Illustrated by Gattaldo and animated by Turi Animation Studio, the 2022 Malta Book Festival artwork brings to life Arnold, whose encounter with a book gives him a new perspective and persuade him to lose himself in the stories within the book.

The 2022 Malta Book Festival poster and video animation are an ode to the pictures and illustrations that enrich books throughout our reading lives, from alluring images on front covers to the genres that have made visual storytelling a literary art. Drawings and paintings pre-date the written word by millennia: throughout our lives books are more commonly associated with words, and yet the very first books we encounter as children are picture books.

The spotlight on the role of illustrators and graphic designers forms part of the NBC’s renewed commitment to create synergies with a number of entities to draw up new initiatives for the benefit of all publishing industry stakeholders. Among other initiatives, seminars and keynotes by many publishing professionals, the Festival will feature a ‘From illustration to book’ exhibition, created in collaboration with Arts Council Malta and MCOI and MCAST, and taking place at the MFCC for the duration of the Festival. The Festival will also feature theatre productions based on some of the winning books of the Terramaxka section of the National Book Prize 2022. These are organised in collaboration with Żigużajg and presented during the weekday school visits.

Illustrated and designed by children’s author and illustrator Gattaldo around a theme that dates back to the cave dweller – visual storytelling – the Festival poster tells a story through images arranged sequentially, like in a silent comic. Gattaldo has worked in art direction, advertising and photography throughout Europe. He currently lives in London, and his work was published in the UK and the US. The Maltese-language version of his children’s book Fearless will be published at the end of 2022 by Midsea Books. A guest at the Festival, Gattaldo will engage with the public in a number of events with children and publishing stakeholders alike.

Watch the animation and get inspired to visit the Malta Book Festival this 23-27 November.

In the video animation, in order to strike a balance between staying as close as possible to the artistic vision of Gattaldo whilst coming up with movements to make the character come to life, the frame-by-frame hand-drawn animation method was used. The illustrations created by Gattaldo were used as main references, and new poses were recreated to create a sense of motion. The video animation was produced by Chris Spiteri, a 28-year-old animator and artist from Malta working at Turi Animation Studio. Currently, Chris is working together with Turi to bring Id-Denfil back to life.

Returning to the Malta Fairs and Convention Centre (MFCC), Malta’s largest international conference and exhibition venue, this year’s Malta Book Festival will be boasting a record number of 50 exhibitors. Over 8,000 square metres of space is being dedicated to exhibition areas for publishers, booksellers and NGOs, and activity areas for the numerous book presentations and discussions, while providing visitors with full accessibility and hassle-free parking. Four activity areas and a theatre, plus two reading areas and a sensory-friendly room, will host numerous book presentations and discussions for children of all ages, with the aim of promoting books and reading with all generations, and provide an opportunity to familiarise oneself with the best books on offer from local publishers.

Illustrations and branding copyright: Gattaldo. Video animation copyright: Turi Animation Studio

The full programme of events for the 2022 Malta Book Festival will be published inext week. For the latest updates, please follow the NBC website, and the NBC Facebook page and Malta Book Festival 2022 Facebook event page.

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