19 JUNE - 5 JULY 2020

Ruben Zahra.jpg

A word from the Artistic Director

Ruben Zahra

Annabelle Stivala 

A word from the Festival Malta Director


The Malta International Arts Festival (MIAF) is launching a series of 12 videos to foster the collaboration between different local artists. Three dance artists; Pamela Kerr, Dorian Mallia and Rochelle Gatt, have been commissioned to create new choreographies. The music for each dance will be performed by local musicians, ranging from a selection of preludes by Claude Debussy performed by pianist Francis Camilleri, French Suite by William Kraft for solo percussion performed by Luke Baldacchino and an electronic music soundscape composed and performed by Luc Houtkamp. Three writers; Trevor Żahra, Malcolm Galea and Simone Spiteri have been commissioned to write a cycle of monologues inspired by the current COVID-19 reality. Each monologue will be interpreted by actors in different locations following the narrative.


Furthermore a collaboration between MIAF and the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) and Spazju Kreattiv will lead to the production of three other videos featuring a programme of chamber music performed by MPO musicians at Spazju Kreattiv. Furthermore the MIAF is also producing three artist-collective videos engaging over 100 local singers, actors and dancers. The first video to be released in this series is a new arrangement of the Maltese classic “Kemm Hu Sabiħ” composed by Paul Abela to the lyrics of Ray Mohoney, originally sung by the late Sammy Bartolo. This project is produced in collaboration with MPO and the arrangement is scored by Kris Spiteri for string quartet, flute, piano, bass and drums. Another video produced in collaboration with Teatru Malta will feature 50 actors reciting the poem “L-Għanja ta’ Malta” by Oliver Friġġieri. And finally a dance-video project will portray 22 dance artists each contributing a short choreography edited into a seamless dance piece.


Special thanks to the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, Teatru Malta, Spazju Kreattiv and the Malta Society of Arts.

Welcome to the Malta International Arts Festival – Online Edition! This year will always be remembered for the extraordinary circumstances we have faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Theatres and stages were vacated to abide by social distancing restrictions, making it impossible to go on with the traditional festival as we know it. The Malta International Arts Festival has always been a main event in the summer cultural calendar, featuring a dynamic programme that celebrates both Maltese and International cultures, local and foreign artists and expressive performances. Given the restrictions put forth this year, we have worked to transform the festival by translating its essence into a virtual format.


This year, we will be bringing the performances to you, by creating a digitized programme characterised by different stands, featuring spectacular Dance, Theatre and Music performances, as well as three special artist collectives from high profile artists. Furthermore, we are also launching the MIAF Archive series, where professionally filmed footage from last year’s performances will be released in their entirety for the duration of the festival. With this revamped programme, followers of the arts can still look forward to the MIAF on their cultural calendar, as the stage is brought to the audience virtually, through technology.


I would like to thank my team at Festivals Malta who, during these extraordinary times, gave their utmost to make sure that all our festivals can still take place, even through previously unexplored means; the MIAF Artistic Director Ruben Zahra for his support, enthusiasm and dedication for the arts; the technical team, collaborators and sponsors; and the Ministry for National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government for supporting us in all our endeavours.