One Maltese Film, Luzzu, Is Getting Its World Premiere At The Sundance Film Festival
one maltese film luzzu is getting its world premiere at the sundance film festival - One Maltese Film, Luzzu, Is Getting Its World Premiere At The Sundance Film Festival

One Maltese film will be getting its world premiere at the highly acclaimed Sundance Film Festival, a first for a country ready to get its stories heard on the international stage.

Luzzu follows Jesmark, a struggling Maltese fisherman, who is forced into the cutthroat black market fishing industry to change his family’s fate and provide for his girlfriend and newborn baby.

Malta’s fishing industry has long faced allegations of misconduct and was at the centre of a €25 million illegal tuna trade across Europe.

Luzzu’s production is filled to the brim with local talent beyond its main cast: Jesmark Scicluna, Michela Farrugia, and David Scicluna.. Alex Camilleri wrote and directed the film while Rebecca Anastasi, Ramin Bahrani, Alex Camilleri, and Oliver Mallia produced.

Next year’s festival will have a more focused line-up to cater or a post-COVID environment, meaning Luzzu is just one out of 72 feature films to make it to Sundance’s screens.

It has some prestigious company with screen competition films like Passing, Rebecca Hall’s directorial debut that stars Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga as two Black sisters who decide to “live on opposite sides of the colour line.”

This year’s programme will be available to a much wider audience with a seven-day virtual edition – that includes films from 29 countries (including Malta of course!) and 38 first-time features.

Luzzu’s appearance in the programme for the World Cinema Dramatic Competition will be a first for Malta – with the nation only recently making forays into high-quality features. It’s a sign of the kind of talent that’s on offer.

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