Malta film Luzzu shines at Sundance, as lead actor clinches Dramatic Special Award

Maltese fisherman-turned-actor takes Sundance World Cinema Dramatic Special Award

Fisherman turned actor Jesmark Scicluna was the lead actor in the Maltese film Luzzu
Fisherman turned actor Jesmark Scicluna was the lead actor in the Maltese film Luzzu

Fisherman turned actor Jesmark Scicluna, lead actor in the Maltese film Luzzu, has won the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award in acting at the Sundance Film Festival.

The film, directed by Alex Camilleri, premiered at the festival over the weekend.

The announcement was made during the awards ceremony Wednesday, hosted by actor and comedian Patton Oswalt, ending the festival’s seven-day run.

Scicluna plays a struggling fisherman, who is forced to turn his back on generations of tradition and risk everything by entering the world of black market fishing to provide for his wife and new-born baby.

Upon receiving the award, Scicluna thanked the director, as well as the casting director, “for taking a leap of faith in me.”

Scicluna also thanked his co-stars David Scicluna, and Michela Farrugia, as well as the producers Rebecca Anastasi, Ramin Bahrani and Oliver Mallia.  He also thanked his family and wife MariaCarla and four-year-old daughter Cheryl.

Since the film's premiere on Friday, it has received positive reviews from audiences and critics.

Camilleri congratulated Scicluna, saying he elevated Luzzu with a “subtlety and soulfulness” that reminded him of the very best screen actors.

Luzzu was created with the support of the Malta Film Fund and financial incentives provided by the Malta Film Commission and the government of Malta.

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