‘Cinema Under The Stars’: Outdoor Screening of LUZZU This Wednesday

Writer-director Alex Camilleri made waves (no pun intended) with his widely acclaimed debut feature ‘LUZZU’ back in 2021. The film tells the story of Jesmark, a Maltese fisherman who joins a black-market operation against his better judgement, feeling backed into a wall when his newborn son requires medicine their family can’t afford.

The film went on to become the first Maltese film to premiere or even be screened at Sundance Film Festival. There, first-time actor Jesmark Scicluna, who coincidentally possesses the same name and occupation as his character, took home the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award in acting. (Read More)

Did you miss out on your chance to watch it at the cinema? Well, you’re in luck! This Wednesday, 20 September, there will be an outdoor screening of LUZZU at Villa Bologna in Attard. But first, let’s talk about why it’s important to turn out and support local films…

The state of Malta’s film industry is an issue that’s been on the backburner for years. Howevwer, the island has served as a shooting location for several big-budget foreign productions. It was only last month that official figures revealed how €47 million in Maltese taxpayers’ money was given to the company producing ‘Gladiator 2’. Ironically, the most recent film funding scheme from the Malta Arts Council, the Arts Support Scheme, had been offering ten separate funds to its best applicants, with the highest being €30,000. This is still a significant and helpful amount, but it pales in comparison to €47 million. The situation is disheartening; Not only is it doing a disservice to Maltese filmmakers and their stories, but it’s also relegating a country so rife with culture and potential to a scenic backdrop for high-budget foreign productions. Frankly, Malta and its people have more to offer. 

LUZZU is a glimmer of hope for budding Maltese filmmakers who feel defeated by their limited resources. To have a film that isn’t only spoken in Maltese, but also features one of the country’s oldest symbols at the forefront is truly an impressive feat. Camilleri insists that you don’t need a huge budget and notoriety to make a successful film; “Put the camera on your shoulder, find an interesting character and follow them around” he suggests. Whether you agree or not, you can go see for yourself on Wednesday. 

Organised by local NGO Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar (FAA), the event will begin at 7:30 pm with a film introduction by one of the producers. There will be a food stall selling a selection of snacks, wine and other non-alcoholic beverages. The only thing you really need to bring is a cosy blanket or a comfy lawn chair, though it would be smart to contact FAA and reserve a place if you require special seating. The night will be concluded with a Q&A session with the cast, and rest assured if you’re not Maltese-speaking, English subtitles will be provided. Tickets are €12 and free for children under 10 – they can be purchased online

Imagine sitting on the vibrant green grass of Villa Bologna and watching a brilliant Maltese film with a glass of wine in your hand and a starry sky above your head – that can be you in just two days. Maybe there’s an upside to these faster sunsets after all.