Malta Awaits Simshar Premiere

Simshar produced by Leslie Ann Lucey Simshar produced by Leslie Ann Lucey

VALLETTA: The most ambitious Maltese film so far and the largest to date will be premiered locally on 27 April and released in two cinema complexes on the islands on 30 April.

The premiere is a national event all the more since the film is inspired by the tragedy that took place in the Mediterranean Sea in 2008.

In that year, the Maltese fishing boat Simshar blew up and all but one of its crew died because another fishing trawler mistook them for African immigrants and refused to rescue them. The film also deals with the ongoing issue of irregular immigration across the Mediterranean.

There are many events surrounding the opening and the gala opening itself will be attended by Joseph Calleja, the world class Maltese tenor, giving an address, and a painting of the boat submitted for charity.

“Malta is a country of just over 400,000 people, and we are hoping that given the scarcity of films in Maltese and the fact that it is a first in terms of its scale, we will have a good percentage of the population going to watch it,” the director Rebecca Cremona told FNE.

Simshar is her first feature. It was produced by Leslie Ann Lucey through Kukumajsa Productions Ltd and it is supported by the Malta Film Fund, by the financial incentives offered by the Malta Film Commission , various local companies and also by the Maltese community through indiegogo.com.

The cast includes Lotfi Abdelli, Clare Agius, Jimi Busuttil, Adrian Farrugia, Sekouba Doucoure, Laura Kpegli and Pierre Stafrace. Shot in 2012 and 2013, the film also aims for an international audience. Negotiations with sales agents are underway.