Select Page


On the 3rd of July, 2005, The Westside Film Festival was born.
Like all great adventures, our short film festival started with a misfortune.
Right beneath the bastion walls, in the ditch where the boiling oil was thrown at some poor souls, there were the stairs that led onto the bridge that connected the mainland to the lighthouse that marked the entrance to Valletta Grand Harbour. During the most recent world war some Italian pilot dropped a bomb and destroyed this bridge, leaving the stairs stripped of their purpose.
The idea we envisaged was to place the audience onto those stairs, set a screen at the very bottom and have the most amazing screening that the world has ever seen. A shrine to Poseidon ended up as a shipwreck affair as the wind picked up late morning on the day of the screening, on June the 10th 2005. The screen became a sail and the empty stairs above it a ghost ship. Giant waves that slapped onto them sent a clear message that we were not welcome there.

So we called off the night, but promised to return 3 weeks later. We moved the screening of the first festival to a more secluded place, which was on a platform of Gnien il Gardiola, whose walls protected us from the north western winds, the most common ones for the Maltese archipelago. 
Gardiola was levitating above the Grand Harbour, in a set up so stunning it was almost too much. One had to focus on the screen, to see the selection of short films that were prepared for the night. 
All the film club gang was there, including the Maltese filmmakers that had their films screened for the first time. Their work was celebrated amongst a dozen of foreign short films. The bar was set up by Alantalex people who served drinks throughout the night. Some birds were chirping.