2 April 2014
Malta has been the location for many a film shoot. Used for blockbuster films such as Troy, Captain Phillips, World War Z, the Da Vinci Code, Gladiator and Popeye just to name a few, Malta has seen it's fair share of action on the silver screen, however the local film scene is still very much in its infancy. The Maltese islands are full of talent, both in front and behind the camera but support for independent, local films has always been low. This is set to change. I recently discovered about a new film, filmed in Malta, by the Maltese, in Maltese and it's going to attract the attention of an international audience. Just remember you heard it here first.
This is the first feature-length film which has been developed through the “Film financing model traditionally used in independent cinema throughout the world: using government grants, subsidies and investments together with private investment. - said Ms Luisa Bonello, the film's Executive Producer (The Malta Independent).
'Simshar' is a fictional film inspired by real events. A young Maltese boy named Theo, part of a sea faring family, is sent away on his first trip. As events unfold something goes terribly wrong and the 'Simshar' sinks, leaving the crew, including Theo, stranded in the Mediterranean Sea.
Simultaneously, Alex, a medic dispatched onto a Turkish Merchant vessel had recently rescued a group of illegal immigrants from Africa who were stranded in the Mediterranean between Malta and Italy. Alex finds himself stuck on the boat as the countries wage a bureaucratic war over whom should accept the immigrants.
Both stories are told in parallel and conclude tragically as the fisherman are traced, but by that time there is only one survivor left.
The most ambitious Maltese film ever made to date will be premièred locally on the 27th April at the Empire Cinemas in Bugibba, and released in two cinema complexes (Empire Cinemas and Embassy Cinemas) on the 30th of April. There have been many events planned around the opening and the gala opening itself will be introduced by Air Malta's brand ambassador, Joseph Calleja, giving an address and offering a nautical painting to be submitted for charity.
I will definitely be finding the time to watch this with my friends on the big screen and encourage you to do the same!
Author: Sabine Jung