THE  MALTA  FILM COMMISSION

Malta Film Commission Tel: +356 21 497970
Enterprise Centre Fax: +356 21 499568
San Gwann SGN 09 Email: info@mfc.com.mt
MALTA Web: www.mfc.com.mt
Oliver Mallia – Film Commissioner Luisa Bonello – Commission Director

About The Malta Film Commission

The Malta Film Commission was set up in 2000, and falls under the Ministry for Investment, Industry and Information Technology . It is a non-profit making, government-funded organisation and offers its services free of charge to foreign film and television productions. The aim of the MFC is to create international awareness about Malta's unlimited potential as a film location as well as to develop, support and promote the local audiovisual industry. The Commission reviews and administrates tax incentives to qualifying productions, and also serves to facilitate and assist film crews in every step in the pre-production and production process.

Malta  As A Location

Malta's unique cultural heritage, architectural legacy, and variety of natural locations have contributed to a constantly developing film-servicing sector that is of considerable importance to the Maltese economy. Malta's proximity to Europe is also a bonus and contributes to the cost effectiveness of filming here, as does its compact size. The water tanks at the Mediterranean Film Studios offer natural horizons with the sea; one of the few tanks worldwide to do so. The warmth and hospitality of the people, the advanced support services, the fact that English is spoken by everyone and the ideal climate have all been factors in making Malta a popular film destination over the past fifty years.

Another advantage unique to Malta is its ability to double for virtually anywhere in the Mediterranean region throughout different periods. Over the past few years alone, the Maltese islands have doubled for ancient Rome and Greece, France (including Marseilles), Italy (including Venice and Genoa), Palestine, Israel, Turkey and Beirut. 

Local film crew can be sourced on the island, though heads of department and key crew members are mostly brought in with a production. However, the standard of Maltese crews is constantly improving, apart from the already reputable skilled craftsmen that have built some of the largest sets in the world (Gladiator, Troy), and equipment such as lighting and grip is also more readily available, with several local companies able to import what is not available on the island.

RECENT PRODUCTIONS – a selection

Film
Troy (Warner Bros)
A Different Loyalty (Forum Films - Canada, Spice Factory - UK)
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (20th Century Fox)
Swept Away (Ska Films, UK)
The Count of Monte Cristo (Spyglass)
Astérix & Obélix: au service de Cléopatre (Pathe Films, France)
Gladiator (Universal, Dreamworks)
U-571 (Universal)

Commercials

Coca-Cola (2003)
Shell (2002)
Mastercard (2002)
VSM (2002)
Pirelli Tyres (2002)
Noah's Ark (2001)
Citröen (2001)

TV

Byron (BBC)
Held der Gladiatoren – The Gladiator Hero (Grundy UFA, Germany)
Helen of Troy (USA Cable)
Daniel Deronda (BBC, UK)
Dinotopia (ABC Films, US)
The Death of Klinghoffer (Blast Films, UK)
Julius Caesar (De Angelis Group, Italy)

FISCAL INCENTIVES FOR FILMING IN MALTA

The Government of Malta, in its budget for 2005, announced the introduction of a number of fiscal and financial incentives for audiovisual productions shooting in Malta as from this year.

The incentives are expected to take the form of a cash grant given to qualifying productions on the portion of eligible expenditure spent in Malta. Up to 20% of this expenditure could be rebated to a qualifying production company.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?

Feature film and television productions, mini-series, animation and documentaries are all eligible for the incentives, as long as they are at least partially produced in Malta.

HOW MUCH DO THEY GET BACK?

Up to 20% of eligible expenditure of the Malta budget of a qualifying production can be obtainable as a cash grant once filming is complete.

WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE?

A qualifying production would be required to present a provisional application to the Malta Film Commission, including a detailed projection of the Malta budget for the production. Upon assessment, which would be based on specific guidelines, the Commission would grant a provisional approval. The final approval would be granted upon review of a final application, including audited accounts and a detailed analysis of the Maltese production expenditure, no later than 12 months after shooting is completed.

WHAT PARTS OF THE MALTESE SPEND ARE ELIGIBLE FOR A REBATE?

