Love Letter from Malta
Romance is the colour that paints Malta. Julian Galea, director of ‘Love to Paradise’ gives us an inside scoop on the amazing locations that makes up this filmmakers’ paradise.
Iknew Malta was the quintessential setting for my travel themed romance movie Love to Paradise before I even had a script!
Charming villages and turquoise lagoons on a Mediterranean archipelago engulfed in rich history and culture, would not only provide the world I needed to let the chemistry unfold on screen, but become the third essential character in this twohander romance.
The sun-kissed love story follows an American tourist, Giovanni (Myko Olivier, Glee) who meets a local artist, Carmen (Marysia S. Peres, Assassin’s Creed) and travel across the Maltese islands on a passionate and life-changing journey.
With so many Hollywood films using Malta as a stand-in for other places in movies like Gladiator, Troy, Clash of the Titans - I always wanted to make a movie that showcased Malta itself - her beauty, culture, magic, madness and everything in between.
Malta is both a travellers’ and filmmakers’ paradise, and with so many amazing locations to offer, the script became very location specific and we shot in the best of them all over the three islands. Some include; <> Comino’s Blue Lagoon where the water is so blue it seriously looks fake! I needed a location for the start of the romantic adventure and an epic cliff jump so this one was a no-brainer. <> Mdina, a fortified city and Malta’s old capital with a maze of narrow stone streets oozing with charm and character. It’s also where my favourite church in Malta is (Malta is famous for its churches - there are 359 of them) which we got to shoot in.
<> The Blue Grotto, a number of caves which mirror the brilliant phosphorescent colours of the underwater flora and fauna with rays of sunlight, became home to the steamy swim scene we shot at sunset.
<> The megalithic temples of Hagar Qim (Malta has some of the oldest prehistoric temples in the world) also feature as Carmen shows Giovanni some of Malta’s history.
<> Valletta, Malta’s capital, oozes with charm and character with intricate architecture of limestone houses, museums, palaces and churches juxtaposed against vibrant colours of Maltese balconies, doors and the bluest water of the Mediterranean.
<> We are also the last movie to showcase the famed rock formation known as the Azure Window (as featured in Game of Thrones) before it’s natural collapse.
With a title like Love to Paradise, it was serendipitous we scouted the climax of the film at Paradise Bay that we shot at sunset with golden rays backlighting the passion and anticipation during a dramatic showdown which also doubled as the poster shot location.
Love to Paradise is a love letter to my motherland of Malta and a postcard for the destination. If you haven’t been you will want to go and if you have, you’ll want to go again.