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    FRANCO Lanzilli, as President of the Film and Tourism and owner of the "Production Center" has a long fruitful career in the entertainment industry. The Associazione per il Cinema e il Turismo di Cecina in recent years has paid tribute in the ten editions of the Film Festival some of the greatest Italian authors, including: Roberto Benigni, Mauro Bolognini, Franco Zeffirelli, Leonardo Pieraccioni, Ugo Chiti and the Taviani brothers. Since 2011, Mr. Lanzilli has organized the the "Licrica che passione!" show, lyric concerts and a selections of the most famous opera lyrics. In 2012, he organised various art shows and the "night under the stars" with the final selection of ""Un volto per il cinema", a carattere nazionale", 11th edition of the Premio Costa Etrusca.  
    Company Name: Assoc. Cinema e Turismo
    Contact Person: Franco Lanzilli
    Address: 3, De Amicis Street
    Locality: Cecina Post Code: 57023
    Country: Italy
    Phone: +39 3475318921
    E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Web Site: www.associnemacecina.com

    Good Friday processions in Malta is a post from the Malta holidays guide GuideToMalta.net

    Good Friday processions in MaltaDuring Good Friday Processions, Malta’s streets are transformed into open-air theatres that celebrate the cycle of suffering, death and resurrection.

    Every year on Good Friday, Christians commemorate the death of Jesus Christ. His resurrection three days later is the Church’s greatest feast and, for believers, the defining moment of their faith. For the Maltese, no other event captures the imagination quite as vividly as this annual ritualised cycle of suffering, death, and resurrection.

    Nothing can prepare the visitor for the sheer volume of images and rituals crammed into these few spring days. Families go on a special round of seven churches; enthusiasts exhibit sets of miniaturef statues in their homes; and confectioners make special ‘fasting’ sweets. The biggest dos of all are undoubtedly the Good Friday processions which see a growing number of towns and villages transformed into open-air theatres. Space becomes time as hundreds of static actors in period costume narrate the storyline of Jesus’s sacrifice by filing past crowds of spectators to the beat of funerary marches. These tableaux vivants take over our everyday streetscapes. The shops and facades we know so well are transformed into a backdrop for Biblical characters and Roman legions, to dramatic counterpoint.

    During Holy Week and especially on Good Friday, a number of sensations converge on the body of the believer. Take the juxtaposition of fast and feast, an element common to many world religions. Or the change in the acoustic landscape, from the church bells that usually pattern our daily lives to the somewhat-macabre sound of the tuqtojta (rattle) that replaces them on Good Friday as a sign of mourning. These elements change, albeit temporarily, the way we experience our bodies -again an important aspect of what religion is all about.

    As is the case in any ritual, the meanings of this collective drama seep out of the purely religious. The element of masculine performance is very evident, as is the broader theme of the aesthetics of suffering which has bewitched countless painters and film-makers. All of which makes us wonder how all this blood and agony congealed into such a coherent routine.

    For the casual onlooker, especially one (dis-)armed with the commonly-peddled cliché of Mediterranean timelessness, it is easy to think of these practices as ’survivals’ or collective folk traditions that take us back into the ‘mists of time’. In fact, these traditions contain a lot of history, entrepreneurship, and invention.

    Good Friday Processions have a fascinating and very definite history. Their roots are complex and draw upon various medieval Christian traditions. As Joseph Cassar Pullicino notes in his Studies in Maltese Folklore, the idea reached Malta through Spanish and Sicilian influences. By the end of the sixteenth century, the lay confraternity of St.Joseph attached to the Franciscan friary in Rabat was the first to organise such a procession, followed by its counterpart attached to the Valletta friary in 1645. The tradition of dressing up statues in the manner of southern religious baroque originated in the early eighteenth century when merchants and sea-captains from Vittoriosa, impressed by what they had seen in Spain, commissioned a set of statues for the parish church of their home town. The chained and masked penitents, which so spooked us when we were young, have an even more colourful history which takes us back to eighteenth-century Vittoriosa, where baptised slaves and forzati, persons condemned for various reasons to wear chains, took part in the procession.

    Rather like Valletta’s Grand Harbour fortifications, which may look seamless but in fact represent hundreds of years of intermittent planning, construction, and demolition, the processions and rituals we witness today are the result of centuries of change. Periods of relative prosperity – and therefore sponsorship and benefaction – such as the eighteenth century and the last decades of the twentieth, generally brought about feverish entrepreneurship and creativity.

    This process is an ongoing one. The circles of dilettanti (enthusiasts) that are the lifeblood of today’s rituals do not just accept what is traditional. They circulate from village to village, comparing notes on ideas and technique. It is not unknown for them to take their research to other countries, especially Italy and Spain. The decennial passion play held in Oberammergau in Austria has lent its fair share of inspiration, as have the sword-and-sandal Hollywood epics that serveas models for period costumes. And, in the absence of sea-captains commuting between Vittoriosa and Barcelona, a couple of mouse clicks can work miracles.

