Fort Ricasoli undergoing restoration works to attract more film productions
The Film Commission, with the help of the Government, is carrying out an investment programme on the infrastructure of the Film Studios in Ricasoli as well as other improvements in the way of fiscal incentives so that Malta can strengthen its competitiveness in this sector.
In an interview with TVM, Film Commissioner Johann Grech, said that next month, three productions will start being shot on the Maltese islands at the same time, while work has started to develop the first sound stage close to the tanks, so that Malta can make it easier for producers to finish off their production here from beginning to end.
In order to make Malta more competitive within the film industry, in January the Film Commission revised its incentives for those who choose Malta for their film or production.
Mr Grech told TVM that the productions which satisfy various criteria may receive a cash rebate of up to 40% for the expenses they have spent on the Maltese islands. Before this, the cash rebate used to be 27%.
“Today with this cash rebate we are offering the best incentives in Europe as well as the world because we are also competing with Australia and Canada. From the meetings I have held with international producers and studios, I can say there is a great deal of interest and in fact next month we will have three simultaneous productions, and in June and July we will have even more productions.”
The Film Commissioner said that the Government has just begun a strong investment and infrastructure programme at the Film Studios which includes the roads, the offices and the water tanks which are unique in Europe and an attraction for every producer.
Mr Grech said that work has started so that by the end of this year a sound stage will be built which is crucial for the industry as last year Malta almost lost two major productions because it lacked these facilities.
“If we have a soundstage, the production can continue to be serviced here in Malta at our Film Studios and this makes strategic sense. Therefore the Government is investing in this to be able to offer facilities to service a film from A to Z”
A year and a half after taking over as Film Commissioner, Mr Grech said that the Government’s vision is for the film and production industry to be active all year long.
“We not wish this industry to remain seasonal but to become back-to-back, with one production after another so that we can strengthen the local industry, continue to improve our talent, and improve our services so that we can truly be the best in Europe.”
Questioned about 2018, the Film Commissioner said that last year there were 11 productions in Malta which between them generated around €25 million to the Maltese economy, the same amount as in 2017.