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VALLETTA 2019

A rich and varied programme in store at the fifth Valletta Film Festival

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- From 14-23 June, Malta will host the fifth edition of its most important film gathering, where around 100 fiction, documentary and short films will have their Maltese premieres

A rich and varied programme in store at the fifth Valletta Film Festival
Pause by Tonia Mishiali

Malta’s capital of Valletta is gearing up to play host to the fifth edition of the Valletta Film Festival (14-23 June), organised by the Film Grain Foundation, a non-profit organisation set up to foster a greater appreciation for film and to strengthen Malta’s national film culture. A total of 46 features and 50 shorts have been selected for this iteration of the gathering.

The movie given the honour of opening the festival this year is Miia Tervo’s Finnish romantic comedy Aurora [+see also:
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trailer
interview: Miia Tervo
film profile
]
, which will kick off the festivities at the Pjazza Teatru Rjal, the largest open-air theatre on Malta, on Friday 14 June. The main competitive section, which is restricted to films hailing from 34 small nations in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, has been dubbed the Cinema of Small Nations Competition, in which a total of 12 fiction and documentary features and 24 shorts will lock horns. Four Triton Awards (for Best Feature Film, Best Documentary Film, Best Short Film and Best New Talent) will be given out by an international jury. The 12 features taking part in the competition are Oleg [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Juris Kursietis
film profile
]
by Juris Kursietis (Latvia/Belgium/Lithuania/France), A Dog Called Money [+see also:
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trailer
film profile
]
by Seamus Murphy (Ireland/UK), Sons of Denmark [+see also:
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trailer
interview: Elliott Crosset Hove
interview: Ulaa Salim
film profile
]
by Ulaa Salim (Denmark), The Hypnotist [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Arthur Franck (Finland), Delta Zoo [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by Andrius Lekavicius (Lithuania/Latvia), A Shelter Among the Clouds [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Robert Budina
film profile
]
by Robert Budina (Albania/Romania), The Band by Ladislav Kaboš (Slovakia/Czech Republic), Deep Cuts [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Dubravka Turić, Filip Mojzeš and Filip Peruzović (Croatia), Erased [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: GoCritic! Interview: Miha M…
film profile
]
by Miha Mazzini (Slovenia/Croatia/Serbia), Pause [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Tonia Mishiali
film profile
]
by Tonia Mishiali (Cyprus/Greece), Where Man Returns [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Egil Håskjold Larsen (Norway), and Winter’s Yearning by Sturla Pilskog and Sidse Thorstholm Larse (Norway/Greenland/Denmark).

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Special Screenings of a selection of high-profile productions and festival winners (mainly from this year’s Cannes) will dazzle audiences in the Pjazza Teatru Rjal, and these acclaimed titles include the Golden Bear-winning Synonyms [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Nadav Lapid
film profile
]
by Nadav Lapid (France/Israel/Germany), Tremors [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jayro Bustamante
film profile
]
by Jayro Bustamante (Guatemala/France/Luxembourg), the Cannes-screened Diego Maradona [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Asif Kapadia
film profile
]
by Asif Kapadia (UK), the Cannes Best Screenplay Award winner Portrait of a Lady on Fire [+see also:
film review
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interview: Céline Sciamma
film profile
]
by Céline Sciamma (France), another Cannes 2019 title, The Whistlers [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Corneliu Porumboiu
film profile
]
by Corneliu Porumboiu (Romania/France/Germany), Joan of Arc [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Bruno Dumont
film profile
]
by Bruno Dumont (France), which pocketed a Special Mention of the Jury in Un Certain Regard last month, and the Cannes competition title The Traitor [+see also:
film review
trailer
Q&A: Marco Bellocchio
film profile
]
by Marco Bellocchio (Italy/France/Germany/Brazil).

The Without Borders section this year focuses on French-language film, and will showcase movies such as Yao [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Philippe Godeau (France/Senegal), the animation The Swallows of Kabul [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Zabou Breitman, Eléa Gobbe-…
film profile
]
by Zabou Breitman and Éléa Gobbé-Mévellec (France/Luxembourg/Switzerland) and Ghost Tropic [+see also:
film review
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interview: Bas Devos
film profile
]
by Bas Devos (Belgium), as well as featuring a tribute to the late, great Agnès Varda, including a screening of her swansong, Varda by Agnès [+see also:
film review
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interview: Agnès Varda
film profile
]
(France).

Besides the strands entitled Teens Only, Kids Weekend and Islanders (a curated section featuring films from islands and/or about islands - comprising the Italian-French title Capri-Revolution [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mario Martone
film profile
]
by Mario Martone, the Maltese-British production Of Time and the Sea [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Peter Sant
film profile
]
by Peter Sant, Italy's Twin Flower [+see also:
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trailer
film profile
]
by Laura Luchetti and Switzerland's Islander [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Stéphane Goël), another highlight will be the Talent Talks, daily discussions with filmmakers in competition, which will take place from 15-22 June in the informal setting of the Cinema Bar at City Lights. In addition, two very special guests will be in attendance: acclaimed auteur Liliana Cavani, the doyenne of Italian cinema who helmed 1974’s The Night Porter besides countless other titles, will give a master class on the distinctive features of her craft of directing film on 18 June, while acclaimed Hungarian helmer Béla Tarr (Family Nest, The Prefab People, Almanac of Fall, Satantango, The Turin Horse [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Béla Tarr
film profile
]
) will preside as the so-called “Master of Cinema” at Valletta this year and will also lead a master class on his work as an auteur.

Finally, the Valletta Film Forum, open to all active industry professionals and film aficionados from Malta and other small nations, will feature panels made up of various key players in the industry. The forum will home in on the realities that filmmakers from small nations face and will examine Malta’s place within the international film industry, as well as discussing topics concerning domestic and collaborative screen production. The very first edition of Books to Films is also on the agenda for 20 June and is an event that stems from the idea of connecting filmmakers and book publishers. Authors, publishers and literary agents were invited to submit books that have the potential to be adapted for the screen, and nine selected books will participate in a moderated pitching session in the hope of piquing the interest of the filmmakers in attendance.

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