    Being thus embedded in Maltese history, Holy Week rituals have not failed to attract flak from a number of directions. Maltese social reformers like Manwel Dimech have tended to see them as short-sighted diversions from bread-and-butter issues. The Church on its part seeks to limit their scope in order to encourage people to concentrate on what it sees as the real issue: a collected reflection on the sufferings of Christ. At this point the boundary between urban legend and fact gets murky, but common knowledge has it that some procession organisers, in an effort to avoid rivalry, individually weigh every chain dragged by penitents.

    It is this heady mix of suffering, aesthetics, history, and politics, which renders Holy Week in Malta such a wonderful complement to the labours of the birth of spring.

    Malta band clubs and band marches is a post from the Malta holidays guide GuideToMalta.net

    Band clubs in Malta are part and parcel of the social and cultural history of the Maltese islands and have, along the years, established themselves as an institution in the core of every town and village, aimed at spreading Maltese culture and teaching of music. Many musicians who have gone on to make a name for themselves, locally or abroad, owe their success, in part, to the encouragement and teaching of the local band club.

    The idea of forming philharmonic societies or band clubs was already brewing in the minds of a few dilettantes back in the second part of the 19th century. Small bands were formed by individuals – most of whom could not afford to buy a musical instrument of their own. Businessmen dug deep into their pockets to help those individuals who possessed the talent to learn how to play an instrument. Thus the first band clubs were formed and the primary aim was that the musicians would perform in their village feast.

    The number of clubs flourished and a sense of professionalism prevailed. After turbulent and then conciliatory circumstances, the Band Clubs Association was formed. This year the Association is celebrating its 60th anniversary, endorsing a membership of 84 band clubs across the island. According to the latest survey by the local National Statistics Office, the total number of bandsmen/women (bandisti) amount to over 4000, both residents and trainees, more than a quarter of whom are women.

    Every town and village in Malta and Gozo has its own band club, some even have two, as there are certain villages which celebrate two feasts – one dedicated to the patron saint and the other celebrating the so called ‘secondary’ feast of another saint. In the past, unfortunately, an intense rivalry developed when a village had more than one club and this rivalry at times became violent as each struggled to better the other when it came to celebration of their saint. Nowadays, however, this competitiveness is channeled in a more positive way, with rival band clubs leaving no stone unturned as they strive to decorate the façade of the club’s premises in the most colourful and vivid way, launch new musical numbers, and create the most merry-making atmosphere possible. Marching in rows of six, wearing uniforms and proudly showing off the badge of their club, a band is normally composed of between 60 and 70 bands- men/women playing a variety of instruments.

    The premises of most of the clubs are attractions in themselves, places to show off musical memorabilia as well as souvenirs of major achievements over the years. They offer a meeting place for members and a teaching place where young musicians are encouraged to join their colleagues in the next village festa festivities. Musical programmes along the main streets of the village herald a week of festivities and celebrations and, in most instances, end with the popular “mar ta’ filghodu” – the morning march. Feasts are practically held every Sunday between June and September and in many cases more than one is celebrated during the weekends.

    If you happen to be flying in, go to one of the village feats, mingle with the locals and enjoy the merrymaking provided by the band marches. Don’t forget to taste the traditional Maltese nougat from one of the many stalls!

    Maltese Bread – a Tradition is a post from the Malta holidays guide GuideToMalta.net

    Maltese Bread   a TraditionNo mention of Maltese food is complete without a reference to the local Maltese bread, and more specifically the popular loaf called tal-Malti (literally, “of the Maltese”). Very crusty on the outside, yet soft on the inside, many visitors and the Maltese alike find the combination of taste and texture of fresh Maltese bread irresistible.

    Indeed, Maltese bread tastes like no other bread in the world. However, to enjoy it at its best, the hobza tal-Malti must be eaten fresh, on the same day it was baked. You can find typical Maltese bread at most village groceries and supermarkets. However, a visit to a bakery is well worth your while, if only to witness and appreciate the rustic authenticity of the way it is produced – not to mention savouring the enticing aroma of the finished product, fresh out of the oven!

    A perfect snack is hobz biz-zejt, served in practically every bar or kiosk and still a favourite packed lunch for many. Each bar and household has a different version of the ingredients which make up this popular snack, but they all make a substantial alternative to a quick lunchtime sandwich. The hobz biz-zejt is a large thick round of Maltese bread dipped in olive oil rubbed with ripe tomatoes and filled with a mix of tuna, onion, garlic, tomatoes and capers. A version made with the unleavened variety of Maltese bread, the ring-shaped Jtira; is just as delicious. In restaurants, smaller portions known as bruschetta are served as appetisers.

    First-time visitors to the Maltese Islands are usually pleasantly surprised to realise that a loaf of bread can prove to be such a treat in itself. Some visitors are so taken by this genuine delicacy that they make sure they grab a loaf before boarding their planes, thus taking back home a simple, but incredible slice of Maltese life!

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