13 hours among the great films shot in Malta – generates $50 million in the economy
During the past six months, various localities in Malta were the centre of a film production and shooting of the film ‘The Tempest’, a temporary title for :13Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi”.
It is the cinematographic version based on Mitchel Zuckoff book about the shocking and courageous story of six American security members, who fought trying to liberate members of the US consulate in Benghazi Libya, when it was attack in 2012. US ambassador John Christopher Stevens was killed in the attack.
Michael Bay who directed such films as Transformers, Armageddon and Pearl Harbour is responsible for the film’s direction with a cast of established actors and hundreds of Maltese extras. Film shooting was mostly concentrated in Valletta, Corradino and Manoel Island.
Producer Erwin Stoff, who worked on The Matrix, I Am Legend and Edge of Tomorrow, said Malta was chosen for the film shooting because of its geographic proximity to Libya and the excellent facilities for film production. “My experience here has been spectacular. The reason why we have decided to shoot here in Malta is you know… a true story and the story takes place in Libya, and unfortunately going to Libya to shoot was an impossibility because of the concerns that everybody knows.”, he said.
Visiting the film production sets, Films Commissioner Engelbert Grech said Malta has gained a good reputation in filming and is attracting some of the big names in cinema. He said that with directors such as Michael Bay, Stephen Spielberg, Ridley Scott and Kevin Reynolds choosing Malta, it is evident that the Maltese Islands are transforming themselves in a small Hollywood in the Mediterranean.
Tourism Minister Edward Zammit Lewis said the the film industry is having a direct impact on the Maltese economy. He said 13Hours was among the great films ever shot in Malta with a budget of 50 million US dollars.