David Walliams David Walliams credit: Mediterrane Film Festival

    Global Film Industry Gathered at Glittering Ceremony Hosted by  David Walliams

    Golden Bee Awards Winners Revealed; “Life” (Hayat) Wins Best Feature Film

    Mike Leigh Receives Career Achievement Award and Rita Galea Presented with Lifetime Achievement Award

    MALTA, 30 June 2024 – Malta’s Mediterrane Film Festival tonight celebrated the closing night of its second edition with its glamourous Golden Bee Awards ceremony, which took place at the grand Fort Manoel, Gżira, and was hosted by David Walliams. During the evening, alongside the Golden Bee Awards, the BAFTA-winning writer-director and seven-time Academy Award nominee Mike Leigh (Vera Drake, Another Year, Happy-Go-Lucky) was also honoured with the festival’s Career Achievement Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to celebrated Maltese veteran production coordinator Rita Galea (World War Z).

    The Main Competition Jury – which included Jon S. Baird, Margery Simkin, Mario Philip Azzopardi, Nathan Crowley, Pedro Luque, Richie Mehta and Tim Miller – judged the strand of fifteen films and awarded prizes across six categories: Best Feature Film, Acting Performance, Screenwriting, Production Design, Creative Technical Performance and the special Jury Award. The festival also honoured outstanding works for its Out of Competition, Mare Nostrum and Future Visions immersive sections.

    From the Main Competition, wins included “Life” (Hayat) directed by Zeki Demirkubuz (Turkey) selection taking the Golden Bee for the Best Feature Film category, and “To a Land Unknown” directed by Mahdi Fleifel (Palestine; France) was awarded the Jury’s Choice prize. Additionally, “The Strangers’ Case” (Jordan) scooped two Golden Bees: Best Director for Brandt Andersen and Best Acting for Yasmine Al-Massri.

    The ceremony featured special performances from Mercury Prize winner Heather Small MBE, Britain's Got Talent’s Calum Scott, Maltese opera singer Joseph Calleja, the Golden Bee Awards Orchestra and a local children’s choir. The event also welcomed the President of the Republic of Malta, Myriam Spiteri Debono, who gave an address that highlighted the  continuous promotion of the film industry is of primary importance and essential if the industry is to develop into one of the pillars of the Maltese economy.  She added “The Mediterrane Film Festival is a business development tool; also, one cannot underestimate the highly positive impact that the film industry can indirectly have on Malta’s international image, in ways that may result in benefits for other major industries, particularly tourism and its related niches.”

    Alongside attendees from the selected films, guests at the ceremony also included: Colin Trevorrow, Danai Gurira, Nell Tiger Free, Harry Kirton, Emmett J. Scanlan, Joaquim de Almeida, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Sarah Rafferty, Patrice Evra, Jasmine Jobson, Adrian Wootton, Andrei Lenart, Harry Kirton, Rafael Cebrián and Heather Graham.

    Teresa Cavina, Artistic Director of Mediterrane Film Festival, said: “Over the last nine days, it has been a privilege to welcome the international film community to the beautiful island of Malta and celebrate the power of film together – while also creating opportunities for inspiration, international collaboration and partnerships. We’ve shared over 45 films from 35 countries with the industry and local public, alongside an insightful and engaging industry programme. It’s been an honour this evening to recognise the immensely deserving winners of our Golden Bee Awards and to end this edition on an incredible high.”

    When addressing the Golden Bee Awards, Johann Grech, Malta Film Commissioner, said he has pledged that the Malta Film Commission will create a world class film industry in Malta. “Tonight I want to add an ambitious aim to that commitment – an aim we can achieve together, on the eve of our 100 year film anniversary. I set out my aim to double the value film brings to Malta’s economy, and more quality jobs for the Maltese people.” He added that investment, upskilling and attracting more shoots to Malta are a must and emphasised that now is not the time to turn back. “Now is the time to keep moving forward for Malta.”

    The Mediterrane Film Festival programme presented 15 films in its Main Competition, seven Out of Competition films, 10 in the Out of Competition – Malta Expanded offering, and seven films competed in its environment-themed Mare Nostrum section, topped up by 14 immersive projects selected by interactive story architect Michel Reilhac.

    Please see below the full list of winners:


    Best Screenplay:

    Stéphane Brizé, Marie Drucker for OUT OF SEASON (France)

    Best Production Design:

    Myrte Beltman for SWEET DREAMS (Bosnia & Herzegovina)

    Best Cinematography:

    Carlos Alfonso Corral for THE DAMNED (Italy)

    Best Acting:

    Yasmine Al-Massri for THE STRANGERS’ CASE (Jordan)

    Best Director:

    Brandt Andersen for THE STRANGERS’ CASE (Jordan)

    Jury’s Choice:

    Mahdi Fleifel for TO A LAND UNKNOWN (Palestine; France)

    Best Feature Film

    Zeki Demirkubuz for LIFE (Turkey)


    Best Narrative Story:

    Anirban Dutta, Anupama Srinivasan for NOCTURNES (India)


    People’s Choice Award:

    Alexandre De La Patellière, Matthieu Delaporte for THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO (France)


    Best Virtual Reality Work:

    Simone Fougnier for TALES FROM SODA ISLAND (UK)

    Honourable mentions to: OVER THE RAINBOW (Taiwan) dir. Craig Quintero and EGGSCAPE (Argentina) dir. German Heller



    Career Achievement:

    Mike Leigh

    Lifetime Achievement:

    Rita Galea