A CHAT WITH ALAN CASSAR

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Date of Birth: 15th January, 1975

Location: Born and bred in Birgu, now living in Kalkara

Status: Married to Mirabelle with 4 boys

Star Sign: Capricorn

Main occupation: Self-employed in the local and international film industry

Media-related occupation: Director/ producer and writer

Ever since Alan was a kid, his main interest has always been going to the movies. He’d go several times a week, watching all kinds of suitable films from the Talkies ta’ l-Arċipriet, the Rialto in Cospicua and the main cinemas in Valletta.

Growing up as a teenager, he did a lot of community theatre in Birgu. Jesus Christ Superstar had opened him up to everything that he knows today. He grew up together with his present colleagues doing what they love together.

At the start of the 1990s, Alan was hired as an extra in Cutthroat Island. His days on set proved to be the best learning environment for him. He then produced his first TV programme Popcorn in the mid-90s – a weekly magazine programme on One on the subject of movies.

After several theatre productions which gained him further experience, Alan ended up working on various film productions that came to Malta over the past decade – from Captain Philips to World War Z.

However, the highlight of his career arrived in 2008. Maltageddon was released in 2009, and broke all existing records at the box office, both foreign and domestic for that year. “It was a film everybody wanted to see. It was the Christmas movie, an imitation of the Italian Cinepanettone.”

In between these two cinema releases, he knew that writing and producing comedy was his thing, and so Klassi Għalina was born.

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If any of my readers were interested in trying to break into acting, what would you recommend they’d start with?

Start at your local youth centre, primary school, town pageant, or a drama school, but first and foremost start in your room, the place where you know that you can really do it.

What’s been your biggest failure to date?

Luckily enough, I haven’t come to that bridge yet, maybe because I like to read the signs and I’m careful of every step I take.

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Do you have good skills in the kitchen?

Well my wife is a wonderful cook, but when it comes to beef, fillets or home made burgers, I’m the man.

What do you usually look for when you travel abroad?

If I’m with the family entourage, it’s obviously some kind of family-fun park, although my boys have now grown to like our visits to movie memorabilia. When I’m alone, I like going to theatres in the West End or visiting old London cinemas. I also like checking out movie locations which I haven’t visited yet.

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