Melita, Directed by Mitoshka Alkova (Malta) - Malta derives from the word Melita, meaning honey, which the Greeks used to refer to the island. You wouldn't think of the ancient beekeeping history when referring to the honey coloured streets of Malta; but in fact there is a rare species of honey bee that is native to this island- the Apis Mellifera Ruttneri. Only in fairytales do we hear about lands of honey, bees losing their memory and masked heroes. But will we only read about the Maltese honey bee species, once the last one leaves the hive and is faced with the selfishness of people. Melita documents the fading craft and ancient tradition in a country that has forgotten its roots. Few beekeepers in Malta act as preservers of history and silenced advocates for change, but still their native honeybee is starved by invasive species and a modernised society. We are the authors of fairy tales, and this one is being written for generations to come. Directing documentaries about identity in the past, as well as abroad in Bulgaria, I know the connection to the subject is what drives the story. The beekeeper and his connection to abandoned Maltese nature is my personal focus. I have a fascination with cultural identity and memory which is why I think it's so important to preserve the elements, such as nature, that distinguish us. I feel that the decline and threat to honeybees doesn’t feel like news anymore but is one of the most vital threats to the environment as we know it. Everyday species become more prone to extinction due to the lack of focus on the environment, especially in a small country like Malta. I want to highlight the importance of preservation for both our biodiversity but also its links to cultural identity which I believe this film will do.

Oregon Short Film Festival - Winter 2021 Official Selection

 

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