School Blog

Articles in this blog may be ESE news, academics pieces written by our team or events in Malta of general interest.

Valletta Film Festival 2018 – Part 1

As part of Valletta’s European Capital of Culture programme for 2018, this week marks the Valletta Film Festival!

Valletta Film Festival Week 2018

Laetitia, our newest recruit to the ESE marketing department, all the way from the South of France no less, is a volunteer at the Valletta Film Festival and has graciously agreed to give us a daily report!

From the opening ceremony, to what to watch (or not!) and where to watch it, Laetitia takes us by the hand and leads us through a week filled with films and festivities giving us an exclusive backstage glimpse at the movie magic on offer!




My experience as volunteer for Valletta Film Festival

Being a bit of a film buff and with a passion for all things movie related, it was logical for me to be part of this adventure named Valletta Film Festival! I applied to be a volunteer and was lucky enough to have been chosen as one of the many volunteers that help to make the festival a success.

I was so excited – even before it started, when I attended the two preparation meetings we had at Spazju Kreattiv with one of the organizers.

Once I discovered what I would be doing during the festival and was given my timetable, I was glad to see that I was part of the opening ceremony on  Friday 8th of June (I have always dreamt about being on the Cannes red carpet 😉 ) . I was also pleased to discover that I would be helping almost every day of the festival (until Sunday 17th of June) at the different venues : Pjazza Teatru Rjal (PTR), Spazju Kreattiv, Embassy Cinemas and Valletta Campus Theatre (VCT). After having lived in Malta already for 9 months  it is great that I am still continuing to discover new parts of Valletta!


Official Valletta Film Festival 2018 Poster #VFF4


First day : Friday 8th of June – The Opening ceremony at PTR


My first official day at the festival starts with the opening ceremony. I meet with some of the other volunteers at  the box office at Pjazza Teatru Rjal (PTR) where I collect my  T-shirt and  name badge and get my instructions for the night ahead.

Tonight, I will be delivering to the passholders their ‘magic passes’ for the festival. The Valletta Film Festival Pass opens the doors to the whole event, allowing passholders to experience all the film screenings and events on offer over the next 10 days.

I have to say that I am a little bit disappointed not to be on the red carpet but happy nonetheless to meet other movie-addicts! 😉


The Red Carpet waiting for the opening ceremony to begin!


The ‘Famous’ Red Carpet!


I am very impatient to watch the first movie : St Bernard syndicate, a Danish film about the cultural differences experienced by two Danish businessmen in China.

I found the film funny and I liked its kind of dark humour style!

After the projection, I am a bit tired but happy to go and drink  a few glasses of bubbly with the other volunteers at Hastings Gardens where a party is organized to celebrate the Festival’s first evening.

After Party fun


Nice music with Simon Vella & band and good nibbles are the perfect way to finish this first day!


After Party – Simon Vella & Band


Day 2 : Saturday 9th of June – Tafxnaf at Valletta Campus Theatre


Valletta Campus Theatre


Red carpet again , but this time at the Valletta Campus Theatre (VCT). We are here for the Maltese students  who have worked on 5  short movies that will be presented tonight to their families and festival goers alike.


The Red Carpet at Valletta Campus Theatre


The first part consists of 5 short movies made by the Dutch students of Leeuwarden (which is twinned with Valletta as the Capital of Culture in 2018).  They are called ‘Look at me’ and are documentaries about their studies, families and hobbies.


The captivated audience full of family and friends


The Maltese ones are fictional films about love, friendship, history and racism. The last one called ‘Forgive me Wendy’ is my preferred one : funny characters and situations , nice atmosphere and music!


Introducing tonight’s 5 short films produced by Maltese students


Well done to all the students, let’s hope that this adventure orchestrated by Kenneth Scicluna will motivate the students to continue working in the movie world!


The Maltese Student Film Makers!


Day 4: Monday 11th of June – Styx at Pjazza Teatru Rjal

Today I am behind the desk at the box office at Pjazza Teatru Rjal (PTR)  From here, visitors can get information about the festival -programmes, catalogues etc. They can also purchase tickets as well as merchandising items, – mainly t-shirts and tote bags.



The movie presented is Styx, – partly filmed in Malta in the water tanks. The story is about a female A&E doctor who decides to fulfill her long-held dream and sails out on her sailing boat to Ascension Island in the Atlantic Ocean. After a storm, she finds herself near a stricken fishing boat with around a hundred people about to drown.  As her request for help is unsuccessful, she is forced to make a decision.



It is the kind of movie you want to love without having seen it. The topic is so current and ‘real’ and also the location is especially apt as it was filmed in Malta.

Unfortunately it fell short of my expectations. I wasn’t really affected by it and I didn’t like how it was filmed.


During the questions & answers session after the movie with the director Wolfgang Fischer, it seems some people liked it a lot and were impressed by the storm scene……Just a question of taste in the end I guess!

What is great about the film festival is that the audience’s opinion and views of each film really matter. Spectators can share their opinion about the movie by using the audience award slips.


At the end of the festival, Audience Award’s will be given to the best films as voted for by the festival audiences themselves. You can follow the actual leader board on:

It’s been a busy week so far, and as we head to the middle of the week I am excited to bring you more from Valletta’s Film Festival.

See you all in Part 2 of my behind the scenes report!



Author: Laetitia Nicolas

About the Author: Laetitia hails from the South of France and has recently joined ESE as part of our Marketing Team. Laetitia has worked previously in the flavour industry in the Geneva region before teaching about flavours and working for a spice and herbs Dutch company. Living in Malta has given Laetitia the opportunity to join the teaching world again with ESE. This time helping French speaking people to improve their English. Being French, it is not a surprise that she likes food! She also enjoys spending time with her family and sports such as running, trekking, skiing, skydiving, along with reading, travelling and of course watching movies!


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Articles in this blog may be ESE news, academics pieces written by our team or events in Malta of general interest.  Please feel free to write to us with any comments, suggestions or any articles you may have written and would like to share with us and our students.