During the Valletta Film Festival the Moas documentary Fishers of Men was screened in front of a large audience gathered in Pjazza San Gorg. It is not just a documentary about current migration and SAR activities at sea, but also a biography of the founding family and a tale exploring the steps taken to implement the pioneering idea that led to Moas’s inception.
We were very pleased to have been offered this opportunity for a variety of reasons. Above all, because for the first time since its entry into the EU in 2004, Malta assumed the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU and gave absolute priority to migration issues throughout its term.
Moas was created as the reaction of a family determined to make a contribution to the current humanitarian crisis.
We felt compelled to act and combat the globalisation of indifference, which has permeated society to the point where we have become immune to ongoing casualties at sea.
Fishers of Men goes into detail and sums up four years of life, work and commitment in order to save human lives from overcrowded vessels in distress at sea. It is not just a professional overview about what SAR missions mean, but a tale about people: people devoted to rescuing other people in need.
Moas has been a life-changing experience for our family and the Moas team and crew. We felt compelled to act and we have never regretted our decision.
From the beginning we relied on a team made up of high-level professionals from different parts of the world: a variety of origins, cultures and languages then also reflected on the vessels we rescue.
When Moas started its first mission in 2014, we understood how immediately impactful our actions were: thousands of people rescued and assisted, which means thousands of lives brought to safety.
Moreover, we managed to shift the attention of media and other NGOs from the harbours, where people were disembarked, to the sea where a mass tragedy was unfolding.
No price can be given to the suffering, to the hope and joy of our brothers and sisters
In light of this we decided to produce a documentary to spread our message of hope and civil commitment to support people fleeing their homeland due to armed conflicts, persecutions, extreme poverty, famine and climate-related disasters.
We wanted the audience to come on board with our crews to understand how SAR activities are conducted: from spotting vessels in distress to the process of the rescue with all its life-threatening challenges, the delivery of post-rescue care and disembarkation.
Our main goal was to show the human perspective of migration: mothers and fathers like us crying after losing their children, families reunited and happy to be finally safe, girls and boys travelling alone and dreaming of a good education or a decent job.
Our aim was to create empathy and let people better understand what migration entails.
The documentary is available for free because we see it as a way to increase awareness on a topic that is defining our era and dividing the general public due to conflicting views or misunderstandings.
We thought that no ticket price could have been appropriate to the value of such a deep and moving human experience. No price can be given to the suffering, to the hope and joy of our brothers and sisters. Nor to our own hope, as a family and as human beings, to motivate others to stand against the casualty of people attempting the fatal crossing to reach European soil.
We as Moas staff appreciated the warm welcome given to our experience and documentary, which encouraged us to keep on working to save lives and to show the human side of migration. During the screening itself the Maltese Moas crew was out at sea on board the Phoenix, caring for the people rescued in previous days and heading north.
Following the screening we heard a statement from a man, whose son lives in Seattle and recommended that he go and watch the screening, since he thought Fishers of Men should be known all over the world because it really helps understanding the most controversial issue of our time: migration and its dramatic consequences on human lives.
Due to the ongoing deterioration of the situation in Libyan detention centres and the horrific stories we hear from those we rescue, we are actively working with UNHCR to establish humanitarian corridors from Libya to EU member states.
Moas firmly believes that people cannot be abandoned in hellish conditions, but deserve a safe and legal way to reach safety and a better future.
Regina and Christopher Catrambone are founders of Moas.
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