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Simshar (2014)

Young Theo is sent on his first trip with his Maltese sea faring family, but things go terribly wrong when the 'Simshar' sinks, leaving the crew stranded in the Mediterranean... ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lotfi Abdelli ...
Jimi Busuttil ...
Sékouba Doucouré ...
Chrysander Agius ...
Adrian Farrugia ...
Clare Agius ...
Mark Mifsud ...
Kurt Zammit ...
Pierre Stafrace ...
Laura Kpegli ...
David Leguesse ...
Lecca Sailor
Tumer Gencturk ...
Tesfu Mekonnen ...
Rahwa's Brother
Mahlet Grech ...


Young Theo is sent on his first trip with his Maltese sea faring family, but things go terribly wrong when the 'Simshar' sinks, leaving the crew stranded in the Mediterranean... Simultaneously, Alex - a medic reluctantly dispatched onto a Turkish Merchant vessel which has rescued a group of stranded African boat people between Malta and Italy - gets stuck on the boat as the countries wage a bureaucratic war over who should take in the migrants... The stories unravel in parallel and culminate tragically when the fishermen are traced down, but by that time there's only one survivor. Written by Rebecca Cremona

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27 April 2014 (Malta)  »

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Official submission of Malta to the best foreign language film category of the 87th Academy Awards 2015. See more »

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A Milestone In Maltese Cinema
13 November 2014 | by See all my reviews

Simshar is a milestone in Maltese cinema. Simply put it's the best movie ever made locally in Malta.

Usually I am a bit hesitant when I attend packed cinema houses, as I don't want to hear too much talking that would spoil my movie experience. The audience at this premiere were impeccably silent! No, not because the audience was asleep, but because Simshar managed to grab the audience's attention in the first five minutes! The first 15 minutes are probably the most important few minutes to grab an audience. This was a movie that was working from the very start!

This review will focus more on the direction and acting of the movie rather than the story itself. I personally think that the summary on IMDb is just enough for the audience to know what the movie is about.

I have always believed that the director of any movie is the person who is responsible for the final product of the film. You can have the best actors in the world but if you have a bad director you will get a bad film! When I read about Rebecca Cremona's debut movie Simshar and the very hard struggle she had in making the Simshar movie a reality, I really felt that Rebecca was a real serious film maker that would not give up, regardless the short comings of money or any other obstacles that lay ahead. These are real dedicated directors that look for perfection in what they do.

Here are my impressions on the direction of Simshar. I've always felt that our beautiful Island Malta is one of the best places to shoot films. Our country has culture, character, beauty and a look that just brings out so much alive on the screen. The color used in the movie is like a painting that's come to life. Pause the movie anywhere you want and you will get a thousand beautiful photographs from the whole movie,The movie Simshar is impeccable beautiful to look at!

The last movie I saw that had my eyes totally fixed on the screen was Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel. Simshar might not have the eye candy and the huge budget that The Grand Budapest Hotel had but it is absolutely beautifully shot and your eyes will be glued to the screen. The technical use of slow motion in certain scenes is incredible. A particular scene has the wonderful actress Claire Agius in a state of panic during the feast village, we see various angels of Claire's face, the fireworks illuminating the screen during the feast activity with people cheering, and the worried face of Theo's mum (Claire Agius) running confused in slow motion. That scene is still rolling in my head even as I write this now! The use of slow motion in this scene adds a sense of dread and you can actually feel the pain the character is going through. Cremona uses as much as possible of our Island and traditions, I personally was eagerly waiting for the feast scene as it's a colorful scene even if it's clouded with the inevitably doom to come.

Probably one of the most challenging things to shot in a movie is water! However Cremona not only seems to have total control of this element, but shows how incredibly professional she is in shooting the water scenes. The Simshar scenes shot in the water puts the viewer in an experience to what it feels to be in an open water situation, experiencing the fear, the thirst and anguish of trying to survive this horrible tragedy.I could connect to every character on the screen because each actor and actresses have been chosen immensely well to play their part. A particular new face that impressed me with his acting was Jimi Busuttil who plays Theo's grandfather. I believe Jimi Busuttil is a real life fisherman, his acting in Simshar is something to be seen. I was also very impressed by Lotfi Abdelli who I believe actually learned the Maltese language to play the part! Adrian Farrugia (Theo) is also an inspiring young actor that will have the audience shedding a tear or two by his convincing acting. The acting in Simshar is immensely rewarding from the main actors to all the extras involved. Simshar is Rebecca Cremona's first debut. Every director started somewhere and in my opinion Simshar is a truly brilliant start for Cremona. Do keep in mind that the movie is 'inspired' by true events. You might come out of the cinema asking a lot of questions or seeking more information on the internet about the Simshar tragedy. If that happens to you, than you were alive for the whole duration of the movie. Simshar made you think, it made you ask questions and it made you interested to read and find out more. Simshar has already entered in my personal favorite list of movies for 2014. Experience this cinematic event on the big screen as it's meant to be seen. I rate Simshar - a good 8/10.

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