“Carmen’ at the The European Film Festival 2023 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Arts Council Malta, in collaboration with the Embassy of Malta in Ethiopia, sreened the Maltese movie “Carmen” directed by Valerie Buhagiar.

The European Film Festival 2023 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia was held in October 2023 in collaboration with the EU delegation and EU Embassies and cultural Institutes.  

‘’CARMEN’’, produced in 2022, and directed by Valerie Buhagiar, is set in Malta village in Malta. Carmen (Natascha McElhone) has looked after her brother, the priest at the local church, since she was sixteen years old. Now almost fifty, she is suddenly left to start a new life. Facing her past, Carmen brings colour to the lives of the villagers in this compelling story about a woman finding her voice.

Natascha McElhone played the lead in her first film, Merchant Ivory’s Surviving Picasso, opposite Anthony Hopkins. She quickly followed this with Peter Weir’s film, The Truman Show; Alan J. Pakula’s The Devil’s Own, with Brad Pitt and Harrison Ford; and John Frankenheimer’s action epic Ronin, in which she co-starred with Robert De Niro. She also played Rosalind to Kenneth Branagh’s Berowne in his musical version of William Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost. In the futuristic love story Solaris, she co- starred with George Clooney directed by Steven Soderbergh. For TV McElhone has starred in the series
Designated Survivor as first lady to Kiefer Sutherland’s President; She is probably best known for her role of Karen in seven series of the cult comedy drama Californication (Showtime) and featured in the most recent season of The Crown (Netflix).

Valerie Buhagiar starred in films like the international hits Highway 61 and Roadkill. She won a Best Short award at the Chicago International Film Festival as a writer-director of the short film The Passion of Rita Camilleri. She won other awards with her features The Anniversary and It’s Hard To Be Human. Pierre Ellul, Anika Psaila Savona, and Coral Aiken are the producers.

Pierre Ellul setup Falkun Films in Malta in 2007. In 2006 he was nominated for a Directors Guild of America award for the film Munich as part of Spielberg’s directorial team. Other selected credits in a production capacity include Oscar-nominated Kon-Tiki (2011), the successful Danish film All Inclusive (2013) and The Promise (2015). He is Executive Producer on the Sundance 2021 award winning film Luzzu.

Anika Psaila Savona was involved in the setting up of Falkun Films in 2007. A lawyer by profession, she read for a Masters at the University of Oxford. With Falkun Films, Anika is the in-house legal advisor and projects she’s worked on include, amongst others, the Oscar-nominated American Assassi, Renegades KonTiki, and The Promise. Anika was the executive producer on Dear Dom.

Coral Aiken is a creative producer based in Toronto, Canada. She founded Aiken Heart Films in 2014. Her films have screened in competition at Cannes Cinéfondation, Seattle, TIFF, Sarajevo, Buenos Aires, in the Locarno Academy, and on Nowness.com. Coral teaches at LIFT, York University, and the Canadian Film Centre. Coral’s latest short film Succor premiered at TIFF 2020; a feature adaptation is in development with writer director Hannah Cheesman.