The cinema city event at Valletta's Laparelli Gardens will be back between May 24 and 28 after a year's absence due to coronavirus restrictions.

The event, organised by the Valletta Cultural Agency (VCA), is free of charge and will feature Little Miss Sunshine, The Matrix, The Iron Giant, La Vita è Bella and the Maltese film, Simshar.

Last year, Times of Malta reported how plans to promote the event had been hushed up at the last minute since it had been due to be held at a time when mass gatherings were banned.

Following the report, VCA chair Jason Micallef said all of the capital city's cultural events were cancelled on orders of the Superintendent of Public Health.

A year on, and with most of Malta's COVID-19 measures lifted, the agency has now been given the green light to go ahead with preparations for the event.

Speaking to journalists on Wednesday, Micallef said 'Cinema City' was born in 2020 to celebrate film and to enable families to enjoy some in the capital city's outdoor space.

After the success of the event that year, the agency decided to make it part of Valletta's annual cultural calendar.

Micallef said the cinema event is being held a few days after the Valletta carnival, which will see carnival floats returning to the city after the COVID-19 hiatus.

The head of VCA's cultural programme, Joanna Attard Mallia, said the choice of films being featured followed collaboration and consultation with the European project "Be Spectactive" and the Kilowatt festival in Italy.

"A group of volunteers watched more than 40 movies and discussed which would be ideal for all audiences," she said.

Culture minister Owen Bonnici said that after a year of restrictions and telling people to keep their distance "we are finally pleased to welcome families and friends to this cinema event".

Tickets for the free event can be picked up from the agency's offices in Triq ir-Repubblika, as from Wednesday.



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