Malta’s first ever opera film released
Malta’s very first opera film, Blat: the fortress of the islandpremieres in local theaters on June 24.
Produced by Mikiel Anton Vassalli College, Malta’s national college of performing and visual arts, the film is set in March 1940, when most of Europe was involved in the First World War, but Malta was always spared.
The plot follows Madeleine, a middle-class girl from Valletta, in love with Marco, a devoted Italian fascist. This does not please his father, a convinced imperialist. Shipyard worker Kelinu is also enchanted by Madeleine, but his Strait Street bartender friend, Bessy, warns him that he is not of the same social class. Before this love triangle has a chance to develop, war hits the islands and all are forced to take refuge in the underground shelters.
The cast includes both professionals in different fields of the arts, several students from the four schools of the college, as well as extras, including the parents of students.
Victor Galea, MAVC’s college network manager and production executive producer, said his experience directing an opera film “has caused a paradigm shift at our college where the administrators of these art schools, music, theater and dance have taken on certain other roles, primarily that of motivating their teachers, as well as students in their respective disciplines, to take on such roles outside of their normal duties and, in conjunction with professionals in the entertainment industries, offered such a high-level production”.
The book is written by Ġorġ Peresso and Amy Borg, the music is by Reuben Pace, the script and direction are by Alan Fenech, the costume design is by Umberto Buttigieg and Glorianne Micallef Grimaud, and Rodney Gauci is the director of photography.
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