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2024 Passenger Forecast Expected To Go Over 8 Million

2024 Passenger Forecast Expected To Go Over 8 Million
Jun 17 2024 Share

Malta International Airport CEO Alan Borg has warned of expected queues this summer due to record passenger numbers, pushing the airport to its “extreme limits.”

Borg told the Times of Malta that passenger projections were significantly underestimated, with the airport experiencing unprecedented monthly passenger volumes this year.

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Staff are working tirelessly to manage the busiest season, with ongoing upgrades to the airport facilities. Borg admitted the cautious projections led to development lagging behind actual passenger numbers.

In 2023, the airport handled 7.8 million passengers, a national record, and initially projected 8 million for 2024. However, higher-than-expected numbers suggest this target will be surpassed.

Last month, the airport saw 800,000 passengers, 70,000 more than the same period last year.

To manage the influx, the airport is installing signage and assigning staff to assist passengers, advising them to check in online and arrive no more than two hours before departure.

Upgrades aim to double the airport’s capacity, including expanding non-Schengen arrival areas and increasing aircraft capacity by a third by next year. Despite the construction, Borg assured passengers that disruptions would be minimal.

The airport acknowledges overcrowding challenges and plans to reconfigure seating to increase capacity. Borg highlighted a strong post-COVID recovery, with new airlines and increased flights, especially to Poland and the UK. Despite operating at full capacity, he expressed confidence in handling the summer traffic.

Borg emphasized sustainable growth over sheer numbers, focusing on attracting high-value tourists and boosting winter tourism. He noted that success should not be measured by tourist numbers alone, advocating for organic growth. Borg also discussed the seamless transition from Air Malta to KM Malta Airlines, emphasizing the importance of ownership over market share, despite Ryanair’s significant presence.

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Maltese Films Made Over €20K In 2023 From Screenings

Maltese Films Made Over €20K In 2023 From Screenings
Jun 17 2024 Share

In 2023, Maltese film productions, predominantly short films, saw 4,884 admissions and grossed €20,457 across 143 screenings. These local films contributed to the broader cinematic landscape in Malta and Gozo, where a total of 385 film titles were projected, including both local and foreign productions.

During this period, cinemas in Malta and Gozo recorded 594,087 admissions from 30,742 screenings. Despite the relatively modest performance of Maltese films, the overall cinema scene was vibrant.

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Foreign productions, including traditional feature films and event cinema, dominated with 589,203 admissions and a total gross box office of €4,488,290 from 30,599 screenings.

In total, six cinema establishments, two of which were in Gozo, operated 23 screens with a seating capacity of 3,881. Fiction films were the most popular, making up 73.8 percent of total admissions.

The top-grossing films were ‘Barbie’, ‘The Little Mermaid’, and ‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’, which together accounted for 18.2 percent of admissions.

Most films shown were rated ’12A’ (28.1 percent) or ’15’ (35.1 percent), with the majority (61 percent) having a running time between 76 and 120 minutes. ‘Live/Encore’ screenings, featuring operas, ballets, and theatre, had the longest average running time of 150 minutes, while animation films averaged 87 minutes. In 2023, cinemas employed an average of 110 persons, mostly part-time.

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Source: NSO

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Barbie was Malta’s Favourite Cinema Movie in 2023

Barbie was Malta's Favourite Cinema Movie in 2023
Jun 17 2024 Share

In 2023, there were six cinemas with a total of 23 screens and 3,881 seats. Two of these cinemas were located in Gozo.

Last year, 385 different films were shown across 30,742 screenings, averaging about 80 screenings per film. There were 594,087 cinema tickets sold in total. Maltese films, mostly short films, had 4,884 admissions and made €20,457 from 143 screenings. Foreign films, which included both feature films and special events, had 589,203 admissions and made €4,488,290 from 30,599 screenings.

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Audiences had 385 different films to choose from, mostly fiction, which made up 73.8% of total admissions. The top films were ‘Barbie,’ ‘The Little Mermaid,’ and ‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie,’ making up 8.8%, 4.7%, and 4.7% of total admissions respectively.

Most films were rated ‘12A’ (28.1%) or ‘15’ (35.1%), while only 7.0% were rated ‘18’. Over half of the films (61.0%) had a running time between 76 and 120 minutes. ‘Live/Encore’ screenings, like operas and theatre, were the longest at around 150 minutes, while animated films were the shortest at about 87 minutes.

Cinemas employed an average of 110 people last year, mostly part-time workers.

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MICAS Opens Doors With Stellar Roster Of International Artists

MICAS Opens Doors With Stellar Roster Of International Artists
Jun 17 2024 Share

Joana Vasconcelos, celebrated Portuguese conceptual artist whose grand sculptures enthral millions, hosted by Malta Contemporary in 2024

A stellar roster of visionary artists is poised to redefine Malta’s cultural landscape this year: with the Malta International Contemporary Art Space (MICAS) preparing for its grand debut with an inaugural line-up of artists that will thrust Malta on the global art map.

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The Portuguese conceptual artist Joana Vasconcelos, African-American artist Reggie Burrows Hodges as well as a Milton Avery survey with work by contemporary artists inspired by Avery, are the sensational highlights of Malta’s first-ever contemporary art museum and its meticulously-crafted programme of five diverse exhibitions stretching into 2026.

