One of the production companies which the Malta Film Commission met during the series of information sessions ?Filming in Malta: One location fits all,? hosted at Harrods in London as part of the ?This is Malta? showcase which took place in March, earlier this year :Maya Vision International will in the coming weeks be coming to Malta to produce a new BBC documentary (59 minutes), focusing on Malta?s heroic stand during the Second World War siege of 1940-42, presented by author and historian James Holland.

The documentary will focus on how across March and April 1942, more bombs fell on Malta than fell on London during the entire Blitz, leading to the island becoming the first collective recipient of the George Cross. Upon awarding the prestigious award, King George VI wrote as his citation: ?To honour her brave people I award the George Cross to the Island Fortress of Malta to bear witness to a heroism and devotion that will long be famous in history.?

The story of the brave island?s stand against tyranny in the face of hardship and near starvation has become legendary: a battle of land, sea and air ? and an unimaginable feat of human endurance.

In this re-examination of the iconic episode, historian James Holland argues that the Siege of Malta holds a far more pivotal role than has often been accepted. Had Malta fallen, Britain would have lost its foothold in North Africa (and quite possibly lost the whole Mediterranean and Middle East theatre altogether), long before the victory of El Alamein. The loss of Malta would have closed off Britain?s link to the East, whilst opening the Axis to the crucial oilfields of the Middle East and Iran.

With access to first-hand testimonies from those who fought for the freedom of Malta, and with rarely-seen documents that help us better understand the offensive role the island also played during this time ? particularly against Axis shipping ? the film will build up a sense of the drama of the siege and the stakes in play.

From the air battles in the Mediterranean skies (second only to the Battle of Britain in intensity), to the daring raids of Britain?s fledgling submarine force led by the likes of David Wanklyn VC; from the beleaguered convoy runs of the Merchant Navy to the stoical determination and suffering of the Maltese citizens ? this story is rich in drama, action, tragedy and triumph. A battle of land, sea and air ? and a true David against Goliath effort, where the fate of a small island held such great implications for the rest of the war effort, on all sides.

The Siege of Malta (w/t) is a Maya Vision International production for the BBC. Transmission is currently scheduled for early 2013. The main body of filming for the documentary, to be produced and directed by BAFTA-nominated filmmaker Aaron Young, is scheduled to take place on the island in mid-September, taking in the festivities of Independence Day and the build up to the Malta International Air Show.

Maya Vision International is an independent film and television production company, founded in 1983. Since then they have won many awards and become renowned for making work of the highest quality. Specialising in producing original, landmark documentaries, features and drama for film and television, Maya Vision has developed a unique style, making some of history?s greatest stories accessible to a wider public. Working alongside many broadcasters and funders, including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, PBS, UK Film Council and Arts Council England, Maya Vision?s highly acclaimed and award-winning catalogue has been screened in more than 140 territories worldwide.

Source BBC

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