Drive to promote Gozo as a film location

“3.5% of tourists visit our islands because they’ve seen them on film” – Gozo Minister Anton Refalo.

Left to right: Gozo Minister Anton Refalo, Film Commissioner Engelbert Grech and Tourism Minister Edward Zammit Lewis
Left to right: Gozo Minister Anton Refalo, Film Commissioner Engelbert Grech and Tourism Minister Edward Zammit Lewis

During a consultation meeting on the film industry in Gozo, Tourism Minister Edward Zammit Lewis said that film remains a crucial industry for both Malta and Gozo, given that apart from its contribution to the economy and job creation, this industry also serves to promote the islands as a tourist destination.

 “As all those who work within this sector know, this government has given a substantial boost to the local film industry. As part of its strategy, the Malta Film Commission has introduced new incentives, along with an extensive and worldwide marketing campaign,” Zammit Lewis said. 

Zammit Lewis cited the Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt production By the Sea as proof of this, since the upcoming drama is the most prestigious film to be shot in Gozo so far. He added that the government is doing its utmost to ensure that workers within the film industry are employed all year round.

Hollywood-scale productions come with significant challenges, some of which cannot yet be shouldered by the human resources available on the island. It is for this reason that courses are being set up in both Malta and Gozo, which will hopefully help train would-be industry professionals, Zammit Lewis added.

Gozo Minister Anton Refalo said that By the Sea – being the largest film of its kind shot in Gozo – “employed many Gozitans and generated millions of euro for the Gozitan economy”, adding that the government is committed to generating jobs within the film industry, which will in turn strengthen Gozo’s “screen tourism”.

“According to statistics issued by the Malta Tourism Authority, 3.5% of tourists visit our islands because they’ve seen them on film,” Refalo said, adding that the film industry has a significant “multiplier effect” on accommodation. He added that apart from the money that goes to film crews other services directly related to film production, money is also spent on hotel accommodation, food, transport, entertainment and other services.

A new marketing campaign by the Malta Film Commission will focus exclusively on Gozo, with the aim of promoting its potential as a film location on a global scale. The industry requires manpower to construct sets, handle props, work in administration, logistics and transport coordinators, producers, directors and camerapersons – all of which emphasizes the need for courses which cater to these skills.     

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