacek serving as President Of Production. Xelter marks Dina  De Laurentiis’ first film as producer for the company.

“Having first seen Malta as a little girl when my parents shot the World War II thriller U-571 here, this film connected strongly with me,” said Dina De Laurentiis. “Xelter captures the horror of war from a child’s perspective, as well as the horrors that are birthed in a child’s imagination.”

Producers on Xelter are Noah C. Haeussner, Joe Azzopardi, and Dina De Laurentiis. The film is executive-produced by Ed Wacek (De Laurentiis Company), Phil Hunt and Compton Ross (Head Gear Films), Zach Willis (Ka Boom Films), and Ellen Wander and Jordan Dykstra (Film Bridge International). Patrick Selzer is co-producing.

“I had scouted Malta for other projects, so when Martin first pitched me this, I knew it deserved to be a truly global film,” added Haeussner. “This island is a fantastic place to film and the catacombs we’ve been shooting in are spectacular, and at times more than a little unsettling. It’s been a real honor helping the Maltese tell their stories.”

Xelter is currently in production, with a release date yet to be confirmed.

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