Maltese cinephiles have ‘no choice’ but to resort to piracy | Venice Film Festival 2012

The lack of a "proper arthouse cinema" has an adverse effect on Malta's cinematic education.

The South Korean drama Pieta took home the top award at this year’s Venice Film Festival… but will we ever get to see it?
The South Korean drama Pieta took home the top award at this year’s Venice Film Festival… but will we ever get to see it?

Our Venice Film Festival correspondent said that Maltese film-lovers who want to sample something different to the usual Hollywood fare have little choice but to resort to online piracy, adding that this has implications on our cultural education.

Speaking on an online radio programme Fred during his visit to this year's edition of the Venice Film Festival - which ran from 29 August to 8 September at Venice Lido - Aidan Celeste, who was at the Festival in his capacity as the Maltese 'representative' of 27xCinema, an online collective of cinephile bloggers, said that aspiring Maltese filmmakers are hampered by not having proper access to European cinema releases.

 READ MORE: Celeste's report of last year's Venice Film Festival.

"Although we are essentially a European culture, we still have a problem when it comes to being part of that network, since we don't have a proper arthouse cinema, or proper locations for such a cinema. We still lack a good place to educate ourselves, to cultivate a culture of independent cinema," Celeste said.

Trailer for the top-prize winning South Korean film Pieta

Celeste, who is currently reading for an MFA in Digital Arts at the University of Malta, added that it "would not have been possible" for him to form part of 27xCinema if he didn't "have access to illegal downloads. Because otherwise there would have been no practical way of being involved in cinema as much".

"So my question essentially is: does Malta have to rely on piracy for a good cinematic education?"

Read Celeste's exclusive report on this year's Venice Film Festival in Sunday's edition of MaltaToday.

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