Valletta Film Festival’s Competition to Focus on Cinema of Small Nations

Pjazza Teatru Rjal to showcase high-quality productions including festival winners, cult pictures and restored films.

Films originating from thirty-four small nations in Europe, Middle East and North Africa will be the only productions eligible to participate in the competitive strand of Valletta Film Festival.

The first edition of this competition open to feature-length films and short films will take place at the fifth edition of Valletta Film Festival to be held from Friday 14 to Sunday 23 June 2019.

Twelve feature films or documentaries will be competing for a number of awards in the feature length section of the festival and up to twenty-four short films will be selected to compete for best short film.

This competition will replace the general competition held in past four years. Two international juries will be adjudicating the films selected and awards will be announced at the closing night of the festival.

Explaining the decision to focus on cinema of small nations, festival director Oliver Mallia said that the introduction of this competition is intended to make of Valletta Film Festival a focal point for filmmakers from small nations.

“We want that from 2019 Valletta Film Festival becomes the home of Cinema of Small Nations and the place to go to if you a filmmaker from a small nation”.

Mr Mallia added that the realities of small nations are very similar. “Little funding, restricted opportunities and limited audiences are all common to filmmakers from small nations however there is an abundance of talent and creativity that is often seen in films produced by filmmakers from these nations to the extent that various directors and productions from small states made it big around the world”.

The screenings for the new competition will be held at Valletta Campus Theatre.

Co-Festival Director Slavko Vukanovic commented that the introduction of this competition will now allow the festival to present a more diverse non-competitive programme of films at Pjazza Teatru Rjal, the flagship venue of the festival.

Mr Vukanovic remarked that from 2019 the open-air theatre will host the main red carpet events of the festival with a selection of high-profile productions, festival winners, cult pictures and restored films.

This new approach to the programme of the 900-seat theatre shall open the festival to a more diverse audience that would enjoy new hits and classics in a magnificent and unique setting.

The fifth edition of Valletta Film festival will continue exhibiting a number of curated sections including Islanders that showcases film from or about islands, Without Borders that focuses on the cinema of a specific region or continent, Teens Only – a selection of coming-of-age films and Masters of Cinema, a retrospective of established directors and other talent. The festival will be also introducing Family Weekend, a space for parents and younger children to enjoy a weekend of activities and cinema made for kids.

More information about these and other sections of the festival will be announced in the coming weeks.

Film submissions for the 2019 Cinema of Small Nations Competition are now open.

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