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Rules and Regulations for Film Submissions

Valletta Film Festival is an annual event held in June at the capital city of Valletta on the Mediterranean Island of Malta. Over 40 feature films and twenty four short films are screened annually at various indoor and outdoor venues around the city.

The fifth edition of the festival will be held from Friday 14th to Sunday 23rd June 2019.

For th first time the festival will be dedicating its competition selection to productions originating from thirty-four small nations in Europe, Middle East and North Africa.

Twelve feature films or documentaries will be competing for a number of awards in the feature length section of the festival and up to twenty-four short films will be selected to compete for best short film.

These are the countries eligible to participate in the Cinema of Small Nations Competition:

Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Bahrain, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, Georgia, Kosovo, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Montenegro, Moldova, Norway, Northern Ireland, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, San Marino, Slovakia , Slovenia, Scotland and Wales.

The submission of films to the fifth edition of the Valletta Film Festival can only be made in accordance with the provisions set out in the Festival’s Rules and Regulations below:

  1. Submissions are open to feature films, documentaries and short films completed after 1 July 2018 that have not yet been exhibited online or in Malta and that are produced or co-produced by companies registered in the list of countries made available above.
  2. Fiction, documentary or animated feature films have to have a duration over 60 minutes. The duration for short films is limited to 25 minutes including credits.
  3. Submission of the film represents agreement with the regulations of the festival. The call for submissions ends on 15 April 2019. The Festival is not obliged to offer comments or reasons for not selecting a film submitted for one of Festival’s programme and will only contact the selected film representatives.
  4. The cost of entry for a feature film is €25 and €10 for a short film.
  5. The submission fee is waived for films that have 50% or more of the film footage shot in Malta.
  6. The screening format at Valletta Film Festival is DCP. A backup Blu-Ray DVD shall also be provided to the Festival. Other formats are only accepted upon request, depending on the theatre.
  7. Once the film has been selected and the invitation to participate at the Festival is accepted, film cannot be withdrawn from the Festival programme.
  8. All films must be presented in their original language and, where this language is other than English, the print of the film must be subtitled in English (if not otherwise specified). Subtitling expenses are to be met by the Participant.
  9. All submissions must contain a duly completed Online Entry Form and a link to a screener of the film on an established streaming platform (Vimeo/Youtube) with a valid password open until 24 June 2019.
  10. If the film’s original language is other than English, the Festival requires receiving on-screen English subtitles.
  11. For films selected to be screened at the Festival, these materials must also be sent: photo of the director, director’s biography and filmography; two or more stills from the film; film clips / trailer and poster of the film in electronic form
  12. Attendance by a key member of the team (director or lead actor/actress) is compulsory. The festival will cover accommodation for maximum 2 nights, ground transportation in Malta and travel expenses.
  13. The Festival may use all materials cited above for promotional purposes and in order to compile the Festival Catalogue. The Festival bears no responsibility for published inaccuracies originating in submitted materials.
  14. All SCREENING COPIES of selected films must arrive in Malta by Friday 31 May 2019 and must be made available for the entire Festival period, unless otherwise agreed. It is obligatory for the Participant to follow the Festival’s shipping instructions to be sent by email.
  15. The Festival will cover shipping costs for all selected films, unless otherwise agreed. The Festival will be responsible for customs clearance in Malta.
  16. All prints will be returned within four weeks following the Festival closing date. As far as possible, the Festival will respect the wishes of Participants concerning return shipment of their film. Where print is to be returned to an address different to that of the sender, this must to be clearly noted along with the desired date of arrival at the return address.
  17. The insurance of film print goes into effect the moment the film is received by courier company in Malta. The insurance remains in effect until the film is re-shipped. Unless otherwise arranged, in the event of damage or loss of the screening copy during the Festival, the Festival is only responsible for the cost of producing a new screening copy based on current standard laboratory rates.
  18. Damage to the film print must be reported to the Festival in writing within one month following the return of the print and prior to the film’s next screening. Any claims will be judged by the reported state of the print.
  19. An international jury for competition programmes will be comprised of prominent representatives of culture, film theory, criticism as well as filmmakers, producers and, potentially, journalists. The majority of members of the jury will come from countries other than Festival host country.No jury member will be assigned if previously had taken part in the making of any film in the competition programmes.
  20. Members of the Feature Film jury shall grant the following awards: Best Feature Film; Best Documentary Film and Best New Talent.
  21. The short film jury will grant one award for Best Short Film.
  22. All titles selected will be eligible for the festival’s Audience Award.
  23. Whenever possible, award winners are expected to attend the Festival Awards Ceremony normally held on the last day of the festival. Award winners are obliged to mention the award as announced, nationally as well as internationally, in all publicity and promotional material.
  24. The invitation sent for each film in competition programme selected by the Festival must remain strictly confidential between the Festival Management and the Participant until such time as the Festival decides to make an official announcement in this regard.
  25. The representative of the selected film present at the Festival is obliged to promote the film through participating at official press conference, photo call, introduction prior to the film’s screening and interviews with selected VFF’s media partners. The participant will also be obliged to participate in any talks or Festival events intended to promote the film.
  26. Participation in the Valletta Film Festival implies acceptance of all aforementioned regulations and pre-selection conditions. Valletta Film Festival Board of Directors has the power to settle all issues not covered by the present Rules and Regulations.

