A local film NGO that organises the annual artistic film festival in Valletta expressed its disappointment after funding cuts which led to its cancellation this year, only to be replaced with an outdoor cinema showing Hollywood blockbusters.
Film Grain Foundation, which has been organising the Valletta Film Festival since 2015, attracted around 50,000 patrons for over 500 feature and short films, supported local filmmakers and placed Malta on the map for international film festivals.
Following the sudden funding cuts, they called for the government to stop organising its own cultural events and focus their support for independent creatives in Malta.
Head of art consultancy firm Culture Venture Toni Attard also condemned the move to stop support for the festival in exchange for a “cheap quick fix to compete with what multiplex cinemas already do”.
“They also continue to reinforce the idea that culture is a just a freebie,” he said. “Until [this changes], the independent arts sector struggles to survive with limited alternatives to the politically designed offering.”
Local author Alex Vella Gera came out strongly against the decision saying they’re “fuck wits with no concept of what is culturally savvy” and that they “make my brain bleed”.
“My sympathies are with the VFF organisers who put so much effort into building an event in so few years that was credible and found its place on the international festivals calendar,” he said.
Franco Rizzo, a local independent filmmaker, called for the creation of a fundraiser to save the Valletta Film Festival.
“Let’s transform this huge anger into something proactive.”