FNE at Mediterrane Film Festival 2024: Turkish Film Life Scoops Top Prize

    David Walliams David Walliams credit: Mediterrane Film Festival

    VALLETTA: Turkish film Life / Hayat by Zeki Demirkubuz, which screened in the main competition at the second annual Mediterrane Film Festival, won the Golden Bee for Best Feature Film. British director Mike Leigh was 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 awards ceremony of the second edition of Mediterrane Film Festival (22 - 30 June 2024) was a glamourous star studded event at Malta’s Fort Manoel, one of the many great event venues bequeathed to this island by the Knights of Malta. This was the first edition of the festival under new artistic director Teresa Cavina.

    Addressing the audience 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.” Johann Grech, credit: Malta Film CommissionHe added that “investment, upskilling and attracting more shoots to Malta are a must.”

    The awards, which were hosted by British comedian David Walliams, brought out Malta’s elite in stunning gowns and black tie to an open air stage in the ancient fortress.

    The ceremony kicked off with a speech by the President of Malta, Myriam Spiteri Debono, who spoke about the importance of the Mediterrane Film Festival for the promotion of Malta and the development of a stable and sustainable film industry in Malta that is of benefit to its people. She mentioned that the Malta Film Commission and Malta Film Commissioner Johann Grech were at the forefront of all promotional activities of the film industry.

    She said: "Whilst in 2017, around 300 local workers used to work in the film industry and this only for a short period of time and sporadically, at the present time, around 1,000 local workers work in the film industry, the majority of them throughout the year, from one year to the next, from one production to the next."

    “This year there was an important development when an agreement was signed whereby local workers were accorded the same conditions as foreign workers who work in the local film industry," the President said.

    David Walliams, who has become a regular at Malta film awards, kept the audience entertained with his unique brand of comedy. In one gag, that was obviously a dig at the recent USA presidential debates, Walliams came slowly onto the stage holding the hand of a man dressed in a dinosaur costume (Jurassic World: Dominion was shot in Malta, so dinosaurs loom large) and said: “This guy is 1,000 years old”. Then he Main Competition Jury, credit: Mediterrane Film Festivalturned to the dinosaur saying: “Don’t forget you have a big debate coming up in a few days.”

    Jurassic World: Dominion director Colin Trevorrow was on hand to present awards, as were other celebrities. One of the many highlights of the show were appearances by Maltese opera singer Joseph Calleja, the Golden Bee Awards Orchestra and a local children’s choir.


    Main Competition:

    Best Feature Film:
    Life (Turkey)
    Directed by Zeki Demirkubuz

    Jury’s Choice:
    To a Land Unknown (Greece, Denmark, UK, the Netherlands)
    Directed by Mahdi Fleifel

    Best Director:
    Brandt Andersen for The Strangers’ Case (Jordan)Heather Small, credit: Mediterrane Film Festival

    Best Screenplay:
    Stéphane Brizé, Marie Drucker for Out of Season (France)
    Directed by Stéphane Brizé

    Best Acting:
    Yasmine Al-Massri in The Strangers’ Case (Jordan)
    Directed by Brandt Andersen

    Best Cinematography:
    Carlos Alfonso Corral for The Damned (Italy, Belgium, USA)
    Directed by Roberto Minervini

    Best Production Design:
    Myrte Beltman for Sweet Dreems (the Netherlands, Sweden)
    Directed by Ena Sendijarević (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

    Mare Nostrum:

    Best Narrative Story:
    Anirban Dutta, Anupama Srinivasan for Nocturnes (India)

    Out of Competition:

    People’s Choice Award:
    The Count of Monte Cristo (France)
    Directed by Alexandre De La Patellière, Matthieu Delaporte

    Future Visions:

    Best Virtual Reality Work:
    Tales from Soda Island (UK)
    Directed by Simone Fougnier

    Honourable Mentions:

    Over the Rainbow (Taiwan)
    Directed by Craig Quintero

    EGGSCAPE (Argentina)
    Directed by German Heller

    Additional Awards:

    Career Achievement Award:
    Mike Leigh

    Lifetime Achievement Award:
    Rita Galea

    Click HERE for the press release.