Rampant over-development at the forefront of local short film

Written and directed by Jamie Vella, Arcadia will be screened as part of the Valletta Film Festival

Malcolm Ellul as Philip in Arcadia
Malcolm Ellul as Philip in Arcadia

With a highly topical subject at its centre and a young filmmaker at its helm, the Maltese short film Arcadia is set to be a worthwhile watch as it screens at the Valletta Film Festival – currently ongoing in various venues across the capital city. 

A father (Malcolm Ellul) and son (Nathan Ellul) finally achieve their dream of moving out and living in the idyllic Maltese countryside. Yet this dream of peace and simplicity soon turns into a nightmare, as the booming and unforgiving construction industry of the country quickly sets its sights on their land.

The film takes as its cue what writer-director Jamie Vella describes as the “tragic and helpless” local scenario of Malta’s natural landscape, as a toxic cocktail of “corruption and capitalism” spills over into the life of the protagonist – Philip – who yearns to keep the unspoilt land he owns away from the clutches of greedy developers. 

The 25-minute short – whose Director of Photography is Matthew Muscat Drago and which features music by Sean Vella – also aims to show the sheer indifference of nature to the plight of humanity – both that of the developers, and of Philip himself. 

Forming part of the official selection for this year’s edition of the Valletta Film Festival, Arcadia will be screened as part of ‘Short Film Programme A’ on June 21 at Spazju Kreattiv, St James Cavalier, Valletta at 14:30.