CULTURE

Island of Symi eyed as setting for 70s-inspired UK thriller

The southeastern Aegean island of Symi is arguably one of Greece’s most picturesque and steeped in atmosphere, with its stately neoclassical architecture giving way to the relics of old stone houses that have been taken over by wild fig trees.

This fascinating landscape of craggy rocks and pristine coasts, of wonderful elegant homes and eerie abandonment is for thousands of Greeks and visitors to Greece an idyllic holiday setting.

Yet, for writer James Collins – a Briton who lives on the island – and director Navin Dev (“Red Hood,” “The Tree Man” and “Red Kingdom Rising”), the unique traits of Symi may yet form the perfect backdrop for their thriller “The Judas Curse.”

Slated to begin shooting in October, the project is currently collecting funding on the Kickstarter crowdfunding forum and only has until Sunday, September 8, before the funding window closes.

Inspired by 1970s horror classics such as “The Exorcist,” “Jaws,” “The Omen” and “Halloween,” “The Judas Curse” – the story of a man trying to get to the bottom of the mystery of his father’s suicide – was written to be set in the eerie landscapes of Symi, giving it its own special place on the cast list.

Other than creating a great horror flick, the people behind “The Judas Curse” also hope to give back to the island: directly by holding the shoot there and indirectly by promoting the island to its audiences.

“A recent survey by the Post Office in the UK found that 19 percent of Britons had been influenced by films and television shows over their choice of holiday destination and a further 20 percent were likely to choose a location they had seen on the screen,” UK-based producer 1066 Productions says on Kickstarter.

“But it’s not just tourism. A film production spends money in the location and it also makes use of what local skills and talents it can find. With unemployment for under-25s in Greece standing at 60 percent (probably more on the islands) giving young Symiots the chance to acquire skills in the film industry over the next few years must also be good news,” the note adds.

To learn more about the film and the fundraising campaign, click here