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Gravitas Ventures has acquired worldwide distribution rights to “Simshar,” the first professional feature film from Malta.

The pic, directed by Rebecca Cremona, centers on the timely topic of immigration. It is based on true events of 2008, centering on a family whose fishing boat accident left them stranded in the Mediterranean; they became embroiled with a wave of asylum-seekers attempting to sail to Europe.

Gravitas will debut “Simshar” Nov. 3 via major VOD operators in North America, then will roll it out worldwide.

Malta has hosted many films, ranging from “Popeye” and “Cutthroat Island” to “Gladiator,” “Troy” and the upcoming “By the Sea,” written and directed by Angelina Jolie. But “Simshar” is a completely native production, filmed in Maltese. It was the country’s first submission to the Academy Awards. The script is by Cremona and David Grech. It stars Lofti Abdelli and Clare Agius.

Brendan Gallagher negotiated the deal for Gravitas and producer Leslie Lucey negotiated on behalf of the filmmakers.

Gravitas, founded in 2006, has distributed thousands of films into over 100 million homes. Recent releases include the documentary “Peace Officer,” “Ping Pong Summer” starring Susan Sarandon, Spike Lee’s “Da Sweet Blood of Jesus” and the current Colin Hanks docu “All Things Must Pass.”