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Malta Film Commission Launches Consultation Process Featured

2017-02-06
Filming Styx at the Malta Film Studios Filming Styx at the Malta Film Studios Credit: Mark Cassar/Schiwago Film/Amour Fou

VALLETTA: The Malta Film Commission plans to implement new legislation regulating the film industry within one year. The legislation particularly affects the film service industry.

As with the National Film Policy, the commission has launched the initiative by opening a public consultation process. Speaking to Film New Europe, Film Commissioner Engelbert Grech said that he “does not want to jolt the industry through shock announcements but would rather phase in changes gradually, allowing ample time for consultation with all stakeholders.”

One of the key changes will be the introduction of a skill-based film register.

”The Film Commission will be working with various entities, mainly the National Commission for Further and Higher Education to establish a professional and fair mechanism,” said Mr Grech. “Specific criteria will be set that will take into consideration qualifications and experience of each applicant.”

The current incentive regime will also be overhauled to encourage greater use of local skills and talent. Grech said, “The changes will mainly affect the cultural test, which every production has to pass before accessing the incentives. In the cultural test more points will be now allocated to those using talent based in Malta, both behind and in front of camera.”

On the local filmmaking front, the budget of the Malta Film Fund is to be upped by 50,000 EUR to 300,000 EUR annually. Asked on which funding strands will be targeted by the increase, Mr Grech said that whilst “the increase in budget will be spread across [all strands] we are also introducing a new strand that will help film makers in the distribution phase. The Film Commission is also open to discussing the possibility of a move to a biannual call.”

The first draft of the legislation will be made available after feedback from the first round of consultation is evaluated.

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