Vidya Balan, an ace bollywood actress who has showcased her talent in some of the blockbuster movies in India, graced the Malta-India Film Festival launch earlier in August. Balan has been selected to represent the first such film festival in Malta as its brand ambassador. The actress, along with famous bollywood choreographer Shiamak Davar, interacted with the media and the audience during the launch event.
The Malta-India Film Festival 2018 is scheduled to be held in December and will be open to any filmmaker across the world who has made a film with some Maltese or Indian element in it. “The Festival will invite entries in different cinema genres, and will include feature film, short film and documentary categories. The set of films to be chosen, as graded by the judging panel, will be screened in Valletta over a three-day period,” as per the website Colours of Malta.
The films will be screened for three days from 14 to 16 December and close to 16-20 entries are expected. However, the event being a fresh initiative, there might be more participants than expected making it a major success. The idea of Malta-India Film Festival is to bring both the countries together and strengthen the cultural and economic ties.
Current Maltese government has been focusing extensively on promoting Malta as an ideal destination for film shooting and is also working to build a strong Maltese film industry. Creating ties with India and bollywood film industry will ensure that the Maltese cinema and culture is recognized across the world also bringing in more tourists and in turn, revenues.
“The basic requirements for filmmakers entering the competition are that film has to have been shot in the past year; on a creative level, the director, producer or scriptwriters and even possibly, the actors have to be either Maltese or India; and the location should be Malta or India. The winners will be rewarded a grand total of € 200,000,” Engelbert Grech – Director of the Malta India Academy & Ex-Film Commissioner of Malta – told Outlook India in an interview.
Grech also added that the film industry has been active in Malta for over nine decades and more than 300 films have been shot in the country. However, the indigenous film industry is still young and needs to develop by collaborating and learning from the successful film industries like bollywood. He talked about the incentives offered to film producers for choosing Malta as their shooting destination and also the possible impact of all these developments on the country’s tourism.
Currently, a big banner bollywood movie – Thugs of Hindustan – starring stalwarts like Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan is being filmed in Malta. The island country is also Europe Capital of Culture 2018 and is organizing multiple events related to the fields of art and culture throughout the year. The Malta-India Film Festival will be held in Valletta and is expected to witness participation from different parts of the world.