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INDUSTRY Malta

Valletta Film Lab to welcome European small nation states

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- The foundation behind the Valletta Film Festival has launched a programme of workshops to help professionals reach audiences beyond their own (small) territories

Valletta Film Lab to welcome European small nation states

The Film Grain Foundation, the organising body behind the Valletta Film Festival, has announced the creation of the Valletta Film Lab, a training and development platform open to filmmakers from Malta and other European small nation states.

Starting in 2019, the lab will be organising two workshops per year open to documentary and fiction films, and various networking and promotional events held throughout the year and during the Valletta Film Festival in June. In an interesting move, only production companies and individuals from Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, Estonia, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Georgia, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Monaco, Montenegro, Moldova, Norway, Northern Ireland, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Scotland, Wales and the host country, Malta, can apply to participate in the events. 

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Film Grain Foundation founder Oliver Mallia said, “The idea to create a training and development platform open to filmmakers from small nations stemmed from the Cinema of Small Nations conference held at the Valletta Film Festival in 2016. We understood the need for a platform that focuses on small nations, given that film production companies from small countries usually experience similar difficulties because of limited economies of scale.” 

Regarding their commitment to the Maltese industry, the organisers have announced that ten local companies and individuals have already committed to participate in these development workshops, the aim of which will be to ensure that by 2021, a minimum of 18 feature-length projects from Malta will have received support by the lab and reached the advanced development or pre-production stage. 

The first international workshop for feature-length documentary films will be held in Valletta between 18-23 March 2019, while the second, dedicated to feature-length fiction films, will take place from 11-17 November. Click here for more information and to apply.

This new initiative ties in with the recent rebranding of the Valletta Film Festival, the upcoming edition of which (14-23 June) is transforming its usual competitive sections (Fiction, Documentary and Short Film) into two competitions (Feature Film and Short Film) exclusively dedicated to cinema hailing from the aforementioned small nations, as well as the Middle Eastern small countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine and Qatar. Click here for more information and to submit your work.

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