EXCLUSIVE: XYZ Films has come on as executive producer and worldwide sales agent on the Ireland-Belgium action-thriller from Brendan Muldowney.

The director, whose credits include Savage and Love Eternal, will shoot Pilgrimage from a screenplay by Jamie Hannigan.

The film is scheduled to kick off a seven-week shoot on the West Coast of Ireland and the Ardennes region of Belgium in April 2015.

The story follows a band of 13th century monks on a perilous journey to escort their monastery’s holiest relic to Rome.

Conor Barry and John Keville of Dublin-based Savage Productions and Benoit Roland of Wrong Men North are the producers.

“XYZ is thrilled to play a part in bringing Pilgrimage to life,” said XYZ partner Aram Tertzakian. “It’s a masterful character study of peaceful individuals forced into tense and often barbaric situations. The result is a gripping thriller that offers a glimpse into mankind’s violent past while raising important questions about the role of faith in our world today.”

Pilgrimage was developed with the assistance of the Irish Film Board and will be financed by the Irish Film Board, the Broadcasting Authority Of Ireland, Wallimages and the Wallonia Cultural Fund.  

“Savage Productions are incredibly excited to bring together the richly detailed originality and intelligence of Jamie Hannigan’s script with the unique approach that director Brendan Muldowney brings to genre,” said Barry.

“Ireland at the edge of the world in 1209, with all its brutality and conflict, promises a wild and action-packed adventure that pulls no punches.”

Love Eternal recently won the Dublin Film Critics Circle Best Irish Feature Award at the Jameson Dublin International Film. It premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh last summer and has screened at more than 60 festivals including Sitges and Busan.  

The XYZ Films slate include Toa Fraser’s UK-set thriller 6 Days and Kevin Smith’s Yoga Hosers starring Johnny Depp, Lily-Rose Depp, Harley Quinn Smith, Haley Joel Osment and Genesis Rodriguez.