Published on Friday 12 January 2018

Arts Council Malta has announced the list of nominees for the first edition of Il-Premju għall-Arti, the national arts awards which celebrate the achievements of the cultural and creative sectors

The award acknowledges excellence in artistic work premiered during the preceding year and are unique in their focus on culture and the arts.

“These awards celebrate the best artistic work in the country at a time when culture has never been so vibrant,” said Culture Minister Owen Bonnici at the Nominees Night, which was held at the Phoenicia Grand Ballroom yesterday evening.

The nominees – spread over eight categories – were selected by a jury of sectoral experts and Arts Council Malta representatives from the nominations submitted through an open call. The winners of these categories as well as three other awards - the Lifetime Achievement Award, the Ambassador of the Arts and the People’s Choice Award - will be announced at the Awards night, which will be held on 23 March at Teatru Manoel.

The categories – which include Best Project in the Community, Best International Achievement, Young Artist of the Year and Best Creative Enterprise - 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.

The Awards covers projects, productions or activities in the cultural and creative sectors which have been premiered or presented between 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2017. 

Winners will receive a prestigious award, a sculpture in glass and ceramic, by Maltese artist Kane Cali.

The Awards are set to become a yearly appointment for artists and all those involved in the cultural and creative sectors. “We are working so that these Awards provide a reference point for excellence across the sector,” said Arts Council Malta acting chairman Annabelle Stivala. “This is another way in which we encourage and recognise excellence in the cultural and creative sectors.”

Meanwhile, the public will also have the opportunity to reward their preferred artistic production of the year through the People’s Choice award. Voting instructions and nominees are available on Voting can be done online or by telephone. 

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. Il-Premju għall-Arti is proudly supported by Hotel Phoenicia, Nexos Lighting & Video, 111 Holdings and Aġenzija Żgħażagħ.  

Photo by Stephen Buhagiar


Best project in the community

Aħdar id-Deżert
Opening Doors Association

Equality in Music
Radio Valo Team, Down Syndrome Association

Setting up our social enterprise
Nicholas Agius

Darba Waħda
Anna Formosa

B’Tal-linja Jaqbillek Żgur
Sean Buhagiar

Best International Achievement

From Home with Love
ŻfinMalta Dance Ensemble

Gordon Calleja

Charlene Farrugia’s international performance
Charlene Farrugia

Malta. Land of Sea
BOZAR Centre of Fine Arts and Heritage Malta, on the occasion of the Maltese EU Presidency 2017

Symphony No. 3 ‘Eroica’ by Ludwig van Beethoven
The Malta Philharmonic Orchestra

Best work for young audiences

Pietru u l-Lupu
The Malta Philharmonic Orchestra

Fanfare Family Concert
The Malta Philharmonic Orchestra

Ineż Kienet Perf(etta)
Studio 18

Shakespeare in pieces
Teatru Manoel

Shakeshorts presents A Midsummer’s Night Dream
Chris Dingli

Best Artistic Programme or Season

ŻiguŻajg Arts Festival for Children and Young People 2016
Fondazzjoni Kreattività

The Valletta Film Festival 2017
The Film Grain Foundation

The Malta Jazz Festival 2017
Festivals Malta

The Malta Philharmonic Orchestra Concert Season 2016-2017
The Malta Philharmonic Orchestra

Toi Toi Education Programme - Season 2016-2017
Teatru Manoel

Best Creative Enterprise

Fablab Valletta

Anvil Game Studios


Young Artist of the Year

Luke Zammit

Stefan Calleja

Isaac Lucas

Laura Buhagiar

Matthew Schembri

Artist of the Year

Luke Zammit

Mikhail Basmadjian

Moveo Dance Company (Dorian Mallia, Diane Portelli)

Jonathan Dunn

Production of the Year

Magic Mouse
Luke Zammit

Contact Dance Company

Venus in Fur
Masquerade Theatre Company

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Symphony No. 9 by Ludwig van Beethoven, Europe Day Concert
The Malta Philharmonic Orchestra