Malta, the first location for Season One of Game of Thrones, plays host to the annual Valletta Film Festival (VFF), June 14-23, presented by the Film Grain Foundation. This year will mark the Fifth Anniversary of this exciting film lovers’ event. During the ten-day event, Valletta will be transformed into a live cinema with screenings and events taking place in historic buildings and outdoor venues including Pjazza Teatru Rjal and Pjazza San Ġorġ.
Over the years, the streets of Valletta hosted various international productions like World War Z, Assassin’s Creed, The Count of Monte Cristo, Game of Thrones and Murder on the Orient Express.
The VFF attracts more than 10,000 visitors and is the largest cinematic event in Malta. “What makes Malta a unique setting for a film festival is that the Maltese Islands themselves are world famous for film production,” said Oliver Mallia, Co-Founder and Co-Director with Slavko Vukanovic, both film producers in their own right. “Movie buffs can visit locations used for the sets of such headliners as the Game of Thrones, and blockbuster films including Gladiator and Troy.”
Malta offers Valletta Film Festival goers a transformative experience, witnessing where major blockbusters have been filmed while at the same time watching a number of Europe’s newest films. The festival will screen over forty feature films, twenty-four short films, and organizes many different master classes and workshops.
VFF 2019 will introduce the first Cinema of Small Nations Competition open to feature-length and short films from small countries in Europe and the Middle East. This competition will put a spotlight on the reality of cinema in small nations, and will highlight the abundance of talent and creativity that is often seen in films produced by filmmakers in these countries.
Michelle Buttigieg, Malta Tourism Authority representative in North America, noted “Film Tourism is trending and very popular with American and Canadian tourists who love to travel for film festivals as well as visit the locations of their favorite movies or TV Series. Malta’s movie sets include the iconic Popeye’s Village which is still one the Islands’ most popular tourist attractions, to the hottest HBO show, Game of Thrones, which started in Malta.”