Please address all inquiries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Pjazza Teatru Rjal to showcase high-quality productions including festival winners, cult pictures and restored films.

Films originating from thirty-four small nations in Europe, Middle East and North Africa will be the only productions eligible to participate in the competitive strand of Valletta Film Festival.

The first edition of this competition open to feature-length films and short films will take place at the fifth edition of Valletta Film Festival to be held from Friday 14 to Sunday 23 June 2019.

Twelve feature films or documentaries will be competing for a number of awards in the feature length section of the festival and up to twenty-four short films will be selected to compete for best short film.

This competition will replace the general competition held in past four years. Two international juries will be adjudicating the films selected and awards will be announced at the closing night of the festival.

Explaining the decision to focus on cinema of small nations, festival director Oliver Mallia said that the introduction of this competition is intended to make of Valletta Film Festival a focal point for filmmakers from small nations.

“We want that from 2019 Valletta Film Festival becomes the home of Cinema of Small Nations and the place to go to if you a filmmaker from a small nation”.

Mr Mallia added that the realities of small nations are very similar. “Little funding, restricted opportunities and limited audiences are all common to filmmakers from small nations however there is an abundance of talent and creativity that is often seen in films produced by filmmakers from these nations to the extent that various directors and productions from small states made it big around the world”.

The screenings for the new competition will be held at Valletta Campus Theatre.

Co-Festival Director Slavko Vukanovic commented that the introduction of this competition will now allow the festival to present a more diverse non-competitive programme of films at Pjazza Teatru Rjal, the flagship venue of the festival.

Mr Vukanovic remarked that from 2019 the open-air theatre will host the main red carpet events of the festival with a selection of high-profile productions, festival winners, cult pictures and restored films.

This new approach to the programme of the 900-seat theatre shall open the festival to a more diverse audience that would enjoy new hits and classics in a magnificent and unique setting.

The fifth edition of Valletta Film festival will continue exhibiting a number of curated sections including Islanders that showcases film from or about islands, Without Borders that focuses on the cinema of a specific region or continent, Teens Only – a selection of coming-of-age films and Masters of Cinema, a retrospective of established directors and other talent. The festival will be also introducing Family Weekend, a space for parents and younger children to enjoy a weekend of activities and cinema made for kids.

More information about these and other sections of the festival will be announced in the coming weeks.

Film submissions for the 2019 Cinema of Small Nations Competition are now open.

The first documentary workshop organised by Valletta Film Lab will happen between Monday 18 and Saturday 23 March 2019.

Directors/writers residing in Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, Georgia, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Montenegro, Moldova, Norway, Northern Ireland, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Scotland and Wales can apply with a project to participate in any of the workshops organised by the lab.

Applications for participation are now open. Deadline for submissions is Tuesday 15 January 2019.

At the end of the submission period, an independent panel of adjudicators appointed by Film Grain Foundation will select the projects that will participate in the lab based on the following criteria:

– the quality & originality of the screenplay or treatment;
– the promise & viability of the project;

The selection will be announced on 7 February 2019.

Workshop Programme

Participants will be split into groups where discussions will focus on the development of the projects submitted, the production plan, promotion and distribution strategies and pitching.

Apart from the constant mentorship of the tutors, the programme would also include a number of special guests and experts who will attend to meet individually with the participants and help them prepare a financial plan, schedule and other elements of the production strategy.

Following the workshop in Malta the tutors will continue offering online consultancy to the projects for up to a period of six months.

Participants at the workshop will later be invited to attend a major documentary market and will be assisted to meet with potential co-producers, financiers, sales agents and distributors to pitch their projects.

