The launch of the most pretigous and longest running festival was addressed by the Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government Dr Owen Bonnici, Festivals Director Ms Annabelle Stivala, MIAF Festival Artistic Director Dr Michelle Castelletti and the Chair of the Valletta 2018 Foundation Mr Jason Micallef.
During the conference, the Culture Minister mentioned how crucial it is that the arts reach as large an audience as possible. The government’s work and investment in the arts and culture sector is creating an everlasting legacy thanks to infrastructural projects such as the new Museum of Fine Arts, a dedicated space for the Contemporary Arts and the Design Cluster, as well as new levels of participation from Maltese artists, more accessibility for everyone and a better and more disseminated appreciation of the arts amongst the general public, especially the younger audiences.
The Festivals Director said: “We are proud to announce that the Malta Arts Festival, the highlight of Malta’s cultural calendar, has been awarded the EFFE label for the second time. The festival promotes freedom of artistic expression through a programme that embraces various art forms and invests in artists and audiences alike.”
The artistic team, led by Dr Castelletti which includes Francesca Tranter and Ruben Zahra, has created a varied programme full of new work – premieres by Maltese composers, installations, new choreography, new theatrical work, calls for artists and much more.
“The aspiration is for Malta to become a destination on the world’s cultural map. The vision is to achieve this by bringing art to the people, through distinctive programming and by creating a unique cultural offer. We have brought together Maltese and international artists together with exciting results. We are bringing what is happening in the world to Malta, but, importantly, we are nurturing talent and giving our young artists a platform,” explained the Artistic Director.
One of the highlights is the residency with the London Sinfonietta, with workshops for Maltese composers, and which will culminate in a performance with live orchestra and a film screening of Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin with score by BAFTA winner Mica Levi (Micachu).
From the fantastic sound of big bands, with Malta’s very own Big Band Brothers performing as you have never seen them before, to world-renown virtuosic, yet hilarious Mnozil Brass, to passionate flamenco with Maltese Francesca ‘La Chica’ Grima and Puerto Flamenco, MIAF promises to entertain everyone.
The Mediterranean theme re-emerges with Unifaun Theatre’s Metamorfosi, based on Ovid’s Greek tragedy, with text by Trevor Żahra; whilst Paul Capsis brings to life the extraordinary characters of Angela’s Kitchen – a story which provides a window into an ordinary life made of epic stuff – war, death, courage and endurance.
The Malta International Arts Festival is organised by Festival Malta within Arts Council Malta in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice, Culture and Local Government and Valletta 2018; and supported by MSV Life, Esplora Interactive Science Centre and the Malta EU Presidency 2017.