Film industry strategy should be finalised by end of year, tourism minister says

Last Updated on Monday, 26 June, 2023 at 4:06 pm by Andre Camilleri

The film industry in Malta should have a finalised strategy by the end of the year, with the potential for the industry to become one of the main economic drivers for the country in the coming years, Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo said.

During the first edition of the Mediterrane Film Festival, which took off Monday morning, Bartolo said that the film strategy until 2030 will be based on a number of pillars, including fiscal incentives, an investment towards the industry’s infrastructure, as well as education and training, while encouraging more children and youth to follow a career in the film industry.

Bartolo described Malta as a one stop shop destination for film makers all around the globe, as government, as well as the film Commission, are planning ahead so that the film industry could further flourish in its economic future.

The five pillars which are the backbone for a comprehensive approach on the future of the film industry are film education, talent development, production support, more infrastructure, and international cooperation.

Government, along with the Film Commission, will be receiving and communicating thoughts on the strategy during these days of the festival.

Bartolo said that work is being done to establish comprehensive training programs for those interested in building a career in the film industry, programs for primary and secondary schools, more internship opportunities for film makers, as well as increasing infrastructure.

“Our people are our best assets,” Bartolo said, adding that moving from words to action and development is essential, if we want a film industry registering growth, and ensuring profitability and sustainability.

He continued that government is committed to providing cutting edge technology, sound stages, and creating the best possible environment. With such key investment, the country will attract more high-quality productions.

Film Commissioner Johann Grech said that this month alone, there are four ongoing productions in Malta, and last year was a record year for the Maltese film industry, with 24 productions and a budget of over €85 million.

Grech said that the two challenges faced by the industry are both physical infrastructure and human capacity, with the need to attract and skill a new generation of local talent.

He also said that the planning permit for a new film studio with sound stages has been granted, with the design ready and tenders will be issued.

Grech said that there is also a need for a rigorous audit of the skills the industry already has, and by the end of the year, there will be a clear picture of the skills gap in the industry. He said that the Commission will do this analytically and are asking producers and studios what skills they need.

He continued that utilising European funding, in the first six months of next year, tailor made courses to take people’s careers to the next level will be held.

Grech said that there is the need to create a world-class environment for film crews, as well as doing right by workers to recruit and retain talent.

A presentation on the strategic framework of the strategy was shown by Director at KPMG Steven Stivala, who explained the vision and values which the strategy stands by.

Its vision is for Malta to become a leading, world-class film industry which celebrates local products and attracts inward investment.

Through the pillars of ecosystem, leadership and governance, film culture and internationalisation and marketing, with its main objectives being developing a world-class physical infrastructure and nurturing a skilled and permanent workforce, Stivala said.

The conference ended with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Film Commission, as well as Bank of Valletta and the Malta Enterprise.

- Advertisement -