Oliver Mallia • Director of Malta Film Commission
Already €2m in cash rebate in 2006
Oliver Mallia, director of the Malta Film Commission, gives Cineuropa a quick overview of the fiscal and financial incentives available in Malta, a new, very dynamic European Member State, offering highly qualitative services and shooting opportunities.
Cineuropa: What was the intent of the law that regulates the setting up of the Malta Film Commission?
Oliver Mallia: The Malta Film Commission is a government body established by CHAPTER 478 (Act No. 7 of 2005) of the Laws of Malta, consisting of an advisory body responsible for advising the Minister who heads the film sector on policies pertaining to the promotion, development and support of the audiovisual and film servicing industry. The board is composed of a chairman and four board members, including the Film Commissioner, who is responsible for the implementation of Malta’s audiovisual policy.
The board of the Malta Film Commission has a largely non-executive function except for the approval of applications for both fiscal and financial incentives. The Film Commissioner has the responsibility of assisting film production and the setting up of film production industries in Malta, and to market the locations, facilities, skills, talent and expertise available in the country in order to attract inward investment in the form of international audiovisual productions shooting on the island. It is also the Commissioner’s function to analyse, assess and certify the eligibility of projects and/or beneficiaries for tax or other incentives provided by the government of Malta, to approve co-productions and represent Malta and its audiovisual industry in international film bodies.
Are the regulations aimed at offering incentives to invest in and boost the audiovisual sector in Malta reaching your expectations?
Since the introduction of the Financial Incentives for the Audiovisual Industry in 2006, the Malta Film Commission approved 10 projects and awarded over €2m in cash rebates. Apart from making Malta a more lucrative film location, the cash rebates are also encouraging productions to use local talent and crew and feature stories that are set in Malta. Two out of the ten projects approved featured stories set in Malta whereas the rest made extensive use of locations and facilities found on the islands. The MFC is working to increase the number of productions days, which currently stand at 180 days per year, to around 250.
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