Sea stories on the silver screen | Rebecca Cremona

Simshar director Rebecca Cremona will be curating a trio of international sea-based films – Io Sono Li, Kon Tiki and The Deep – tonight, July 25 and August 2 at Pjazza Teatru Rjal, Valletta, as part of the Malta Arts Festival. She speaks to us about the first edition of ‘Pjazza Kino’.

The Deep
The Deep
Io Sono Li
Io Sono Li
Kon Tiki
Kon Tiki

How did the Pjazza Kino concept get started, and how did you get involved?

The idea of having a film component introduced to the Malta Arts Festival had been kicking around for a while, then this year I was approached by the Arts Festival team to curate a trio of film nights.

I was very happy to accept of course, not only due to my love of film but also because I really believe that it is beneficial to make art house films more readily available to the general public.

In fact, the team and I immediately agreed that it should be an expo of European film, and because of this I suggested the name Pjazza Kino – which to my mind brings together the Latin and Germanic routes which broadly represent the south and north of Europe, and also tie in with the event's location: Pjazza Teatru Rjal.

On what criteria did you go about selecting the films which will be shown in this first edition?

I felt it was important to show films which are not readily available to the Maltese public in cinemas, however, which are simultaneously accessible to a broad audience. I was also adamant that the films be recent and of a certain calibre.

Because as an island we are so defined by the sea, I thought that would be a good starting point; hence the sub-title ‘Sea Stories’. Then from there I realised that we could push it further and bring films which have a further link to Malta: Kon Tiki was partially shot here; Io Sono Li deals with migration; and The Deep comes from Iceland, which has a thriving indigenous film industry despite having a smaller population than Malta.

When it comes to style and form I wanted Pjazza Kino to offer a variety of filmmaking approaches, and whereas Kon Tiki is more of a blockbuster, Io Sono Li comes from a lyrical documentary vein whereas The Deep is much brasher in approach.

What kind of experience do you wish to create with this initiative? Do you hope it’ll prove to be a more dynamic experience than the standard cinema?

There’s a reason why outdoor film festivals and drive-ins cinemas have a special part in so many people’s hearts – there’s something very special about watching a film outdoors. Furthermore, we’re lucky to have the participation of two key filmmakers: Pierre Ellul who was the production manager of Kon Tiki and Lorenza Poletto one of the producers of Io Sono Li.

So both before and after the screenings the audience will hear some great first hand insight into the films as well as the opportunity to ask questions, and this filmmaker participation will she a whole new dimension to the films.

And to top it up its all for free! I really do think this is a great opportunity and urge people to come. For more information please follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PjazzaKino?ref=hl.

Are there any plans for future editions?

There is certainly a lot of potential for continuation and growth to the programme, as well as a commitment from the Malta Arts Festival team to include the medium of film in its repertoire. I hope that ‘Pjazza Kino: Sea Stories’ will fulfill its potential and be the start of a fantastic initiative.

Kon Tiki will be screened tonight; Io Sono Li on July 25 and The Deep on August 2. Doors open at 20:15 and screenings start at 21:00. All films will be screened with English subtitles.

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