The rebate to be given as a cash grant on completion of an audiovisual production would be calculated on the following expenses incurred in Malta:

Labour, hotel bed nights, transportation equipment and hire, location fees, catering services, per diems, leasing of offices, computer equipment, props (sourced locally), property (owned locally), animals, equipment, vehicles, boats and locations. Other qualifying expenditure includes courtesy payments, telecommunications, laundry and cleaning services and professional services.

Presentation of expenditure should be net of V.A.T.
V.A.T. is charged at 18% and is fully refundable on all goods and services.

LOCATION PERMITS & RULES AND REGULATIONS 

No general permits are required for location shooting in Malta. Shooting in public areas requires consent for the relevant local council, with common practice being that a donation is made to the local council at the discretion of the production company. Permits for use of government property for filming activities are obtained from the Estate Management Department of the Government Property Division. Filming activities in specific areas such as listed sites and protected environments normally require additional permits or approval from the Malta Environment and Planning Authority, Heritage Malta or other relevant authorities. All public authorities and organisations apply different location fees and administration prices, many of them nominal.

Producers and location managers can directly request permission for the use of any government property from the relevant organisations, or contact the Malta Film Commission (info@mfc.com.mt) for further information, who will then advise accordingly on the respective procedure to be followed and will also forward enquiries to the relevant authorities. For further information visit www.mfc.com.mt

CLIMATE & WEATHER

Malta's ideal climate is strongly influenced by the sea and is typical of the Mediterranean. The Islands have a daily average of five to six hours sunshine in mid-winter to more than 12 hours in summer.

Summers are hot, dry and very sunny. Day-time temperatures in summer are often mitigated by cooling sea breezes, but in spring and autumn a very hot wind from Africa, known as the Sirocco, or, in Maltese, the Xlokk, occasionally brings unseasonally high temperatures and humidity. The temperature averages 14.1 C in winter (November to April) and 32 C in summer (May to October). The sun shines for an average of 10.11 hours in summer and 6.46 hours each day in winter. The hottest period is from mid-July to mid-September. Winters are mild, with the occasional short chilly period brought about by the north and north-easterly winds from central Europe.

Annual rainfall is low, averaging 578mm a year, and the length of the dry season in summer is longer than in neighbouring Italy. Sea bathing is quite possible well in to the 'winter' months, and the peak beach season can last until mid- to late October.

For further information please contact the Malta Film Commission (info@mfc.com.mt)

IMMIGRATION & TEMPORARY ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Foreigners of non-EU nationality seeking to work in Malta need to be in possession of a valid work permit. Temporary 'block' work permits can be obtained for crews. The Department of Citizenship and Expatriates Affairs cooperates readily with foreign film companies shooting in Malta; for further information visit www.mfc.com.mt

FILM UNION & ASSOCIATIONS

There are no film unions in Malta

CAST

Casting agents can source large numbers of extras, as well as secondary-role actors. The Maltese are essentially Mediterranean in appearance, but a large diversity of Caucasian and Southern Mediterranean looks are also found.

INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTS and the main airlines using them.

Malta International Airport (www.maltairport.com) is just a few hours' flying time from most mainland European cities and has excellent intercontinental connections. Scheduled services and charter flights offer a convenient departure point from European regional cities. The national airline, Air Malta, operates flights to and from all the major airports in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Other international carriers operate regular scheduled flights to and from Malta. There are several daily flights to Rome, London and Frankfurt.

USEFUL WEBSITES


www.visitmalta.com (Malta Tourism Authority)
www.gov.mt (Government of Malta)
www.doi.gov.mt (Department of Information)
www.maltairport.com (Malta International Airport)
www.choosemalta.com (Choose Malta portal)
www.airmalta.com (Air Malta)
www.maltaweather.com

Public holidays in Malta for 2005:
Saturday 1st January New Year's Day
Thursday 10th February Feast of St. Paul's Shipwreck
Saturday 19th March Feast of St. Joseph
Friday 25th March Good Friday
Thursday 31st March* Freedom Day
Sunday 1st May Workers' Day
Tuesday 7th June* Sette Giugno
Wednesday 29th June Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul
Monday 15th August Feast of the Assumption
Thursday 8th September* Feast of Our Lady of Victories
Wednesday 21st September* Independence Day
Thursday 8th December Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Tuesday 13th December* Republic Day
Sunday 25th December Christmas Day
*National Holidays