Watch: ŻiguŻajg Festival turns ten

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

A colourful digital programme for home-grown events was launched for the tenth edition of ŻiguŻajg Festival for Children and Young People, during a press conference at Spazju Kreattiv addressed by Minister for the National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government José Herrera, Fondazzjoni Kreattività Chairman Rupert Cefai, and ŻiguŻajg Festival Director Marta Vella.

Herrera said , “With the looming hindrances of the Covid-19 pandemic, the need for ŻiguŻajg to be fulfilled was all the more pronounced, as was our commitment to seeing it through. Its execution was made possible thanks to the wondrous possibilities of technology and virtual reality, through which we were able to deliver productions of the highest quality, thereby reaching the main objective of this festival”.

Festival Director Marta Vella expressed what a challenging year this has been for the festival, the first for the young director who embarked on this journey almost a year ago. Aptly joining the conference virtually during her quarantine in London, Vella said that “This was by no means your average ŻiguŻajg Festival. The past six months were spent thinking of every possible way to keep the festival afloat through platforms that would not stand to be jeopardised by the ever-developing pandemic”.

“Over the course of two months, we studio-recorded over 100 hours of footage, which will form part of an impressive and locally commissioned body of work, comprising of ten productions with the intention of keeping our artists working, whilst ensuring that the festival will be enjoyed safely by our audiences from home and school”, she concluded.

When putting this programme together, the whole team, including Production Executive Andre Mangion, strove to create a balance between artistic excellence and financial and physical accessibility. This will be the first year that tickets will be sold at just €7 for the whole family, which means that one family can buy a single €7 ticket and virtually enjoy their preferred show from the safety and comfort of their own home.

Chairman Rupert Cefai said, “This is the tenth ŻiguŻajg Festival that Fondazzjoni Kreattività is organising, and although the celebrations won’t be going ahead as originally planned, we’ll still be celebrating that which is most important: art created for children. A lot about the way we work has shifted, but certainly not the purpose of this festival. On the contrary, this has been an occasion for us to reach out to a greater number of audiences through digital platforms”. 

ŻiguŻajg will be making use of TikTok and a new online streaming platform to bring this festival to life, except for an original DIY theatre co-production with Teatru Malta that is to be exclusively presented to schools across the island, as well as one live and socially distanced performance at the Valletta Campus Theatre produced by Jacob Piccinino and Lee-N Abela.

The programme boasts a repertoire of several cultural entities, local companies and over 50 collaborating artists. For the festival, Teatru Manoel will be producing their first children’s jukebox opera. The team is also currently finalising a special documentary in commemoration of the Festival’s 10th anniversary, which is set to be released in November.

Running from the 20th to the 29th November 2020, booking for the ŻiguŻajg Festival is now open. For tickets and more information, you may visit the website.

This content was supplied by the ŻiguŻajg Festival