in

Film Commission pushes select local film companies, excluding others

Film Commissioner Johann Grech has often promoted himself as providing “opportunity for all”.

Film Commissioner Johann Grech at a dinner with the Labour Party's inner core, including former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, former Chief of Staff, Keith Schembri, former Head of Government Communications Kurt Farrugia, Minister Edward Zammit Lewis and former Labour Party CEO James Piscopo who now heads the Lands Authority, among others.
Film Commissioner Johann Grech at a dinner with the Labour Party's inner core, including former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, former Chief of Staff, Keith Schembri, former Head of Government Communications Kurt Farrugia, Minister Edward Zammit Lewis and former Labour Party CEO James Piscopo who now heads the Lands Authority, among others.

The Malta Film Commission is leaving out many local film production companies in its list of registered production companies provided to foreign filmmakers, The Shift has learned.

Foreign film companies are required to engage a locally registered production company when filming in Malta. The list of production houses is not available on the Film Commission’s revamped website and is only provided to the interested foreign companies upon request.

According to separate sources in the industry, the list of production companies that is currently being sent to foreign film companies by the Film Commission offers the names of just seven local production companies, to the detriment of many other established companies.

That is a massive drop from the 2018 list which consisted of 22 available production companies, which are still offering their services but remain unknown to foreign film companies.

Film Commission list of local film production services companies 2020.

Up until recently, the practice was to send a list of all registered production companies to inquiring foreign filmmakers, leaving it up to the incoming film producer to choose who to work with, sources said.

The Shift also noted that the full list was previously arranged in alphabetical order. However, of late, that practice has been abolished and pushes Halo Pictures Ltd., the company owned by previous film commissioner Engelbert Grech, to the top of the list.

Film Commission list of local film production services companies 2018

At the end of 2017, Johann Grech took on the role of Film Commissioner, replacing Grech. The list has changed during his tenure, despite having often pushed the line that as commissioner he would be providing “opportunity for all”. Grech is the former Head of Government Marketing within the Office of the Prime Minister.

The selected list provided to foreign companies in 2020 is made up of Halo Pictures Ltd of Engelbert Grech., Latina Pictures of Winston Azzopardi, Pearly Gates Malta of Joe Formosa Randon, Colin Azzopardi (who to date has no company), Paul Parker Film & TV of Paul Parker, Malta European Film Services of Pierre Agius and Producers Creative Partnership.

The Producer’s Creative Partnership said it had received no film work, directly or indirectly, through the Malta Film Commission since 2013.

The companies which were on the 2018 list which the Film Commission has removed even though several are established are AQ Films Ltd., Falkun Films, Film Production Malta, Film Production Services Malta Ltd., MaltaFilm Ltd,  Media Factory Ltd, Pellikola Ltd, Pineapple Media Ltd, Premiere Productions, Rock Productions Malta Ltd, Small Islands Films, Stargate Studios Malta, Studio Seven, Triton Group, Twenty13 Productions Ltd and White Coral Films.

Libel suits made my mother’s life absolutely impossible – Caruana Galizia

A complex landscape for new political forces to navigate