Minister wants Rinella film facilities for sound stage

Malta hosting three US big budget movies for the first time ever

Movie powerhouse Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt taking Gozo by storm
Movie powerhouse Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt taking Gozo by storm

Malta will be having three large American productions being shot on the islands at the same time, home affairs minister Manuel Mallia said, a first for the country’s buzzing film industry.

Writing in MaltaToday, Mallia said that the first six months of this year had seen income surpassing the total earned in the whole of 2013, with some 10 television and 15 cinema high-budget productions having been hosted by the end of 2014.

Malta is becoming one of the world’s most attractive international location hubs for high-budget films, having attracted the Pitt-Jolie powerhouse to the island of Gozo to film ‘By The Sea’, a new movie being spearheaded by Angelina Jolie.

Behind this push to revitalise the film servicing industry, Mallia said, are financial measures aimed at enhancing the value offered to film-makers.

“These past 18 months have seen a radical change in the government’s approach to the sector… the film industry needs to be looked after and serviced properly if we are to continue to enjoy its benefits. Besides the financial attraction, we are also investing in human resources and infrastructure necessary for our continued success in this sector.”

For the first time ever, courses have been aimed specifically at having suitably trained and qualified staff for the services required as support for film-making – prop managers, logistics coordinators, film administration, producers, assistants to directors, and camerapersons.

“When we have a pool of Maltese working with more experienced foreign producers, the experience and knowledge gained will also have a spin-off benefit on our own production, and to that end, we also introduced, also for the first time ever, a co-production fund of €1 million to support Maltese initiatives,” Mallia said.

The minister is now awaiting the eviction of the operators of the Rinella film facility, after an Appeals Court upheld a judgement ordering the eviction, on application of the Lands Department.

Mallia said the government intends using the facilities to address a major shortcoming: the lack of a suitable sound stage.

“To date Malta was just lending itself as a place with ‘nice’ outdoors scenery for an outdoor venue, with all the post-production work having to be shipped overseas, with all the difficulties and disincentive which that created. The enhancement of the Rinella site to include such facilities, will go a long way to increase our competitiveness against other countries which also offer attractive outdoor venues for shooting.”

More in Film