MICAS opens its doors in October 2024, where the public will enjoy the restored 17th century Ospizio fortress, expansive indoor gallery spaces, outdoor sculpture gardens and a café.
Artistic director Edith Devaney says the carefully developed selection process has been designed to present exhibitions of the highest quality. “It develops original ideas and honours diversity, and develops relationships with global artists and museums,” Devaney, who until recently was senior curator at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, says.

With Vasconcelos – recently commissioned to outfit the stage for Christian Dior’s 2023- 2024 Paris Fashion Week show – Malta Contemporary’s opening exhibition will be colourful and exuberant, with wide resonance and relevance to the museum’s visitors, both local and international.

“A core selection of installations that focus on the domestic will be presented alongside three major works that connect with the contemplative side of human existence – Tree of LifeThe Garden of Eden and Valkyrie Mumbet,” Devaney says.

Ray Pitrè, Figure in Sticks, 1969.

Ray Pitrè, Figure in Sticks, 1969.

Vasconcelos will form a deep engagement with Malta for her exhibition, which also celebrates MICAS’s contemporary architecture. Her work will be presented in the ‘raw’ building, before the internal museum structure is installed, revealing the natural beauty of the excavated and historic walls of the Ospizio washed in the natural light that flows throughout.

“A Joana Vasconcelos exhibition presents the perfect opening exhibition for MICAS as it invites visitors to step into her magical vision and in doing so, explore the museum and its campus,” Devaney says, adding that all international artists working with Malta Contemporary are challenged to leverage Malta and its culture to inform their approach to the selection and placement of work in the galleries.

In November 2024, MICAS will also celebrate a major, newly commissioned sculpture by the celebrated Maltese artist Ray Pitre, which will be permanently and prominently positioned within the campus as part of MICAS’s permanent collection.
“We are proud that our programme establishes an identity for this contemporary museum in a crowded global art scene while reaffirming our artistic independence,” says Phyllis Muscat, CEO and Chair of the MICAS board. “This sets MICAS apart from other government-funded cultural organisations and aligns us with international not-for-profit museums.”

Nicolas Party, Sunrise, 2018.

Nicolas Party, Sunrise, 2018.

Future exhibitions

Future exhibitions will feature works from master colourist Milton Avery – who influenced artists like Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko – and Reggie Burrows Hodges with a new exhibition of work, much of which has been created for Malta Contemporary.
A core body of paintings from the hugely respected American artist Milton Avery will also mark a first for Malta in 2025: rarely has Avery’s work been seen in Europe. With, amongst others, Harold Ancart, March Avery, Gary Hume and Nicolas Party, the exhibition will be a captivating study of how contemporary art remains rooted in Modernism, revealing these artists’ debt to Avery’s compositions and unique approach to colour.

In 2026, African-American artist Reggie Burrows Hodges will bring a visual narrative that explores questions of identity, community and memory. “A pillar of the programme will be to showcase the work of global artists who have earned recognition from their singular approach to creating art,” Devaney says.

Maltese contemporary art

In 2025, “Malta In Focus” will host Malta’s leading contemporary artists, illustrating the richness of contemporary Maltese practice from Caesar Attard, Austin Camilleri, Joyce Camilleri and Anton Grech, and more. “This marks Malta’s Contemporary’s commitment to celebrate Maltese art at its highest form and bringing it to a wider international stage,” Devaney says.

“Malta in Focus” will be a curated exhibition occupying all the gallery spaces and will feature the work of leading Malta-based contemporary artists. Selected and installed around the concept of imagined space, the exhibition will include artists from several different generations, working across differing media and it will illustrate the depth and richness of contemporary art practice in Malta. It will also mark the beginning of regular exhibitions within the programme that explore and showcase Malta-based art within a global context.

The €30 million MICAS, part-financed by the European Union under the European Regional Development Fund, is set to strengthen Malta’s cultural infrastructure with its platform for contemporary art and internationalisation.
“The MICAS mission is to be an advocate of contemporary art by raising public awareness to the significance of the visual arts in contemporary life, and by bringing to the forefront the way art and artists help mediate and interpret the world we live in,” says CEO Phyllis Muscat, who has seen MICAS coming into shape over the last five years of construction.

Leading up to 2024, MICAS has displayed works in several outdoor spaces across Malta from artists including Conrad Shawcross, Ugo Rondinone, Pierre Huyghe, Cristina Iglesias and Michele Oka Doner.

March Avery, Karen, 1968

March Avery, Karen, 1968

MICAS Board and International Committee

Alongside CEO and Chair of the Board Phyllis Muscat, MICAS is supported by Artistic Director Edith Devaney.
Board members include Mr Francis Sultana, Dr Georgina Portelli, Dr Claire Cassar, Ms Gabriella Agius, Mr Patrick Camilleri and Mr Martin Scicluna; and International Committee chair and member, respectively, Waqas Wajahat, collector, curator, and museum trustee who works closely with museums to organise exhibitions, and Timothy Rub, the celebrated George D. Widener Emeritus Director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

MICAS is a Government of Malta infrastructural legacy project for the Culture and the Arts sector that is part-financed by the European Union under the European Regional Development Fund – European Structural and Investment Funds 2014- 2020.

Please visit www.micas.art for more information and follow @micasmalta on Instagram to follow MICAS’s journey to opening.

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