ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Blood on the Crown – The Making Of

A lot has been written about the Sette Giugno 1919 riots, but little has been shared around the world. All this has changed with “Blood on the Crown / Just Noise”, a Maltese film featuring award winning actors Harvey Keitel and Malcolm Mcdowell. The film, supported by the Arts Council Malta reveals details of what the British Crown attempted to cover-up.

As Malta commemorates Sette Giugno, TheJournal.mt features an online exclusive of “Blood on the Crown – The Making Of”. In this feature, we get a glimpse of life on set and behind the cameras, and get exclusive comments by award winning director Davide Ferrario, among other members of the crew

“We wanted to tell a tale of human drama”

 TheJournal.mt spoke to producer Pedja Miletic on the story behind Blood on Crown, the challenges during production and how it felt working with some of the best in the field.

 “We set out to create a treat for the viewer who will experience delight by seeing a piece of history coming to life. We wanted to tell a tale of human drama.”

 Miletic explains that the team’s biggest fear was that the story could turn political. “I recall Jean Pierre Magro, the script writer removing references that may be historically controversial, and refining a complex human story until we lost the black and white perspective. The final script version read like a mosaic of emotions and human circumstance.”

Miletic says that having a script that was so well written helped the team attract world class talent. “I recall meeting Malcolm Mcdowell in his hotel room for the first time, telling him that the script was somewhat changed. Aaron Briffa, our co-producer was concerned that we are tight with rehearsing schedules, to which Mcdowell replied “Harvey and myself have been rehearsing the script at Harvey’s residence in LA”.” 

Another thing which struck Miletic was how Harvey Keitel was fascinated with Maltese history, as he kept asking about different periods of the Island’s past: the 20th century, the French period and the times of the Knights. 

“His attention to detail was incredible. I recall frequently asking Collin Micallef, our historical military advisor, to come on set as Harvey would want to be sure that every single detail on his uniform is not only accurate but worn in the proper fashion.”

Producers Aaron Briffa (left) and Pedja Miletic (third from left) with actors Malcolm Mcdowell and Harvey Keitel.

In order for such a project to be executed in the best way, a large number of people had to be involved. “I believe that there were in total more than 800 people and 93 companies involved in various stages of production and servicing. The Malta Film Commission, together with the Ministry for Tourism, gave us crucial support when it mattered. Albert Marshall and Mario Azzopardi, our executive producers, made sure that the right decisions were taken not only during the production process but also in the post-production stages of the film.”

He adds that apart from investment by Arts Council Malta, additional funding was secured through other private investors.

“We have received support from scores of companies and organisations. However, challenges were real, and at times, we just refused to crumble under unmitigated pressures and relied on ourselves. One person who wholeheartedly supported and believed in the film was philanthropist Konstantin Ishkhanov. The European Foundation for Support of Culture also introduced us to very talented composer Alexey Shor who scored the movie. To quote my fellow producer Aaron Briffa after we heard Alexey’s music on the first cut, “This music is making all the difference. It’s like another parallel story that literally paints the mood”. 

Blood on the Crown is available Amazon Prime, Itunes, Google Play and other major platforms.

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