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Conference in Malta on blotchy 8mm film

The home movie shown in this post is a rather blotchy and dirty standard 8 film of a conference in Malta which took place in 1971. According to the notes on the reel which are shown below, there is also some footage of the QE2 ship in Southampton, although I’ve not been able to identify that.

A picture of the label on the Malta Conference film
The label on the standard 8 film

The Malta conference also has the phrase ’10J’ or ‘IOJ’ associated with it, i.e. ‘I0J conference Malta 1971’. I did a google search for this phrase but couldn’t find any information about it although there were several bodies that have those initials – chartered institute of Journalists & Institute of Jainology to name but two, but I couldn’t find any reference to a conference in Malta which this film may have been taken at.

Regarding the footage of the QE2 ship in Southampton I wonder if that piece of film had originally been on the reel but was subsequently removed by the photographer? I certainly can’t find any part of the film which I could identify as the QE2.

The standard 8 film

The film itself is on a 5 inch reel but only takes up 2/3 of the reel so I guess it’s about 120 feet which seems to agree with the duration at 9 1/2 minutes. As I said above it’s a standard 8 film and by reading the film type written on the side by the sprockets I can see it was made by Agfa. The fact that there is about 50 feet of available space on the reel tends to suggest that there was additional footage which has now been sadly lost.

Film quality

I think some of the markings on the film may be caused by the film’s storage conditions in the 50 odd years since it was taken. The blue marks appear at different points in the film but are certainly most prevalent at the start and detract from the enjoyment of watching it.

Conference in Malta

So to get to the meat of the film, and it’s contents.

It starts with an air journey, presumably to the conference in Malta and as I said above this is the poorest quality section of the film.

There are no scenes of the airplane landing in Malta, the action shifts from in the air to some panning shots of the island of malta, ships in the harbour and buildings at the water’s edge. This goes on for quite a while, and there are actually some quite marked sections of this film and a strong colour cast as well.

After watching the film a few times I noticed that the photographer who took it had a prevalence for panning the camera, and during these sections it actually becomes quite annoying – if the camera was panned slowly it would be fine, but to my mind it’s moved too fast and spoils the effect.

Once the film of the buildings and coastline have ended the action shifts to some scenes on a boat and what is presumably a tourist cruise around the Island or part of the Island of Malta. I scanned this section of the film vary carefully to see if I’d been mistaken and this was actually footage on the QE2 but I’m pretty much sure that isn’t the case.

Once the film on the boat is completed, there is film of someone planting a tree and I assume this is part of the actual Conference that appears in the the film title. After the tree is planted and the people watching disperse, there are some more sights of Malta and then a series of scenes of people assembled in a garden – again I assume this is part of the Conference. Once again, the panning of the camera made me slightly annoyed!

At the garden party there are several people in suits standing around socialising and I wondered if any of them were well known enough to be recognised, but I couldn’t immediately recognise anyone – possibly somebody who reads this post may be able to? If so, please use the comments section below to let me know.

The final scenes of the film show the flight out of Malta to what may be Naples airport in South Italy. The airport sign is not straight on to the camera so it isn’t easy to read, but Naples would be a reasonable destination for a plane from Malta – it’s in the same area.

Anyway, for your entertainment and delight I present the Conference in Malta film.

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If you see anything in the film which you recognise, or you think gives clues to the location or date, please let me know in the comments below. Also, please share this post with your friends if you think they may be able to help locate a scene in this film.

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A software developer by profession and an amateur photographer by hobby I've been interested in all things photographic since I was a teenager some 40 years ago. Many of my interests centre around vintage film photography and cinematography.

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