Six young Maltese film makers have participated in the International Literature Festival Berlin in mid September. Within the framework of the section ‘Europe Now’, the six presented experimental short films dealing with religion and the intertwining of secular daily life and religion.
The event was moderated by Hartmut Diekmann, the former head of the section “Memories, speak” of the literature festival. In his welcome address he gave a short introduction on Malta as an old cultural centre in the middle of the Mediterranean, touching upon the period of the Knights of St. John and the British as well as describing Malta as the most picturesque and efficient film set, mentioning some famous Hollywood movies that were filmed in Malta. Following the address he briefly introduced the young film makers and their films.
The films produced were triggered off by a module entitled “Experimental Film Production” at the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST). Among the experimental films shown, which rather captured elements of objects than persons, including out of focus or upside down shots, was one film flashing different stations of a life, from an Embryo to a small child etc., whereas suddenly red lines intersect the picture. In another short film a young man sits in the corner of a room, with his legs bent, contemplating with a diffident expression on his face, which gets more anxious with time.
About 40 people attended the screening of the films. After the screening three of the young filmmakers (Claudia Cachia, Jean-Luca Mercieca and Matthew Muscat Drago) went on stage, spoke about their experience with producing the films and also answered questions by the audience. A staff member of the Embassy of Malta in Berlin also attended the presentation of the films and later on spoke with the young Maltese and their tutor, Mr. Steven Vella, the director of the Institute of Art & Design at MCAST, offering the Embassy’s support with regards to exchange and contacts with institutions and film festivals in Germany.
The young film makers are all students of MCAST. From the German side they were guided by Prof. Veruschka Götz, Professor at the Institute for printed media at Mannheim University of Applied Sciences and Prof. Hartmut Wöhlbier, head of the Institute for Interactive Media at the same university.
The International Literature Festival Berlin is one of the biggest of its kind in Germany, presenting new discoveries alongside recognized masters of world literature. Since its inception in 2001 it has organized every year about 180 events over 11 days, presenting about 150 authors, comprising prose, poetry, children’s and youth literature, political discussions, film adaptations of literature and more.
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