Mediterrane Film Festival Returns for Sophomore Edition With Focus on Industry and Local Stories

The Mediterrane Film Festival,held in the Maltese capital of Valletta, returns for its second edition between June 22-30 with a revamped programming structure led by new artistic director Teresa Cavina

Published Time: 20.05.2024 - 12:31:44 Modified Time: 20.05.2024 - 12:31:44

The Mediterrane Film Festival,held in the Maltese capital of Valletta, returns for its second edition between June 22-30 with a revamped programming structure led by new artistic director Teresa Cavina. The inaugural Golden Bee Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cinema will be awarded to British filmmaker Mike Leigh, following last year’s Memorandum of Understanding between the British and Malta’s film commission to enhance the collaboration between the countries’s screen industries.

Speaking withVarietybefore unveiling this year’s festival program, Malta’s film commissioner Johann Grech said the festival was a “brainchild” of his, adding that the event is a “platform to keep us building our image. We want to push for further dialogue and cooperation between countries, and not just Mediterranean countries.”

“The size of our country has not stopped us from thinking big,” he continued. “The festival will not only allow us to strengthen our film brand globally, but it is also a business initiative to attract more films to Malta and focus on dialogue and sharing ideas.We will feature conferences, panel discussions and masterclasses so local producers and filmmakers can keep learning anddiscussfuture projects and ways to collaborate.”

Cavina, who previously held roles at Locarno, El-Gouna, Rome, VeniceandAbu Dhabi film festivals, joined the festival’s team in February and helped redesign its programming structure. This year, the Mediterrane Film Festival will feature four strands: In Competition, featuring films from across the Mediterranean; Out of Competition, featuring films from the rest of the world; Mare Nostrum or Our Sea, showcasing films dedicated to sustainability and the environment; and Future Visions, focusing on experimental VR projects.

“Being part of the start of something new and ambitions is always a privilege,” Cavina toldVariety. “Malta has been at the forefront of global filmmaking for decades and offers atrulyunique experience as a film destination.Thisis a new opportunity tobring people togetherin a country that has learned to live and breathe film in the past few years.”

The artistic director emphasized hervision for the festival to “put Malta and its people on the agenda,” helping showcase and foster Maltese local tale -

nt. “Mediterrane will aim to create a space for local communities to share their talents and stories with Mediterranean counterparts and to invigorate and initiate discussion, especially on incredible Maltese stories that have been untold.”

On awarding Leighwiththe festival’s first lifetime achievement award, Cavina says it is an “honor” to welcome the director to Malta. “We are eager to delve into the expertise he’s gained throughout his legendary career.With ourentire lineup, we are aimingto curate an unmissable destination of culture and global exchange that will enable films tobe celebratedand careers tobe nurtured.”

The Mediterrane Film Festival was originally envisionedto have a robust industry component, which feeds into the Malta Film Commission’s vision to cement the country as a leading global film location. “Our vision spans the next 100 years,” said Grech of his ambitious plans. “We are investing heavily in infrastructure and crew and working on strategies to ensure we can create careers, investing in education and training so thatour crews can be further developed. Our dreams have goals, and the track record is clear: in the last five years, we’ve had over 120 productions shot in Malta, generating millions for our economy.”

“One of the fundamental reasons for the existence of a festival is to make meetings between people easy and foster the ecosystem for projects to evolve,” added Cavina. “This is why there will be multiple networking opportunities this year. It’s hard to think of a more hospitable place than Malta to unleash creativity.”

What are the greatest ambitionsfor the festival’s sophomore edition? To Cavina, their great goal is to grow. “Being part of a project such as this, at its inception, allows you to work with an open mind and adapt yourself when shaping an authentic identity for the years to come. We are very excited and have lots of ideas on how to make the festival a key destination for festivalgoers.”

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