Saturday, April 9, 2022

Sharks Bay: the brainchild of American/Lebanese Edward Challita

Edward Challita, also known to friends and family as Eddy is in Sharm El Cheikh. 
As you shall see below our connection goes back to 2014. When... Oh just read below how exciting our first meeting was.
Now what is he doing in Sharm El Cheikh? He is producing (and acting in) a mini-series which also has a different format as a film. The series "Sharks Bay" follows Milana, an innocent girl who moves to a city by the sea, only to find herself entangled in a love triangle with a side order violence and money.
The main actress is Estonian, the lead actor is half British and half Egyptian, the writer/director Elena Selim Mazanova is Russian, some of the crew Ukrainians, some are Russians, there are also the local Egyptian locals, there is also Challita who is American/Lebanese, so the whole mish-mash is an international meeting of people.
It seems Challita is producing this from his own funds, all while keeping his daytime job in cybersecurity which according to him he can do from anywhere in the world, although he needs to go back to the States - Maryland specifically to be able to visit his family. Actually his daughter had a scene in the mini-series/film but due to passport issues could not come and join her father and prove her acting chops in the process.
What is interesting about this, is that according to Challita whom I interviewed via Telegram is that the mini-series is a teaser and even the film has no clear ending. "If it (the mini-series) gets picked up by a network we will produce more episodes of it, at this point we are entering post-production and editing. Since this is a limited budget project, and our main actress had a specific deadline to leave, we squeezed some shooting days till 5 A.M. to accommodate everyone's schedule" said Challita. "Even the film is open-ended, at this point" he adds.
"The idea is to present the result to festivals, and see the reaction from there" - this of course means if more episodes can be added to the story, which as said earlier involves a lot of action but also emotions. "Actually even Sharm El Cheikh is not even a fixed place in the storyline, if later producers decide to take it somewhere else, we indeed might go some where else" confirmed Challita.
Naturally, all this remains to be seen as to where things might go. As for Challita... "Do you still want to go to Mars?" I ask... And we both end up laughing very hard.

Below is a condensed version of the original article about Edward/Eddy Challita published on May 20th, 2014:

In 2014, when the Mars One project was initiated, there were three applications from Lebanon. Mars One is indeed, about establishing a colony on the said planet from earthlings via one-way ticket travels. One of the entrants from Lebanon, was a certain Eddy.
He described himself at the time as “results-driven professional with ten years of intelligence analysis, cyber counterintelligence, and network telecommunications experience including all-source collection management and reporting, in-theater operations support, field services; systems planning, Cyber Forensics, installation, operation, troubleshooting and maintenance. Over 5 years of project management, sales engineering and account management experience as well. Possess excellent team leadership. (...) “Discover the galaxy by starting its Mars. Born in March which is Mars in French, my previous country, as a well traveled person who lived in various countries I am interested in continuing the human race into the cosmos. I speak French, English and Arabic."
I later discovered that Eddy Challita was not only a technical person, he was also an actor, language coach, having a very versatile background and lifestyle. The kind of human one would want to go to Mars and represent, not just the entirety of the human race, but the Lebanese as well.
In an interview at the time with myself, Eddy said: “The world is OK for me but i wanted to try to be part of one of the most interesting mission and thought to give it a try. I always liked science fiction movies and being in outer space is very exciting. (...) I grew up as a child in Beirut Lebanon, then moved to Paris France, being half French it was the best option when we had to escape the Lebanese civil war. Working opportunities led me to go to the United States over 15 years ago and this is where I am currently settled. I did visit many countries on vacation, Egypt, Finland, Germany, Cyprus, Russia Canada, Mexico...I like travelling a lot and discovering new places”.
When it comes to his feelings about Mars, Challita said at the time: “Being an overpopulated planet, our Earth, it seems good to know we are trying to find solutions or a "second" option in case some global cataclysm happened. I am still exploring earth but living in conditions of war and seeing all the nasty things in other places makes me sometimes think maybe in another world things can be better. I know Mars with the no return option is a big challenge but someone has to take that challenge. Being also part of the humanity plus group, I do read on what scientists are planning and have in mind on making humanity better.”
I asked Challita if a one-way ticket to Mars is something optimistic or suicidal. Challita, it turns out can be humorous as to the situation as well: “Theoretically it is a one-way ticket, not to the moon but to Mars… Hmm, sounds like the Eruption (editor’s note: originally by Neil Sedaka) song from back in the disco days! One way ticket to the moon ... Funny but somehow true. The idea is that there will a shuttle every two years, I hope they have exceptions in case someone really wanted to be back. Suicidal? Well, living in Beirut during a tough civil war was suicidal but we did manage somehow... So Mars sort of pales by comparison. (...) As a Freemason, I think improving mankind in general is something that benefits all of humanity. Giving up of course friends and family, but for the greater cause being part of the first mission to Mars is something bigger than us.”
Whenever one speaks of Mars, there’s always this childish element of expectations, does Challita hope to find Martians there? Does he think we would be intruding on their civilization? Hurting an already pre-established culture?
“So far from what we can find on the latest research is that only microbial signs were found. So I don’t think the intent is to harm anything that exists there. If it is there. This is something thought to broaden our horizon; it is simple: where we fit those 7+ billions people on earth? We have to come out with a solution and 1 day or another we need to take some solution. Being on mars is way better than population reduction through wars or genocide or whatever means we have thought of so far as humans.” He says.
But would you want his children to grow up on Mars? What kind of life would you wish them to have?
“If earth becomes too bad to live on than it is an option if the conditions are fit there. Also as an actor, I do adapt quickly to a new situation. I was talking to Gerard Depardieu on the movie set of Welcome to New York on how he also changed countries (Depardieu became a Russian citizen as a way to protest French tax laws), and he said we all do what’s best for ourselves. So here I think that theory should apply under the Mars circumstances as well.”