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FESTIVALS / AWARDS Malta

The second Mediterrane Film Festival reveals its line-up and industry strand

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- Malta’s emerging film gathering will feature a comprehensive programme of industry events and films from the region under the theme “Unity through Film”

The second Mediterrane Film Festival reveals its line-up and industry strand
The Substance by Coralie Fargeat

Malta’s Mediterrane Film Festival, which runs from 22-30 June, has unveiled the full line-up for its second edition under the theme “Unity through Film”.

“This year’s selection of films will demonstrate our commitment to fostering a programme that celebrates the best of cinema from the Mediterranean and beyond. We have some incredible directors and creatives in this line-up already, spanning established and emerging talent, and the selection will offer something for all audiences – from expansive international dramas to captivating psychological horrors and emotional human stories from around the world,” said the festival’s artistic director, Teresa Cavina.

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Johann Grech, Malta’s film commissioner, noted: “Now, more than ever, it is crucial to promote dialogue and understanding between Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. That’s why I am delighted that competing for this year’s Golden Bee Awards will be films from countries new to the festival – Morocco, Turkey, Greece, Tunisia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Jordan. They will be locking horns alongside returning nations like Italy and Croatia.”

The festival includes four programming strands: In Competition (featuring films from across the Mediterranean), Out of Competition (movies from the rest of the world), Mare Nostrum (or “Our Sea”, showcasing narrative and documentary films dedicated to sustainability and the environment) and a selection of experimental VR projects in Future Visions. Yorgos Lanthimos’s triptych Kinds of Kindness [+see also:
film review
trailer
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]
, Afef Ben Mahmoud and Khalil Benkirane’s Backstage [+see also:
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interview: Afef Ben Mahmoud, Khalil Be…
film profile
]
, Daina O Pusić´s Tuesday, Ena Sendijarević´s Sweet Dreams [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ena Sendijarević
film profile
]
, Coralie Fargeat’s The Substance [+see also:
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trailer
film profile
]
, Stéphane Brizé’s Out of Season [+see also:
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interview: Stéphane Brizé
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]
and Michele Riondino’s Palazzina Laf [+see also:
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are among the titles vying for the Golden Bee Award in the main competition. Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala’s period drama mixed with horror The Devil’s Bath [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala
film profile
]
, Sarah Gyllenstierna’s Hunters on a White Field [+see also:
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film profile
]
, and Alexandre de La Patellière and Matthieu Delaporte’s The Count of Monte-Cristo [+see also:
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]
will screen Out of Competition. Min Bahadur Bham’s Shambhala [+see also:
film review
trailer
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]
, Anna Cornudella Castro’s The Human Hibernation [+see also:
film review
interview: Anna Cornudella
film profile
]
and Max Kestner’s Life and Other Problems [+see also:
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]
are part of the Mare Nostrum strand.

Independent interactive story architect Michel Reilhac curates the Future Visions programme, centring on immersive virtual-reality projects spanning different forms, including 360-degree videos, VR standalones and immersive installations. The selection includes The Imaginary Friend by Steye Hallema from the Netherlands, an intimate VR experience where users interact with an eight-year-old boy's vivid imagination, and Elele by Sjoerd van Acker, also from the Netherlands, offering a sensory dance experience. Additionally, the programme features Tales from Soda Island by Simone Fougnier from the UK, exploring the balance between music and silence; the UK-French co-production Wallace and Gromit: The Grand Getaway by Finbar Hawkins, Bram Ttwheam and Lawrence Bennett, a new VR adventure with the beloved characters; and Empereur by Marion Burger and Ilan Cohen from France, an exploration of a father's mind as he suffers from aphasia.

The industry programme will feature master classes from Nathan Crowley (on creating distinct cinematic environments), Margery Simkin (on forging careers in casting) and Adrian Wootton (celebrating David Bowie's multifaceted career). Oscar-nominated editor Yorgos Mavropsaridis will discuss the art of editing; Mike Leigh, the winner of the inaugural Golden Bee Award for Lifetime Achievements in Cinema, will share insights into his unique filmmaking approach; and Simon Franglen will reveal the secrets behind his cinematic scores. The various panels will cover topics such as the cultural connections between Europe and the Mediterranean, the journey from script to screen, the dynamics of film circulation, and co-production in the Mediterranean. Additional panels will explore storytelling trends, screen tourism, advancements in VR and AR technologies, and innovations in the animation industry.

The full line-up is available to peruse here.

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