Controversial Film Commissioner given three more years

Johann Grech has been given three more years as the head of the Malta Film Commission (MFC) despite a dismal record and lack of accountability on how he spent hundreds of thousands of euros in taxpayer funds.

Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo signed off on Grech’s reappointment shortly after the exorbitant €1.3 million cost of Malta Film Week was made public. The Minister has refused to provide parliament with details as to how the funds were spent. It is known that most was disbursed by direct order to the same suppliers used for Labour’s mass activities during the recent election campaign.

Grech will be joined by a new board that includes Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) chairman Ryan Pace, a former employee of Prime Minister Robert Abela’s private legal office; Clint Bajada, the head of Labour’s One Radio and co-owner of pro-Labour news website Strada Rjali; and Ayrton Mifsud, Grech’s current private secretary and a former One journalist.

Beverly Cutajar was appointed MFC chairperson despite having no experience in the film industry. A close associate of Pace, her human resources company ThinkTalent has received a multitude of direct orders from the MGA for providing training, strategy, and recruitment services.

Sean Schembri, who is employed full time on a person of trust basis as  spokesperson for the Environment Ministry, was appointed MFC board secretary.

Johann Grech’s tenure as head of the MFC has been the focus of scathing criticism for his partisan free-spending management of the government organisation. Calls from the local film industry, including the Malta Producers Association, to remove him have been ignored by the government.

                           
                               
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Francis Said
Francis Said
30 days ago

Why should the government act of there is mismanagement of taxpayers’ funds? This is continuity.
SHAME on the government.

Out of Curiosity
Out of Curiosity
30 days ago

To be on the good books of this highly corrupt government and though to be considered for top jobs, one needs to be ready to accomodate corrupt practices and perhaps to be creative enough to create some of his or her own. It is a new mandatory skill required. It has to be on the CV. Otherwise you will have no chance. Some people learnt this skill by doing, through a very well equipped workshop inaugurated in 2013. I will not be surprised if the gov decides to refine this skill by introducing a study in schools, dealing with the proficiency of how to master corruption at the place of work. You know, due to the shortage of staff.

KLAUS
KLAUS
30 days ago

While the embarrassed Joseph Muscat saw one SLAPP complaint (instead of many) as progress, the bloodhound ROBBER Abela has 20 complaints from different sectors about one and the same information request running loose. How pathetic.

The chain dog ROBBER Abela cannot run away from journalists much longer. The chain is getting shorter and shorter.

A big congratulations to Caroline Muscat it her top team.

Lawrence Mifsud
Lawrence Mifsud
30 days ago

..Johann Grech has been given three more years: header leads one to think ‘locked up’…LoL.

makjavel
makjavel
29 days ago

The guy was on RAI1 on a very well produced RAI1 tourist oriented production about Malta’s beautiful natural and cultural places. Then came the part were this guy appeared , he cannot speak italian while the fisherman’s wife from Marsaxlokk spoke perfect italian. So much for the standard this corrupt government has . Congratulations to all the rest of the Maltese that appeared in this RAI 1 programme. No cranes or bridges or trees being cut down were shown, neither Portelli’s hideous monstrosities made an appearance. Instead we saw San Gwann co-Cathedral , the Blue Lagoon in spring , Blue Grotto in winter from above , Ggantija without the surrounding encroachments, id Dwejra before the window crashed down and the nearby Inland Sea. Popeye Village with an Italian lady employed to to do Olive’s part . Unbelievable.

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