Malta’s Film Commission has denied allegations of favouring certain production companies over others, insisting that it is actually trying to promote opportunities for as many film businesses as possible.
In a statement, the Film Commission said it exercises no interference at all when it comes to the choices made by foreign productions when choosing local service providers.
“If and when asked for an opinion, the Malta Film Commission does discuss local service providers, however it is always up to the foreign production to do their due diligence and choose freely and accordingly,” it said. “Neither the Commissioner, nor the Malta Film Commission decide who ultimately works on the foreign production. Therefore, allegations in this respect are false.”
Earlier today, the Malta Producers Association called for the resignation of Film Commissioner Johann Grech after The Shift News reported that he would omit several local film producers in its list of registered production companies that are provided to foreign filmmakers using Malta.
It questioned why a public directory of producers and other services providers has been pulled from the internet and replaced by an “opaque” system it called ‘Opportunities For All’.
“It should go without saying that the private sector must be allowed to function without any interference from partisan interests,” the MPA said.
However, the Film Commission said the system change boiled down to a desire to be compliant with new data protection (GDPR) legislation.
It said the ‘Opportunities For All’ has helped Malta create a film industry “for the many, not the few” and indeed there are 363 companies and 700 individuals registered in the programme.
“We want a liberal market, eliminating the monopoly of the few,” it said.
“Since 2018, more than 16 different local service providers have worked on more than 35 different productions. Under Johann Grech’s administration, the majority of existing local service providers have all worked on these different projects. Therefore, it is completely false that the Malta Film Commission is providing opportunities only for the “chosen few”.”