A self-sustainable world-class film industry supported by a base of local full-time crew is what Malta’s Film Commissioner Johann Grech envisions for the industry’s future.
“The demand to film in Malta is increasing and we are very optimistic about that,” Grech told Lovin Malta during today’s episode of Lovin Daily. “We want to strengthen and increase the crew base to meet that demand.”
Over the past year, major international productions have made their way to Malta’s shores including Jurassic World and Apple TV’s new series, Foundation.
Meanwhile, a global pandemic continues to take its toll on the local and international film and entertainment industry.
“We kept the industry working. We kept creating and securing jobs. It wasn’t easy, the industry had to adapt. The productions today have specific units in terms of COVID protocols in terms of how to handle the pandemic,” Grech said.
Malta Film Commission estimates that the cost of production increased between 15%-30% as a result of the pandemic. Despite this, the Malta Film Commission is committed to seeing the local industry flourish.
“Our top priority is to ensure that more local people join the industry so we keep enhancing our products. Malta is known for its location and its water tanks but we are also known for our talent and our crew base which has been serving big productions throughout the years,” Grech continued.
The Malta Film Commission is also launching “listening sessions” with the 1,000 odd local crew to better understand their strengths and needs.
However, the major turning point for the local industry will be the construction of two state-of-the-art sound stages to increase the attractiveness of the island for international productions and create a constant workflow to facilitate more jobs in the film industry.
“By building the sound stages we are giving a guarantee to jobs. Working in the film industry won’t become an occasional job opportunity but it will become a career like any other industries,” he said.
Although attracting international productions has its benefits, Malta also has its own pool of local talent that requires attention. Last month, “Luzzu” became the first Maltese film to premiere at the prestigious Sundance Festival.
It also won a Special Jury Award for the role of real fisherman Jesmark Scicluna in the film.
“The filmmaker of Luzzu benefited from Screen Malta funding. The government has increased the budget of the fund to €600,000. It’s not good enough, but we’re making efforts to strengthen the local industry.”
“We want to ensure that we are creating the best filmmakers we can,” Grech ended.
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