Arts Council Malta has announced the list of winners for the second edition of Il-Premju għall-Arti, the National Arts Awards, which celebrate the achievements of the cultural and creative sectors. The red carpet gala event was broadcasted live on TVM2. The National Arts Awards, now in its second edition, is a yearly highlight for the island's art scene. Arts Council Malta congratulates all the winners and nominees after last night’s successful event.
Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government Owen Bonnici was present and made reference to that fact that we should protect and strengthen our cultural and artistic identity through such initiatives as the Premju għall-Arti. “This initiative which gives national recognition to our artists also serves as a platform for established artists and new ones to share their talent. This event also further strengthens our strategy to increase professionalisation and excellence in this important sector, for the benefit of society,” he reiterated.
This year’s guest performers were Kor Malta, Marcin Patrzalek and Żfin Malta. The work presented this year was something new and specific to the event itself. Kor Malta, headed by Veronique Vella, performed Anton Buttiġieġ’s original piece Il-Kebbies tal-Fanali written by Trevor Żahra whilst Żfin Malta’s unique performance was based on the life and work of Richard England. The young talented Marcin Patrzalek, winner of the Joaquin Rodrigo Festival, “Must be the Music” Poland’s biggest talent show and more recently “Tu Si Que Vales” the Italian TV talent show, performed his own musical rearrangements and original musical pieces who also closed the evening with thunderous applause from the audience.
The winners, spread over 13 categories, included Richard England receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award. The People’s Choice Award, which was voted by members of the public, went to the Valletta 2018 Foundation for their production of the Valletta 2018 Opening.
Other categories included Best Project in the Community, Best International Achievement, Young Artist of the Year and Best Creative Enterprise. The categories were selected according to Arts Council Malta’s strategic priorities as outlined in the Council’s Strategy2020, its five-year plan for the cultural and creative sectors.
“All award-winning events are a strong and evocative way of tapping people on the back for a job well done. Arts Council Malta considers its annual appointment with the artistic community to recognise talent as one of its most important vehicles to encourage further growth in the sector,” said Arts Council Malta Executive Chairman Albert Marshall.
The winners were selected by a jury of sectoral experts and Arts Council Malta representatives from the nominations submitted through an open call. The Awards cover projects, productions or activities in the cultural and creative sectors which have been premiered or presented between 1 September 2017 and 31 August 2018.
The winners received a prestigious award, a sculpture in glass and ceramic by Maltese artist Kane Cali.
Il-Premju għall-Arti is an initiative of Arts Council Malta through the National Fund for Artistic Excellence within the Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government.
Full List of Winners
Best Creative Enterprise
Anvil Games Studios - Andrew Farrugia
Magna Żmien - Andrew Alamango
Artist of the Year
The New Victorians
Best Artistic Programme or Season
The Malta Jazz Festival 2018- Festivals Malta
Best International Achievement
Kirana, Soundscapes- Ruben Żahra
Best Work for Young Audiences
Hush - Denise Mulholland and Luke Saydon
Production of the Year
Hush - Denise Mulholland and Luke Saydon
Young Artist of the Year
Best Project in the Community
Deep Shelter - Pamela Baldacchino in collaboration with the Valletta 2018 Foundation
Audience’s Choice Award
Valletta 2018 Opening - Valletta 2018 Foundation
Lifetime Achievement Award
Honour for Artistic Legacy
Soċjeta' Santa Marija u Banda Re Gorg V Mqabba
Honour for Cultural Promoters
European Foundation for Support of Culture - Konstantin Ishkhanov
Photos by Sebio Aquilina