Current Affairs
Malta and ‘ħobż biż-żejt’ – central themes of film ‘Love to Paradise’

Malta can be considered to be the main character in a film about a love story which originates in Malta between a young couple. The film, a Maltese-Australian production, brings the everyday life of the island and its main attractions to the big screen.

Malta’s landscapes offer a beautiful background to this love story which shows the different aspects of the Maltese identiy.

Love to Paradise is the story of an American tourist, played by Myko Olivier who took part in the American TV series Glee, who during his vacation in Malta finds love with a local artist, played by actress Marysia Peres, who took part in Assassin’s Creed.

The film is produced by Maltese-Australian director Julian Galea, who explained to Television Malta how he wanted to rediscover his roots through this film.

“There are a lot of huge Hollywood blockbuster which are shot in Malta but they never showcase the culture and vibrances and history, but only use fortresses for production design. I wanted to show Malta for its culture and its vibrancy and aesthetic as well,” said Galea.

The film was released in Australian cinemas last month and right now is being shown in Malta.  Julian Galea, whose father emigrated to Australia in the 1960s, spoke about the sense of nostalgia which the film has created among the Maltese emigrants in Australia. “There is a recurring theme in the film; ħobż biż-żejt, I grew up my whole life eating it, my Mum used to pack it for me.”

He said that eight years ago, he gave up his job as a construciton worker, sold everything and went to New York to study film production. He added that he intends to film more productions in Malta.  “Perfect production landscape to shoot a film – long shooting hours, minimal rain but also the vibrancy it brings on location.”

Love to Paradise won the best film award at the Malta Film Festival.

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