The 2020 edition of the Valletta Film Festival will not take place due to COVID-19 restrictions and insufficient public support for the organisation of the festival.
The Film Grain Foundation which organises the yearly event said a lack of public backing, coupled with ongoing restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, made it impossible to hold this year's event.
The foundation is a voluntary, non-profit and non-governmental organisation. It finances the festival through a combination of ticket sales, public grants and private sponsorship.
Since 2015, Film Grain Foundation organised five editions of the Valletta Film Festival, making Malta part of the international film festival circuit. The festival attracted around 50,000 patrons and showcased over 500 feature and short films at various outdoor and indoor venues around Malta and Gozo.
It represented Malta and supported local filmmakers at other top-tier festivals and markets such as Berlinale, Clermont Ferrand International Short Film Festival and Sunny Side of the Doc in France.
Every year, the festival invited filmmakers to the Maltese islands, with many attendees presenting their work to local audiences and film industry professionals through master classes, Q&As and workshops.
Some of these included cinema giants such as directors Roland Joffe, Peter Greenaway, Alan Parker, Agnieszka Holland, Liliana Cavani and Bela Tarr, as well as up and coming young directors like the D’Innocenzo brothers and Jayro Bustamante.