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Film festival to run for two weeks in three cinemas

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Fourteen countries, 14 different perspectives on the world will unfold on the big screen during the Malta International Film Festival.

Organised for the fourth consecutive year, the festival will showcase a selection of the best international films, the majority of which have received prestigious awards.

For the first time, the films will be screened in three cinemas, as opposed to one, as KRS Film Distributors attempts to gauge the audience's interest in this genre during the two-week festival, which runs between Wednesday and November 13.

Despite the fact that mass audiences shy away from films with sub-titles, there is a growing section of people who thirst for this kind of alternative art films, KRS general manager Charles Pace said.

"Many find sub-titles discouraging. However, over these few years we've seen a surge in the number attending," he said.

Last year, there was a 75 per cent increase in audiences, with over 1,500 people choosing to watch these films.

"We are encouraged by the improvement in the attendances, which we feel is partly a reflection of the quality of films we were able to acquire from our suppliers without whose assistance we could not possibly organise such a festival," he added.

"Since we've expanded the festival to three cinemas, we should be in a better position to find out if we're enticing new cinemagoers.

"We compare our festival with that of the London Film Festival, which is not a competitive one, but a celebration of films," Mr Pace said.

The mix of films chosen is intended to entice a new crowd and cater for everyone's tastes with a choice of thrillers, fantasy and social dramas.

One of the films is a Maltese documentary produced in English by Engelbert Grech, called Heroes In The Sky. This is set in World War II and hones in on the stories of pilots who fought to defend the island from Hitler and Mussolini.

Another film which should be a hit is the German production The Lives Of Others that traces the gradual disillusionment of a highly-skilled officer who works for the Stasi, Germany's all-powerful secret police.

The Lives Of Others has won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film as well as three other prestigious best film awards.

The film from France is Moliere, about the life of the French playwright who, in 1644, crippled by debt, hounded by the bailiffs and imprisoned, disappeared without trace.

From the US comes Death Proof, directed by Quentin Tarantino, which dwells on a stalker who kills women with his car.

L'Amico Di Famiglia is an Italian film that revolves around a usurer who is ugly and rich, and has an obsession with everything.

Other films include the Turkish film Climates and a film from China called The Curse Of The Golden Flower that takes place in the later Tang dynasty.

The list also includes Black Book from The Netherlands, And When Did You Last See Your Father? from the UK; Days Of Glory - Algeria, Familia Rodante - Argentina, Look Both Ways - Australia, Pan's Labyrinth - Mexico and Water, from India.

Each film will be screened at Eden Cinemas in St George's Bay, Embassy Cinemas in Valletta, and Empire Cinemas in Bugibba.

For dates and times of the different showings log on to www.krsmalta.com

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