FNE at Mediterrane Film Festival 2024: Artistic Director Teresa Cavina

By Alexander Gabelia and Anna Franklin
    Teresa Cacina Teresa Cacina source: Mediterrane FF

    VALLETTA: FNE spoke to Teresa Cavina, artistic director of the Mediterrane Film Festival about the general goals and activities of the festival, whose second edition will be held 22 – 30 June 2024, organised by the Malta Film Commission.

    The festival is the brainchild of Malta Film Commissioner Johann Grech and the MFC has just released an impact assessment report on the first edition of the festival last year, which had an economic impact of over 7m EUR on the Maltese economy and generated 10.23m EUR in business opportunities for the Maltese economy. A total of 249 international guests were invited by the festival, who were joined by 929 local delegates.

    The first edition of the festival was hugely successful in enhancing Malta’s position in the international film industry.  According to the report, studio executives, producers, top stakeholders and location managers unanimously rated Malta as a highly business friendly jurisdiction with an average rating of 8.81 out of 10. Before the festival an average rating of 5.77 was attributed to Malta as a business destination, but after the festival the rating soared to an impressive 8.54.

    The full report can be read here. https://screenmalta.com/screenmalta-news/impact-assessment-for-the-mediterrane-film-festival/

    The Mediterrane Film Festival is an international film festival and convention aimed at showcasing, promoting and bringing together the creative community, and also exhibiting European talent in the film industry.

    Most of the nine members of the jury have already been announced: film director Jon S. Baird, USA casting director Margery Simkin, Uruguay cinematographer Petro Luque, English production designer Nathan Crowley, Canadian film director Richer Mehta and Maltese playwright Mario Philip Azzopardi.

    British director Mike Leigh will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

    The theme of this edition is “Unity through Film”.

    FNE: What are the sections of the festival and what can you tell us about its structure?

    Teresa Cavina: The Mediterrane Film Festival unfolds along four lines of programming. The competitive selection is devoted only to films from countries bordering the Mediterranean, while an out of competition section will present exceptional films from all over the world that will compete for an audience award. They are joined by our third selection, “Mare Nostrum” (“Our Sea”), as once, the Romans called the Mediterranean “our sea” with the same idea of ownership that humanity has had over nature for centuries. Today the concept must change, and nature is "ours" to be protected and respected. Therefore, this section showcases narrative and documentary films dedicated to nature, sustainability and environment.

    The fourth programming line is called “Future Visions” and is devoted to the different, fast evolving aspects of the immersive reality, from award winning VR programmes to Metaverse guided jumping, a window into the future which is already here and the one yet to come.

    FNE: What makes the festival different from last year's edition and what is your goal this year?

    Teresa Cavina: A "film festival" is a living creature that adapts to the currents which run through contemporary society and returns it to its audience through the works of the participating authors. Like any living creature it is born and grows by setting and realising goals that are more and more important. Last year’s first edition successfully established the core of the event: Malta during its millennia-old history stood as a center of exchange and discovery. Mediterrane aims to be a meeting centre of all the cinematic entities of the Mediterranean countries, showcasing their most interesting works and creating effective moments of encounters that will stimulate even more exchange and collaboration relationships.

    This edition proceeds in the same direction, only extending and deepening the original themes, and giving itself the tools to become an unmissable event for the public and professionals.

    FNE: In addition to film screenings, what do you offer to the attending audience at the festival?

    Teresa Cavina: We will offer a true "festival experience.” The pleasure of being able to meet the authors of the presented films, to attend masterclasses held by great audiovisual creatives as well as panels and roundtables dedicated to professionals, in which topical issues will be debated and illustrated.

    This is the first step towards an "industry" activity that we intend to develop thoroughly in the coming editions. One of the fundamental reasons for the existence of a festival is to make meetings between people easy, to allow ideas to find the perfect ecosystem to eventually become projects which later evolve into visual objects. That is why there will also be multiple networking opportunities, and it is hard to think of a more fascinating and hospitable place than Malta to unleash creativity. The many, many filmmakers who have chosen Malta to make their films know this well.