The name of the tutors and special guests leading the workshop will be announced after the first selection is published in February 2019.

All workshops will be conducted in the English Language.

Participation Fees

Applicants must participate in all training activities held and be ready to submit, when requested, any written material such as questionnaires and evaluation reports. Representative of the selected projects will be asked to confirm their participation within 3 days from date of notification. Participants are to pay participation fees within 15 days from confirmation date.

The participation fee for directors-writers from outside Malta is €1000 (exclusive of VAT). This fee includes accommodation at a three-star hotel in Valletta, full-board lodging and ground transportation.

Producers attached to the project can also attend the workshop for an additional fee of €250 (exclusive of VAT). This would provide producer a shared accommodation with director-writer, full board lodging and ground transportation.

Participants must pay all air-travel costs.

Many countries provide bursaries and scholarships for this kind of training so kindly consult your country’s film or culture agencies for more information.

The participation fee for Malta-based directors-writers or producers partners to Valletta Film Lab is €250 (exclusive of VAT). The fee for non-partners is €400 (exclusive of VAT).

This fee excludes accommodation and ground transportation but includes lunch and coffee breaks for up to 2 people.

In case of cancellation three weeks prior to the starting date of the program, there will be a 50% refund of the participation fees.

There shall be no refund in case of cancellation less than three weeks from the starting date of the program.

Venue

The workshops of Valletta Film Lab will be held at University of Malta’s Valletta Campus.

The Campus, housed in in the Old University Building, dates back to 1592 and serves as a prestigious setting for the hosting of international conferences, seminars, short courses and summer schools.

Further information

Valletta Film Lab is managed by Film Grain Foundation and is supported by Arts Council Malta through the Creative Industries Platform.

For any enquiries please email the foundation on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call +356 2713 3081.

Film Grain Foundation is pleased to announce the creation of VALLETTA FILM LAB, a training and development platform open to filmmakers from Malta and other European small nation states.

The platform, the first of its kind in Malta, is being set up with the financial support of Arts Council Malta through the Creative Industries Platform. The project was one of five selected for funding following a public call in 2017.

Starting in 2019, the lab will be organising two workshops per year open to documentary and fiction films and various networking and promotional events held throughout the year and during Valletta Film Festival. The first international workshop for feature-length documentary films will be held in Valletta between 18-23 March 2019.

Commenting about this initiative, Oliver Mallia, one of the founders of Film Gain Foundation, said that Valletta Film Lab will provide the beneficiaries of various film development and production funds in Malta and other small European countries the possibility to attend first-class workshops that would help them transform their ideas into high-quality projects.

“The idea to create a training and development platform open to filmmakers from small nations stemmed from the Cinema of Small Nations conference held at Valletta Film Festival in 2016. We understood the need for  platform that focuses on small nations given that film production companies from small countries experience similar difficulties because of limited economies of scale.”

Mr Mallia continued that the activities to be organised by the Lab are intended to help producers from small nations to develop productions that would reach international financiers, producers, distributors and broadcasters and potentially help them reach audiences beyond their own territories.

Film Grain Foundation co-founder Slavko Vukanovic added that ten local companies and individuals all active in film production have already partnered the platform and committed to participate in the development workshops that the Lab will be organising. Mr Vukanovic remarked that one of the aims of Valletta Film Lab is to ensure that by 2021 a minimum of 18 feature-length projects from Malta would have received support by the lab and reached advanced development or pre-production stage.

Production companies and individuals from Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, Georgia, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Moldova, Norway, Northern Ireland,  San Marino, Slovakia , Slovenia, Scotland and Wales can apply to participate in the Valletta Film Lab workshops and events.

The guidelines and application for the first workshop to be held in March 2019 will be made available online at www.vallettafilmfestival.com on Wednesday 7th November 2018.

The following grants were announced by the Bulgarian National Film Center on 30 November 2018.

PRAGUE: Long documentaries in the rough-cut stage can apply for the dok.incubator workshop 2019 until 30 January 2019.

Click HERE for the interview with Jindřich Andrš, the director of the documentary The Last Shift of Thomas Hisem, about the eponymous worker’s last day of work before a coal mine is shut down for good.

Feature films supported by the Polish Film Insitute in the 3rd session of 2018

 

WARSAW: FNE has teamed up with the Brussels based team of the International Union of Cinemas (UNIC) to bring you regular updates on EU cinema policies that impact all industry professionals across Europe. Click here for FNE UNIC EU Cinema Policy Update.

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