‘Matrix’ co-director Lana Wachowski in Malta to shoot Netflix series Sense8

Lana Wachowski joined by Sense8 actresses Tuppence Middleton and Doona Bae at the Mediterranean Water Tanks in Kalkara

teodor_reljic
Teodor Reljic
18 September 2016, 8:00am
Lana Wachowski on the steps of St John Cathedral in Valletta. Photo: Chris Mangion
Lana Wachowski on the steps of St John Cathedral in Valletta. Photo: Chris Mangion
One of the most talked about filmmakers of our generation has arrived in Malta to film parts of the upcoming season of the Netflix series Sense8 at the Mediterranean Water Tanks in Kalkara, sources have confirmed.

Lana Wachowski, one half of the Hollywood sibling power duo The Wachowskis, will also be joined by Sense8 actresses Tuppence Middleton and Doona Bae during her stay on the island.

Lana Wachowski greets fellow cast members from Sense8. Photo: Chris Mangion
Lana Wachowski greets fellow cast members from Sense8. Photo: Chris Mangion
Having arrived on Friday, the team will be shooting in Malta for an as-yet undisclosed period of time.

Sense8 is a critically acclaimed series produced and distributed by the global streaming service Netflix, and tells the story of an equally global cast of characters who find themselves suddenly bound together when a supernatural vision puts them in telepathic contact with each other.

Photo: Chris Mangion
Photo: Chris Mangion
The series, which is a brainchild of the Wachowskis, debuted with a 12-episode first season on June 5, 2015, and received critical acclaim not only for its dynamic and often hard-hitting storytelling but also for its sensitive handling of LGBTIQ issues – a point validated by it scoring the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) award for Outstanding Drama Series in April 2016.

Photo: Chris Mangion
Photo: Chris Mangion
Malta Film Commissioner Engelbert Grech first hinted at this development last month on the radio show Ghandi Xi Nghid, when he told host Andrew Azzopardi that the Film Commission was engaged in “discussions” with Netflix on the possibility of shooting a TV series on our shores.

Sense8 star Jamie Clayton waiting for the rest of the group to get together for their private viewing of the St John Cathedral
Sense8 star Jamie Clayton waiting for the rest of the group to get together for their private viewing of the St John Cathedral
Admittedly, luring the Wachowskis to our shores is no mean feat, despite their somewhat rocky cinematic career since the Matrix franchise – with brash and ambitious films like Speed Racer (2008), Cloud Atlas (2012) and Jupiter Ascending (2015) all baffling and frustrating moviegoers and critics in equal measure. As thanks to Sense8 itself, the sibling duo are on an upswing now.

Formerly Larry and Andy – previously known as ‘The Wachowski Brothers’ – the siblings are now openly transgender women called Lana and Lilly - known simply as ‘The Wachowskis’. Lana completed her transition in 2008, with Lilly revealing her own transition in March 2016.

Actors Brian J. Smith and Miguel Angel Silvestre. Photo: Chris Mangion
Actors Brian J. Smith and Miguel Angel Silvestre. Photo: Chris Mangion
Infamously reclusive, the duo’s silence was broken with a resounding, inspirational roar in 2012, when Lana won a Human Rights Campaign’s Visibility Award and delivered a speech in which she confessed to suicidal thoughts in her youth owing to her “confusion” about her identity. She added that her decision to finally break her media silence stemmed from a desire to ensure that people undergoing the same experience would at least have someone else to look up to – a privilege denied to her when she was growing up because she “couldn’t find anyone like me in the world and it felt like my dreams were foreclosed simply because my gender was less typical than others”.

The second season of Sense8 will debut with a Christmas special in December 2016, with subsequent episodes to appear in the months to follow.

teodor_reljic
Teodor Reljic is MaltaToday's culture editor and film critic. He joined t...