In case you were wondering, no, this isn’t about Jules Verne’s 1870 novel. It is actually a direct reference to a soon to be released 2016 romantic comedy feature film based in a pixel sized country somewhere in the middle of the Mediterranean… also known as Malta.

Despite our known miniature size, other aspects in our country have been growing exponentially. One good example being the local film industry, which has been growing stronger and better for the past decade. Some projects which not so long ago were deemed as an almost impossible feat, are being brought to life as I’m writing this article. Projects the likes of the soon to be released film ‘20,000 reasons’.

20 000 leagues1

Jameson Cucciardi – Movie Director – Fabrizio Fenech Photography

20,000 reasons is set to be released in all local cinemas through KRS on the 10th of February 2016. It is the result of a training programme delivered by Film London and initiated by the Malta Film Commission with the support of the ESF Funds.

Written by renowned local comic writer Malcolm Galea and brought to life by the direction of the talented Jameson Cucciardi the film explores the world of two Maltese families who don’t really see eye to eye. It explores the contrasts present in the stereotypes in Malta when a family from the north encounters a family from the south.

We are introduced to Sophie Bellizzi who is a no-nonsense and hardworking perfectionist who is obsessed with getting her company off the ground. She has a strained relationship with her younger sister Juliana, and an even more difficult one with her grandmother who is obsessed with seeing her only grandchildren married so as to protect the family’s wealth. When Sophie breaks it off with her cheating boyfriend, she is abruptly faced with her grandmother’s cunning plan to pass her substantial inheritance onto her sister, unless she marries before her 30th birthday, which is in three months time. Sophie has to act fast.

Behind the scenes – Fabrizio Fenech photography

20 000 leagues2The principal cast consists of Maria Pia Meli, Aldo Zammit, Steffan Cheriet Busuttil, Taryn Mamo Cefai, MaryLu Coppini, Anthony Ellul, Nanette Brimmer, Chris Dingli and Naomi Said.

20,000 Reasons’ was selected and awarded a €200,000 production budget to be turned into a feature film providing participants with a hands-on training and production experience; involving at least 36 local trainees in various film crew positions; a local cast and a team of local and foreign expert mentors which includes Tristan Goligher, Producer of ‘45 Years’ which has just received an Oscar nomination for best actress. This training initiative provided an exciting journey to the team which took a year to complete and involved five weeks of filming on location.

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