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Tags:   Films

By The Swag Team   -  June 04, 2014

After receiving international recognition at 40 horror film festivals for his short film The Breeder, producer and director PATRICK VELLA has once again teamed up with Evolution Media to produce Breeder, a full-length feature film set to hit local cinemas later in the year. SWAG took a sneak peek at this gorefest with the local horror guru. 

Breeder has its roots in a short film project filmed and produced over two weeks last year (watch it below). This short was submitted to 40 film festivals among them in the USA, Colombia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Germany, Spain, Croatia, Poland, the Netherlands and Greece, amongst others.


“One online critic in the USA suggested that this short should be expanded into a feature. We took his advice and managed to pull in a decent budget to make it possible. The shoot involved a two-month pre-production period and a month of shooting and the film is now in post-production,” producer and director Patrick Vella told SWAG.


The film features Sandra, a private investigator on maternity leave, who is asked by Jennie, her assistant, to meet Olga, a Russian expat whose son has gone missing. Little do they know that they are to venture into one of those sinister situations that a mysterious, secretive island like Malta can throw up. Kurt, Olga’s son, is not the only person that’s missing. Apparently they are being abducted. But by whom? And why?


The story is a fictitious one yet it incorporates some interesting, realistic elements that regularly make the news on the the island. These elements include bird hunting and the illegal breeding of various species of animals. The film, although primarily aimed for horror fans, can go beyond the entertainment value and can serve to highlight various issues to ponder on.


One thing is for sure: if it’s anything like the last year’s short, it’s not for the faint hearted and probably not everyone's cup of tea. “It will feature violence, some nudity, strong language, disturbing action and, above all, horror. Fans of the genre will love it,” Vella assured us with some glee.


The director feels that the island has great potential as a filming location. “We have great outdoor locations that are still very accessible and one always comes across people who are ready to help you out no matter what. On the other hand noise pollution always poses a problem and one needs to be patient,” he said.


“We have filmed in a beautiful, intact and very well maintained underground wartime shelter. Naturally the high level of humidity did not help but the atmosphere was an incredible one and very apt for the genre,” he added enthusiastically.


Vella’s eye for detail has served him well in his previous productions, and he says he has used the same approach in the making of Breeder.


“We took great care in choosing our background actors, what others would perhaps usually call 'extras'. We made it a point that they were not just there to fill in, but to enhance the scene’s credibility.”


The actors were cast in early February, and they underwent a full month of rehearsals before filming started.


Patrick Vella himself plays the title role of the Breeder, a mysterious man who breeds worms to sell to pet shops as pet food and for fishing tackle. Sandra the private investigator is played by Rebecca Paris, while Jennie, Sandra's assistant is played by Naomi Said. Aleksandra Andrea plays the Russian expat looking for her missing son. Jurgen Manicolo, Jonathan Azzopardi, Roderick Castillo, Meliza Muscat, John Peel, Stephanie Sacco, Kyle Sammut and Joe Pace make up the rest of the cast.


Breeder keeps the tension flowing throughout. I think we’ve hit on a solid formula that will make the audience feel tense, fearful and, hopefully maybe even feel terrorised,” Vella concluded with a smile.

The Breeder - the 2013 short film that served as the basis for this year's full-length Breeder


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