Skip to content

Dark themes go places

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Author: Kieran Teschner

Film is a medium that preserves life’s nuances for the future. It stimulates our senses in ways no other medium can, giving a unique, multilayered experience. Even a small-scale project can speak directly to people’s hearts when made with devotion to the filmmaking craft. The desire to capture a glimpse of the world through someone else’s eyes drove two groups of students to international recognition. 

Every year, the students in the MA in Film at the University of Malta (UM) have two weeks to shoot a short film and edit it, though it takes months of preparation to produce it. They took on all the challenges of film production: scriptwriting, sound and set design, casting, and finally the actual filming and postproduction. ‘For most of us, it was the first experience [in film]. So to get things right from the first try was quite tough. Especially in the filming days, you were not sure if you were pumped up from the adrenaline, or because you were having fun,’ says Edmond Camilleri, sound director in the ‘Dream Big Little Cowboy’ team.

This year’s students tackled difficult and bleak topics — and were rewarded for this choice. In ‘Dream Big Little Cowboy’, we get to see the world through the eyes of the young protagonist, James. With a combination of horror, fantastic colours, and comedic elements, the film takes us on a wild chase through the night as we explore themes of childhood, fear of the unknown, and coming of age. The darker ‘Delfina’ offers us an intimate look into a dysfunctional family. 

The films did not stop at their premiere at the UM’s Valletta Campus. They were screened in front of renowned critics and film lovers at the prestigious Rome Film Festival, within the section Alice nella Città. ‘Delfina’ scored immensely well, and at the annual Kino Duel International Film Festival in Minsk, it won second place in both the first-film category and student-film category, where it was praised for the acting, dramaturgy, soundtrack, and editing. Some students are already involved in new film projects, and will use their experience to support next year’s film students.  

The MA in Film Studies is offered through the Faculty of Arts and is sponsored by the Malta Film Commission. For more information, see here or contact the course coordinator at gloria.lauri-lucente@um.edu.mt.

More to Explore

Adrift at Sea: Laws, Morals, and Policies in Malta’s Search and Rescue Region

Since 2016, EU member states have scaled down search and rescue operations that save lives at sea and replaced them with policies intended to reduce the number of migrant arrivals to Europe. These policies of non-assistance and forced returns to Libya render the central Mediterranean one of the world’s deadliest border spaces and force asylum seekers back to a war zone where inhuman and degrading treatment is well-documented. A growing network of civil society organisations continues to challenge these policies in the courts, on the streets, and at sea. This article, the second in a two-part series on migration, is based in part on interviews conducted with Dr Omar Grech, Senior Lecturer in International Law at the University of Malta (UM), Dr Derek Lutterbeck, Deputy Director at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies at UM, and Dr Felicity Attard, expert in International and Maritime Security Law at the Faculty of Laws at UM.

Concentration Camps in Libya

Following the NATO-backed overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya descended into a decade of disunity and violence resulting in incalculable suffering and loss of life. Today, much of the country remains a war zone, and migrants in EU-sponsored Libyan detention facilities continue to suffer well-documented, gross human rights violations. This article, the first in a two-part series on migration, is based in part on interviews conducted with Dr Omar Grech, Senior Lecturer in International Law at the University of Malta (UM); Dr Derek Lutterbeck, Deputy Director at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies at UM; and Dr Felicity Attard, expert in International and Maritime Security Law at the Faculty of Laws at UM. 

No comment yet, add your voice below!


Add a Comment