The Malta Independent 13 July 2020, Monday

Maltese connection to winner at Italian film awards

Wednesday, 13 May 2020, 11:00 Last update: about 3 months ago

A winning film at last weekend’s ‘David di Donatello’ Awards – Italy’s equivalent to the Oscars - has a Maltese element to it. In fact, the winner of the audience award – Il Primo Natale – has all its visual effects carried out by local company Stargate Studios Malta. Stargate announced this on their Facebook page congratulating the producers of the film for their success.

The film was a hit last Christmas with over EUR 15 million at the box office and with almost 2.4 million people who watched it in cinemas across Italy. It is written and directed by Italian comic duo Salvatore Ficarra and Valentino Picone who also feature as the main actors. The two are maybe known locally for heading ‘Striscia La Notizia’ - the satirical news on Canale 5, and for their participation in comedy shows like ‘Zelig’.


The story revolves around Salvo, a thief who, together with the parish priest of a small village Valentino, travel back in time to Palestine at the time of the birth of Jesus. This odd couple find themselves in a number of weird and challenging circumstances.

For an idea of what visual effects were created by the Maltese company for this film, click here:

Over recent years, Stargate Studios Malta has established itself as a visual effects provider for cinema and tv outside our shores, with renowned projects such as RAI’s 3 seasons of ‘I Medici’ and 2 seasons of ‘La Vita Promessa’;  Sky Italy’s ‘Devils’, and Channel 5 (UK)’s ‘Agatha and the Curse of Ishtar’, amongst others.

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