Mediterrane Film Festival: A chat with Eric Bana, Jared Harris and David Walliams at Malta’s new festival
Launched for 2023, the Mediterrane Film Festival is an annual collaboration between the MED9 countries – Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain – on film projects, cinematic releases and industry relationships. In partnership with the Malta Film Commission, this brand-new festival programme was held in Valetta, Malta and included an immersive experience of masterclasses, panel discussions and film nominations, which culminated in a star-studded ceremony where winners from different categories were presented with the Golden Bee Award.
The Upcoming were invited to join the red carpet for the prestigious closing ceremony, with British comedian and television personality David Walliams hosting the event, notable actors presenting the awards and global performers offering the evening’s glittering entertainment.
We heard from Walliams about his collaboration with United for Children in partnership with the Puttinu Cares Foundation, and his Live Book Show, which was part of the festival programme. We also spoke about the nominations for the evening.
Eric Bana told us about what this festival means to him, being a part of it as it grows. He also expanded on his passion for Maltese cinema and the significance of this festival as a collaborative platform for filmmakers, producers and actors.
With Malta as a backdrop for filmmaking, Jared Harris understood the importance of highlighting the beautiful country and of bringing this festival to the forefront.
Annabelle Wallis spoke about her joy at being involved in the first Mediterrane Film Festival and how beautiful the event and Malta are. She also described how it inspires her both professionally and personally, as well as how she took part in some of the festival programme masterclasses.
Natascha McElhone expressed how it felt to be on the carpet and part of the prestigious work that has been carefully selected for the festival. We also dug a little deeper into her character in Carmen, hearing about some of the brilliant layers to that story.
Terry Ackland-Snow, who appeared on the film awards panel and offered a masterclass in the festival lineup, chatted to us about what this festival means to the industry and what it was like to be a part of its inauguration.
Zlatko Burić talked about being a part of the film festival, the privilege of being part of the judging panel, and the joy of bringing such talent together.
Slovenian actor Andrei Lenart, known for his roles in Kingsman and Jack Ryan, took a moment to discuss the importance of the Mediterranean Film Festival, the potential for greater inter-country collaboration, and his hopes to film a project in picturesque Malta. He also shared his amazement at the view of the new Gladiator set from Valletta and his aspiration to participate in similar epic projects in the future.
Chatting about the evening’s events, Katarina Čas referenced the tremendous beauty of the island and the efforts to make this such a successful annual festival. She also spoke briefly about being part of one of the masterclasses in this year’s programme.
explained the influence of festivals such as Mediterrane. He mentioned the impact of filming in this location, and told us about hosting a brilliant masterclass that included Čas.
Actress duo Louisa Krause and Sophie Lowe told us about being part of the event and shooting their thriller drama, The Dive, with Malta as a backdrop, and the meaning of such an event to the industry as a whole.
Daniel Pemberton described hosting a masterclass as part of the programme and the relevance of music, sound and silence in the films nominated this year.
We heard from Mădălina Diana Gheneaabout her film, Deep Fear, which premiered at the Maltese festival this week, how it felt to showcase it there, and how proud she was to be a part of this incredible event.
Tourism minister Clayton Bartolo talked to us about pulling this tremendous gathering together, the hard work and proud moments as it unfolded, and the necessity of having these awards. He also celebrated the creativity of the Maltese community, and bringing the art of cinema to a younger generation through education.
Justin Darmanin talked about his entry, Falkun, the support felt for all the other filmmakers, and how it felt to be a part of the festival.
Photos/videos: Ambra Vernuccio
Mediterrane Film Festival took place from 25th June until 1st July 2023. For further information and future events visit the festival’s website here.