Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 January, 2022 at 10:25 am by Andre Camilleri
In light of the Malta Film Week, a week full of events which strives to further appreciate the filming industry in Malta, Minister for Tourism and Consumer Protection Clayton Bartolo launched ‘Vision 2030,’ on Monday, a series of investments to ensure Malta becomes a world-class film hub.
Acknowledging that over the years, Malta’s filming industry has managed to produce some of the best-known blockbuster films, the government has ambitions in transforming the local filming industry into a world-class, full-fledged year-round industry which contributes greatly to the country’s economy, said Bartolo.
Bartolo said that no industry can survive without the necessary resources it needs to be sustained. He added that the focus will not be solely on a particular investment, but rather building a robust industry based on four pillars: infrastructure, film culture, education, and human resources as well as finances.
“Government has fully supported the Malta Film Studios infrastructural investment which saw the building of new facilities which catered to the demands of the new facility,” said Bartolo, adding that government will be building the country’s first sound stages, which will raise the industry’s standards for local and foreign filmmakers.
‘Vision 2030’ aims to place the indigenous industry at the core, supporting the filmmaker’s efforts and addressing their challenges, Bartolo said, highlighting that the industry’s best asset is its workers.
The government’s next aim is to seek alternative sources of finances rather than the industry depending solely on government funds, Bartolo said. It will also invest in a proper training institute to better train the individuals in the filming industry, attracting more creative individuals towards the sector, putting the film industry at the forefront of Maltese economy.
Malta’s Film Commissioner Johann Grech addressed the event, envisioning better working conditions in a more structured and established infrastructure and better working conditions, creating a strong resilient film industry.
“The film industry generated €98 million into the country’s economy, even during the pandemic,” Grech said, adding that the industry created more job opportunities for those who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic.
The government has recently upgraded the cash rebates for filmmakers, making the financial guidelines more attractive to the film industry, particularly the local film workforce. Productions which satisfy a cultural test can benefit from a rebate up to 40% of eligible expenditure, which brought millions to Malta’s economy, said Grech. 2019 saw 22 productions done within the span of a year, he added.
“In just three years we’ve created over 2,000 jobs in the industry,” he said, adding that there is still work to be done, striving to remain competitive and refining financial incentives.
The government is also looking to work on a plan for restoration of Fort Ricasoli, a hub for filmmakers. Grech said that it is important to expose and encourage youth towards the film industry, while also pledging to invest in film infrastructure, creating 1,000 more jobs within the industry.
“After 40 years of no investment for the film industry, we must celebrate the benefit of film and become a catalyst for the sector,” said Grech.
Permanent Secretary for the Ministry for Tourism and Consumer Protection Ronald Mizzi also addressed the event, emphasizing the industry’s mega importance to the country’s economy.