Maltese film Simshar accepted for Oscar consideration

Maltese film Simshar, directed by Rebecca Cremona, has been accepted for consideration to the 87th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.

The film, a fiction story inspired by the Simshar tragedy in 2008, is written by Ms Cremona and David Grech. It runs on three parallel tracks.

The Simshar story, which includes the disappearance of 11-year-old Theo, follows the account of his mother, Sharin, the wife of the only survivor, Simon Bugeja.

As she raises her family, immigration concerns and tension among fishermen surge.

At the same time, a Maltese doctor finds himself caring for a pregnant woman aboard a Turkish vessel, which rescued migrants between Malta and the Italian island of Lampedusa, with neither country allowing disembarkation.

Aimed at a worldwide audience, it was shot in Maltese and English and stars local and foreign actors, including Tunisian award-winning Lotfi Abdelli, playing the lead role of Simon Bugeja.

The award is presented annually by the Academy to a feature-length motion picture produced outside the United States that contains primarily non-English dialogue.

Nine shortlisted contenders will be revealed a week before the announcement of the Oscar nominations.

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