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VIRGIN VOYAGE: Malta now has a film industry, says director Rebecca Cremona

MML

For many years Malta – that small speck of civilisation in the middle of the Mediterranean – has been host to many huge Hollywood film productions.

Both the physical location and the technical expertise of locals have been summoned to serve on the sets of a diverse roster of movies including: Midnight Express; The Da Vinci Code; Gladiator; Agora; World War Z; The Count of Monte Cristo; Cutthroat Island;  The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen; Munich; Popeye; The Spy Who Loved Me; and Troy.

Yet while Malta has provided crews for the films of other countries the output of its own industry has been patchy at best.

That is set to change with the release of Simshar, the first Maltese feature film released to the international market.

Set present-day, the story tells of Malta’s complicated position in the refugee crisis as people flee conflict and seek safety.

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Trouble at Sea: Fishermen strike trouble on the high seas in the Maltese drama Simshar

Through the experiences of officials, refugees and the members of a fishing family the political clashes with the personal.

The film was Malta’s first-ever submission for Oscar consideration last year.

It didn’t make the short list but picked up awards at the California Film Awards and the Cyprus International Film Festival.     

First-time director Rebecca Cremona, who also co-wrote the film’s screenplay with David Grech, received her training as a director in Los Angeles and London and served as a video assist assistant on Munich, liaising between cinematographer Janusz Kaminski and director Steven Spielberg.   

In this interview Cremona, 31, talks about the themes in the film, the exacting challenges of working on a very low budget and her hopes for the future of Maltese film.

Please enjoy.

For our interview with Rebecca Cremona, please click here:

To view a trailer for the film, please click here:

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