FNE Focus on Malta 2023: Miracle In Malta

    Mediterrane Film Festival Awards Ceremony Mediterrane Film Festival Awards Ceremony credit: Mediterrane FF

    VALLETTA: If the level of organisation and quality of infrastructure that was on display during the first edition of the Mediterrane Film Festival, organised by the Malta Film Commission 25-30 June 2023 in Malta is anything to go by then international filmmakers should flock to Malta to shoot their films there as soon as possible.

    The Malta Film Commission team that put together the festival in nothing short of miraculous time deserves to be commended for a job well done. Demonstrating how a small country can put together a world class event, the festival achieved its goals of putting Malta on the international festival map and bringing together regional players under the slogan “Stronger Together.”

    The event brought together for the first time key players of the film industries of EU-Med 9 nations (Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain). The EU-Med 9 or “Club Med” was founded in 2016 as a forum for dialogue for EU countries of the Mediterranean basin and government ministers from different sectors meet regularly to discuss cooperation in different spheres. 

    In addition to screening films from the Med 9 there was a world class industry programme that included panel discussions, masterclasses, roundtables and conferences on various topics, and involving key persons in the global film industry.

    Malta Film Commissioner Johann Grech, in his inaugural speech, outlined a bold and ambitious strategy for Malta’s film industry. The strategy aims to create a sustainable, year-round film industry that provides increasing opportunities for the Maltese people.“Our strategy is bold and clear. It is ambitious. And together I know we can make it happen. We are setting out where Guests arrive by boat at the Mediterrane Film Festival Awards Ceremony, credit: Mediterrane FFwe need to be as an industry and as a country,” said Grech. He emphasised the importance of creating a truly sustainable film industry, stating, “The ‘Next Level’ for film in Malta means creating a truly sustainable, year-round film industry – giving ever more opportunities to our people.”

    Malta is already enjoying a bumper year of foreign productions flocking to the island to take advantage of its 40% tax rebate as well as its excellent facilities and locations. In 2022 over 85 m EUR were generated across 24 productions. Malta Film Commissioner Johann Grech said “this was the best year in the last ten years where we gave people the opportunity to work on productions in Malta. Last year, over 900 Maltese and over 1,000 foreigners worked in productions on the Maltese Islands.” And 2023 looks to set a new record with Gladiator 2 by Ridley Scott already arriving for its Malta leg of its shoot, as well as many other international productions.

    The glamorous closing ceremony at the Mediterrane Awards closing event was a triumph with a dinner at Malta’s Fort Manoel and a show hosted by British celebrity David Walliams that put Malta and its film industry in the spotlight. The stars in attendance included Eric Bana, who also held a masterclass in acting, Jared Harris, Natascha McElhone, Annabelle Wallis, Daniela Melchior, Joaquin de Almeida and Nastassja Kinski. Commissioner Grech declared that the second edition of the festival will be back in June 2024. Malta is obviously a small country that thinks big.

    Click HERE for photos from the Mediterrane Film Festival.