The Film Industry in Malta was drawn to our shores thanks to the island’s colourful and varied background. The island could double up for practically any place, old and new. The island boasts a fusion of Mediterranean lifestyle; baroque architecture and modern freshness. With a countryside that is opulent and green in winter and arid and barren in summer; modern urban areas and Mediterranean villages; grand cathedrals and small, wayside chapels; small islands and steep cliffs; and large marinas as well as tiny fishing villages – Malta offers eclectic, modern, traditional environments that lend themselves very favourably to an array of film settings.
Film Industry in Malta
Dubbed in 1999 as “a Hollywood in the Mediterranean” (CNN journalist), Malta retained this momentum for the last decade or so. The last ten years have seen such an influx of productions that resulted in local crews struggling to keep up between one shoot and another. In the last four years the Maltese economy yielded €105 million from this industry. With 65 different productions, 26 films or TV series, such industry has highly contributed to job creation in Malta for a range of sectors including hotels, transport and logistics, catering, costume-makers and others involved in building film sets.
Besides offering the right ambience for film productions, Malta also offers different cash, financial and fiscal incentives that benefit the film industry. Malta’s Film Fund has also been established with the aim of encouraging emerging and experienced film-makers to develop their potential and support original and exciting ideas and stories for new works or the completion of film projects.
With the intent of increasing the workforce specialised in this industry, the Maltese government and the Commission are also stressing the importance of adequately educating workforce that will be skilled and specialised in the filing industry. In the 2012 Budget, Finance Minister Tonio Fenech, who is in charge of the film industry, outlined a number of initiatives aimed at establishing and promoting a local film industry, including the continuation of a programme of EU-funded basic courses in screen-writing, and documentary-making.
In the 2017 Budget, Finance Minister Edward Scicluna announced that plans have been made for the Malta Film Commission to offer a better package of incentives to attract more films to Malta, particularly optimal fiscal incentives.
The Malta Film Commission
The Malta Film Commission is a government body established by Chapter 478 of the Laws of Malta, the Malta Film Commission Act. The main aim of the Act is to make provision for the promotion, development and support of the audio-visual industry, including the film servicing industry, in Malta, and for the establishment of the Malta Film Commission and of the Film Commissioner, to determine their respective functions and powers and to provide for matters ancillary or incidental thereto.
The Film Commissioner has the responsibility to assist the production of films and the setup of industries for the production of films in Malta and to market the locations, facilities, skills, talent and expertise available in Malta in order to attract inward investment in the form of international audio-visual productions shooting on the island.
It is also the Commissioner’s function to analyse, assess and certify the eligibility of projects and, or beneficiaries for tax or other incentives provided by the Government of Malta, to approve co-productions and represent Malta and its audio-visual industry on international film bodies.
Our Malta Film Industry Team
As part of our Film Industry team, our media and entertainment law team advises clients in this area on all the following aspects:
- film and television finance (including equity finance and bank lending)
- contracts, including negotiation, start-up, underlying material rights, exploitation of rights
- location procurement and arrangements, including permits, licensing and authorisations issues
- corporate law and the setting up and restructuring of film and television production companies, including administration and back office services
- employment agreements and work permits
- tax, financial and other incentives
- international co-production issues, including negotiation, drafting and finalisation of any arrangements, qualification issues and liaison with local authorities
- property purchases, leasing or temporary accommodation issues
- tax advice and fiscal incentives
- insurances procurement
- intellectual property protection
- dispute resolution, including court litigation, mediation or arbitration.