The Somali Project begins with pirates capturing the merchant vessel Royal Grace and holding its crew for ransom. As the Grace’s hostages – and those from dozens of other ships – languish under unspeakable conditions, a Persian Gulf state quietly bankrolls a paramilitary force to raid pirate havens and free the captives. The controversial force faces mutiny, murder, runs afoul of the U.N. and eventually comes face-to-face with elusive pirates in an extraordinary battle captured on film.


Shawn Efran is the founder of Efran Films. He is an award-winning producer and director. Before starting Efran Films, Shawn was a staff producer/writer at CBS’s 60 Minutes, where he covered stories ranging from the war in Iraq to a woman who swam to Antarctica wearing just a bathing suit. His first job was as a cameraman for a televangelist. Adam Ciralsky’s account of filming in Somalia gives the term ‘passion project’ a whole new meaning. The Emmy award winning filmmaker began his career as an attorney at the CIA and Pentagon before transitioning into the media where he spent a decade writing and producing for CBS’ “60 Minutes,” a variety of NBC platforms as well as Vanity Fair magazine.


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  • Director: Shawn Efran, Adam Ciralsky
  • Writer: Shawn Efran, Adam Ciralsky

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