Today is the last day that Mgarr ix-Xini beach will be open to the public this summer, as the area is being used as a set in the ‘Brangelina’ film called By the Sea until 10 November.
Construction of the set is already underway, with one structure nearing completion on the beach itself, placed between an illegal restaurant and a small home.
Looking across at the cliff opposite the beach, one sees a second structure, also built as part of the set. Funnily enough, a Liverpool F.C. flag flies high above the structure, but whether or not it is meant to be part of the set is not clear.
Although construction work is underway, a few Maltese and Gozitans swam in the area and cabin cruisers were still entering the bay. The bay itself will also be blocked off as from tomorrow.
This film was labelled by the government as a ‘blockbuster’ and is expected to pour millions into the Gozitan economy.
Although great news for the Gozitan economy, this newsroom had previously uncovered information that the illegal restaurant on Xini beach would be receiving a sum of money to shut up shop for the duration of filming, a news item that was picked up by The Daily Mail as well as other local newspapers.
Certain people were speculating that the beach would be turned into some form of village set; however the full details of the set are still unknown.
This is not the first time Brad Pitt has shot a film in the Maltese Islands; parts of the 2004 action film Troy as well as World War Z (2013) were filmed here.
This will be Brangelina’s first film together since Mr and Mrs Smith, shot in 2005. Angelina Jolie herself told the US entertainment TV show Extra: “It’s not a big movie, it’s not an action movie. It’s the kind of movie we love but aren’t often cast in. It’s a very experimental, independent-type film where we get to be actors together and be really raw, open – try things.”