Malta’s culture brought to life on the big screen

Adding to a rich cultural heritage in Malta


After studying costume design in Rome, Giulia Orsi moved to Malta to grow her career. Soon after she landed her dream role as head of costume design on the movie Blood on the Crown, a film that chronicles how the citizens of Malta fought for independence from Britain in 1919. Discover Giulia’s process for costume design and why Malta is a great place to work.

Giulia studied costume design at the Accademia Italiana

Her first production was a short movie, a documentary about the female warrior called Gladiatrix.  ‘On Gladiatrix, I was in the production office, but I had the chance to touch for the first time the set and life on set as well,’ she says. ‘So, I started with some other short movie here in Malta with several productions, and then I achieved my first role as head of department in costume for the movie Blood on the Crown.’

Giulia begins all costume designs by thinking about what type of costume she would like to create and from what period. ‘I  research the specific period first, it could be Renaissance, Mediaeval or Victorian,’ she says. ‘Then, I start with all the research about the fashion of that era. After I have the clear idea, what kind of style, and the kind of costume I want to make, I choose the fabrics.’

Giulia says ideas come freely

‘Sometimes I already know the dress colour, materials, decorations or accessories. Other times it can take longer. It all depends on whether the idea is clear at the start. One thing is always the same — how much I love it when I finally get to make a start.’

Giulia says stage dresses can be embellished to catch the eye, whereas costumes for movies must be more accurate.

Giulia settled in Malta because people are particularly friendly and because the way of life also suits her personality. She’s obsessed with the rich cultural heritage in Malta.

‘Once you are on the same page with people or your crew, or even for the other team or other department, it’s like working in a small family,’ she says. ‘The entire island is a venue, a location for movies. There are different cities and different places, so you can always find a production they are shooting at that moment.’

“The entire island is a venue, a location for movies.”

A tailor mannequin with a yellow tape measure symbolising dress making in Malta's Culture

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