25 JAN 2022

Malta Film Week Day 2: Creating a world class film industry

Maltese politicians, officers and talents have discussed different strategies to boost and improve the local film and tv local industry.


Malta Film Week Day 2


The second day of the Malta Film Week started with a panel discussion where Maltese politicians and executives analized the best strategies to push the local audiovisual industry. The main objective is to strengthen the domestic tv and film industry by education, training and funding to expand internationally after.

Ronald Mizzi, Permanent Secretary, Ministry for Tourism and Consumer Protection, mentioned that the country wants to create a world class audiovisual industry. “We have very good people in our industry but also a great infrastructure with training institutions and education. We are shifting from the traditional cinema industry, to the digital platform arenaa and we need to reach excellence in our film and tv industry.”

Jose Herrera, Minister for the Environment, Sustainable Development, and Climate Change ,mentioned that Malta has attracted film producers for decades. "Malta offers a unique and particular environment, the uniqueness of our heritages, buildings, traditions and language attracts films. and we have to protect this uniqueness."

In the same panel, Johann Grech, Malta commissioner affimed that Education and financing are the key for him . "We want to create the opportunities for the next generations and develop their careers, creating 1000 new local jobs." We want to support our local co-productions and also create funding opportunities for Maltese producers that produce abroad”.

The professor Alfred Vella, from Malta University highlighted the relationship and connection between the institution and the Malta Film Commission. "We have a 3 years program to help students to create short films and this will be impossible without the support of the Malta Film Commission". Vella also mentioned the dubbing program that helps in the exportation of Malta audiovisual projects.

Susan Roland, Manager at the malta film commission, stated. "At the Malta Film Commissions we provide the film fund, the cash rebate and the copro funds." The Government of Malta has recently upgraded the cash rebates for filmmakers making the financial guidelines more attractive to the film industry. Productions which satisfy a cultural test can benefit from a rebate up to 40% of eligible expenditure. Qualifying productions are required to present a provisional application to the Malta Film Commission, including a detailed projection of the Malta budget for the production. The rebate is given once filming is complete and on receipt of the audit report and upon final review by the Commissioner, the cash rebate is forwarded to the qualifying production no later than five months from the date of receipt of the presented production expenditure in Malta.

Feature film, Television film or Television Series or Mini-Series, Animation, Creative documentary, Transmedia and Cross-media productions are all eligible for the incentives, provided that they are all or partially produced in Malta. Qualifying expenditure incurred during production in Malta on EU services is eligible for a cash rebate, including the following items: EU below-the-line labour, accommodation, transportation equipment and hire, location fees, catering services, per diems, leasing of offices, computer equipment, props, property, animals, equipment, vehicles, and boats. Other qualifying expenditure includes wardrobe rentals, courtesy payments, telecommunications, craft service, laundry and cleaning services and professional services.

The copro funds has the main purpose of encouraging collaboration between Maltese and foreign companies to produce Feature film, Television film or Television Series or Mini-Series, Animation, Creative documentary, Transmedia and cross-media productions intended primarily for cinema release/broadcast and suitable for international distribution. "The fund aims to grow and further develop the Maltese film Industry. It will also be a boost for the country’s economy, since qualifying projects have to be filmed primarily in Malta and make use of Maltese talent," added Roland. The fund will also allow partner countries to share the risk and cost of screen production. Co-production arrangements offer both cultural and economic benefits to partner countries. Co-productions have the ability to engage new international audiences and enhance existing relationships between partner countries. Productions that have been approved as official co-productions are treated as ‘national’ productions in each partner country.
The total budget available under the Malta Co-Production Fund is €1 million per year. The amount of the financial contribution to be awarded will be determined within the limits of the available budgetary resources and with regards to the cost and nature of each proposed action.

Mark Camilleri, head of the National Book Council, mentioned the National Book Council Film Adaptation Fund 2021 whose main objective is to further promote Maltese literary works by supporting the production of a feature film adaptation of a National Book Prize winning or shortlisted novel. "The fund seeks to address all stages of development and production of one winning project with a maximum financial allocation of €200,000" he completed. Malta has a lot of local stories and our main objective is to continue telling and sharing more of these stories", he added.

In the sencond part of the panel, Antonthy Anthony David Gatt Head, External Communications at Malta Enterprise explained that Malta Enterprise is the country's economic development agency, tasked with attracting new foreign direct investment as well as facilitating the growth of existing operations. Within the organization, one may find a wide variety of skills and backgrounds. This facilitates interaction with investors from all sectors, ensuring that specific requirements are understood and met. "The long term presence of an investor in the country is a priority for Malta Enterprise. We therefore work constantly with our clients to find solutions to any issues they may be facing and to help them adapt to changing circumstances," he affirmed.

                                                                                                                                     By Romina Rodriguez from Malta