A leading Maltese actor and comedian has called out the sudden replacement of a popular annual artistic film festival with run-of-the-mill Hollywood fare.
“This year, after years of hard work that created what the Valletta Film Festival is today, its funding was slashed to 30% of what it normally is by the Arts Council Malta, making the event unfeasible,” Thomas Camilleri said today.
The VFF, which was known for its emphasis on quality films from around the world, had developed a reputation among cinephiles as a must-attend event if you love film. The festival programme often included a handpicked selection of contemporary art-house, underground and mainstream films from around the world.
However, VFF is seemingly no more, and in its place comes the free event of Cinema City, which will be showing blockbusters like Jurassic World and World War Z.
Camilleri said the new festival was “really embarrassing”.
And it wasn’t only him. A former organiser of the VFF told Lovin Malta that it was “such a shame” that this happened, and a representative from the Producer’s Creative Partnership, a film production company based in Malta, said the decision left them “shocked”.
“I had found the VFF to be very well organized and also encouraging for many local aspiring filmmakers and hundreds of film lovers. It’s not often that international events are organized in Malta with such success, so I am mystified at why funding is slashed by 70 per cent if that’s indeed the case. If something is not broken, why fix it?” they asked.
“Well actually, in this case, it’s breaking something that was working perfectly fine.”