HomeEntertainmentMalta Film Commission Hits Back At Industry’s Mediterrane Film Festival Criticism

Malta Film Commission Hits Back At Industry’s Mediterrane Film Festival Criticism


Related stories


The Malta Film Commission has come out swinging after two associations representing entertainers and film producers warned the recent Mediterrane Film Festival overlooks grassroots realities and problems of people working in the industry.

In a strong statement yesterday, the Malta Producers’ Association (MPA) and Malta Entertainment Industry and Arts Association (MEIA) called out Film Commissioner Johann Grech for hailing the “growth of filmmaking in Malta”.

They urged the government to fulfil key promises – including a strategy for the local film industry, a higher budget for the national film fund, and an update to the cash rebate guidelines to ensure money spent by foreign productions are channelled into the local economy and boost the local filmmaking community.

However, the Malta Film Commission said the ultimate point of the Mediterrane Film Festival is to attract foreign film investment, and that it is crucial to differentiate between that goal and funding local productions.

“Confusing these two distinct goals either intentionally misleads or inadvertently diverts the conversation away from the necessary discussions,” they said.

The Commission said the Mediterrane Film Festival has been a “significant success” in terms of showcasing Malta to the world.

“The Mediterrane Film Festival primarily showcases Malta’s potential and capabilities in attracting film productions,” they said.

“Throughout the week, top studio executives and professionals are given guided tours of Malta to understand the diverse shooting possibilities and other benefits the country offers for film production.”

“The Commission’s marketing and outreach strategies have proven effective in a very consistent manner; last year, Malta achieved a record level of investment in its film history, beating the previous year’s record, generating jobs and tens of millions of euros in direct and indirect benefits. These outcomes have been transparently analysed and published by the Malta Film Commission; a procedure which will be followed after this year’s festival.”

“In addition to showcasing Malta, the festival maximises public investment by hosting masterclasses and panels with industry professionals, including influencers who engage with younger audiences on content creation and professionalism and simultaneously promote Malta and the festival through their platforms.”

The Commission claimed that the primary goal of local productions is “cultural enrichment rather than return on investment” and said public funding on this sector has significantly increased over the past years.

“Public funds support these productions, which are essential for Malta’s cultural and artistic landscape. However, they often lack the commercial bandwidth for full private financing,” they said.

“The Malta Film Commission has consistently advocated for increased budgets for these productions when it had such responsibility. However, it is important to point out that today the Commission no longer carries the responsibility relative to local film funding.”

“Last year’s decision to transfer the responsibility for local film funding from the Malta Film Commission to the Arts Council Malta was, and is, a positive development, as this entity is better positioned to address the cultural depth of these films.”

“The Malta Film Commission will still support local film productions through cash rebate incentives, a strong regulatory framework, and upskilling programmes. However, financial support for local productions is now clearly defined as the remit of another ministry, allowing the Film Commission to focus on its primary goal: marketing Malta, attracting foreign film investment, and creating a stronger platform for local crew to build better careers.”

“One can argue that when the Malta Film Commission succeeds in spurring economic growth through foreign film investment, it enables the government to procure funds to invest in areas such as financing local film productions, which do not necessarily provide a direct financial return.”

In terms of the cash rebate, the Commission said it successfully lobbied to extend it to Maltese productions to “create a level playing field despite the lower ROI impact of local films.”

Did you attend the Mediterrane Film Festival?

- Never miss a story with notifications

- Gain full access to our premium content

- Browse free from up to 5 devices at once

Latest stories