Emmy-award winning director Shawn Efran will screen his new documentary,¬†The Project.¬† Recently premiered as a Spotlight Film at the Tribecca Film Festival (New York),¬†The Project¬†is a gripping, real-life war thriller exposing an unknown, anything-goes battle for control of the seas in one of the most dangerous places on earth: the Somali coast.¬†
The documentary will be screened Thursday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. at The Mariners‚Äô Museum, and is free and open to the public.¬† The screening will be followed by a Q & A session with Efran, who produced the film along with three-time Emmy winner Adam Ciralsky, a former CIA lawyer.
Somali piracy has been devastating the Middle East and North African shipping industries for a decade. As a country with no functioning central government for more than 20 years and no military training permitted under UN sanctions, Somalia has been powerless to curb the increasingly bold and violent actions of the pirates. One of the most noteworthy attacks came against the Maersk Alabama in 2009, which is the subject of the new Tom Hanks film, Captain Phillips, to be released in October 2013.
Enter the Puntland Maritime Police Force (PMPF), a secret paramilitary group of mercenary pirate hunters.¬†¬†The Project¬†includes shocking firsthand footage from filmmakers embedded within the PMPF, which grows its numbers and hones its tactics under the watchful eye of a former U.S. Army Special Forces operative.
Efran is an award-winning journalist, filmmaker, and television producer. His work for CBS News, Court TV, and CBS‚Äô¬†60 Minutes, earned two Emmys (for an investigation of the Darfur genocide and a documentary following the Iowa National Guard through a deployment cycle in Iraq) and a Peabody Award.¬† In 2010, Efran founded Efran Films, a multi-media production company, which has produced programming for NBC News, Huffington Post, AOL, and Weather.com, among others.¬† Capt. John Cordle will introduce Efran. Cordle conducted an east African anti-piracy tour of duty aboard the Norfolk-based¬†USS San Jacinto.
This lecture is free to the public, and made possible in part through support by PNC Bank, the Peninsula Community Foundation of Virginia and the Tom and Ann Hunnicutt Lecture Fund . Reserved seating is offered for Members only. Members may reserve seats online at¬†www.MarinersMuseum.org/lectures¬†or by calling (757) 591-7715.
The Mariners’ Museum, an educational, non-profit institution accredited by the American Association of Museums, preserves and interprets maritime history through an international collection of ship models, figureheads, paintings and other maritime artifacts.¬†