Malta pushes for sound stages

By FNE Staff
    Malta's film commissioner is promoting private investment in sound stages and expanding the country's reach for international film production.

    According to a report on www.di-ve.com, Luisa Bonello, Malta's film commissioner, has emphasized a 50% tax credit and Malta's film industry in 2007, when a film was in production or pre-production every day of the year. Gladiator, Munich, and the recent Agora are among the films that have used Malta for location filming. Among the country's draws are the water tanks at the Mediterranean Film Studio. The Popeye village has been turned into a tourist attraction.

    Malta's EU approved cash rebate returns 22% of local spend, including below-the-line crew.

    The film commission is beginning to appeal to commercials and to productions from places such as India and Russia, in an effort to grow Malta from the occassional blockbuster location to a country with a full-time film industry, with permanent sound stages as well as locations that span centuries and continents.