MEIA & MPA’s Critique of Mediterrane Film Festival: Film Commission Responds

MEIA & MPA's Critique of Mediterrane Film Festival: Film Commission Responds
Jul 5 2024 Share

The recent Mediterrane Film Festival in Malta has sparked significant debate between the Malta Entertainment Industry and Arts Association (MEIA), the Malta Producers’ Association (MPA), and the Malta Film Commission over the direction and priorities of Malta’s film industry.

The MEIA and MPA have voiced concerns about the state of the Maltese film industry following the festival’s conclusion. In a joint statement, they criticized the festival for overlooking the realities of grassroots filmmakers in Malta, despite Film Commissioner Johann Grech’s positive remarks on the growth of filmmaking in Malta.

They pointed out a glaring absence of Maltese films at the festival, suggesting that the local industry’s success is not being fully realized.

They emphasized three key issues: the need for a cohesive National Film Policy, the promised but unfulfilled increase in the Domestic Screen Production Fund, and the urgent requirement for revised cash rebate guidelines.

In 2022, Minister for Tourism Clayton Bartolo announced the ‘Vision 2030’ strategy aimed at promoting the indigenous film industry, but this strategy has yet to materialize. The MEIA and MPA argue that the current fragmentation between the Arts Council Malta and the Malta Film Commission hinders the creation of a functional film ecosystem. A cohesive policy is crucial to support, train, and employ Maltese filmmakers sustainably.

The Labour Party’s 2022 electoral manifesto included a promise to increase the national film fund’s budget to €2 million, but this commitment has not been fulfilled. The MEIA and MPA pointed out that the fund has been inconsistently issued, placing local filmmakers at a disadvantage. They urged for clarity and expedited allocation of funds to make the Maltese film industry vibrant and competitive.

While the cash rebate scheme has successfully attracted international productions, the MEIA and MPA emphasized the need for revised guidelines to ensure that investments benefit the local economy and filmmaking community. They called for the immediate publication of the revised guidelines for 2024 and an inclusive consultation process for 2025.

They concluded by urging the government and relevant authorities to address these disparities to create a supportive environment for local filmmakers and to realize the full potential of Malta’s film industry.

Response by the Malta Film Commission

In response, the Malta Film Commission, led by Johann Grech, issued a statement explaining the primary aim of the Mediterrane Film Festival as a strategic marketing tool to attract investment and bolster Malta’s commercial film sector.

Grech emphasized the distinction between attracting foreign investment and funding local productions, asserting that the festival’s role is to stimulate economic growth by showcasing Malta’s capabilities to international producers. He highlighted that the festival has successfully showcased Malta’s potential to attract film productions, leading to record investment levels and significant economic benefits.

The Commission differentiated the use of public funds for foreign investment and local cultural productions. While acknowledging an increase in funds for local productions, they noted that the responsibility for local film funding now lies with the Arts Council Malta. This shift allows the Film Commission to focus on attracting foreign investments and supporting local productions through cash rebates and regulatory frameworks.

Addressing the cash rebate program, the Commission underscored its importance in attracting foreign direct investment and supporting local productions. They confirmed that the government remains committed to maintaining and enhancing these incentives to keep Malta competitive in the global film industry.

The Malta Film Commission reaffirmed their commitment to growing the film industry through strategic investments and effective marketing, ensuring that Malta remains an attractive destination for international film productions.

The statements from the MEIA, MPA, and the Malta Film Commission reveal a complex and evolving debate about the future of Malta’s film industry.

While the MEIA and MPA call for more structured support for local filmmakers through policy, funding, and rebate adjustments, the Malta Film Commission focuses on leveraging international investment to stimulate economic growth and provide broader opportunities. The path forward will likely require balancing these perspectives to foster both local and international success in Malta’s film industry.


UK’s Labour Party Win Majority: Keir Starmer For Prime Minister

UK's Labour Party Win Majority: Keir Starmer For Prime Minister
Jul 5 2024 Share

The Labour Party has won a majority in the UK’s 2024 general election, with Keir Starmer set to become the new Prime Minister.

Labour’s victory marks a significant shift as the ruling Conservatives, after 14 years in power, have been relegated to opposition. This election follows a tumultuous period marked by Brexit, the pandemic, and political instability, resulting in three Prime Ministers in a single year.

Labour is expected to secure 410 seats in the 650-seat House of Commons, according to exit polls, while the Conservatives are projected to win just 131 seats, their worst performance in nearly 200 years. Starmer celebrated the win, promising to bring hope and change to the nation.

Outgoing Prime Minister Rishi Sunak acknowledged the defeat, attributing it to public dissatisfaction and the impact of recent Conservative scandals.

The election also saw Nigel Farage’s Reform U.K. party gaining traction, potentially winning 13 seats.

Despite Labour’s landslide victory, voter turnout was lower compared to the 2019 election, reflecting widespread disillusionment.

Labour now faces the challenge of fulfilling its campaign promises, including revitalizing the National Health Service and strengthening ties with European partners.


Aidan Releases New Single: ‘HERO’

Aidan Releases New Single: 'HERO'
Jul 5 2024 Share

Local favourite artist Aidan has returned with a brand new track: HERO.

Following his successful show, which saw his hundreds of fans convene together for a night of some of Aidan’s most well known tracks, Aidan has hit the local music scene with yet another catchy tune.

Aidan’s song list has grown massively ever since his earliest releases like ‘Naħseb Fik and ‘Rita’, adding favourites such as ‘Reġina’, ‘Strawberry’, ‘Pupa’ and ‘Juliette’.

Have you heard the track yet?


Social Media Captures Mount Etna’s Latest Eruption

Social Media Captures Mount Etna's Latest Eruption
Jul 5 2024 Share

Mount Etna in Italy erupted spectacularly with lava and ash earlier this week. Located on the island of Sicily, the eruption prompted Italy’s Civil Protection agency to elevate the alert level from green to yellow. Lava cascaded down the slopes of the approximately 3,300-meter-high volcano.


L’Etna questa sera al tramonto (video Guide Vulcanollogiche Etna Nord) #lasiciliaweb #notizie #news #sicilia #etna #cenere

♬ suono originale – Antenna Sicilia

Social media platforms like TikTok were filled with videos of the volcano’s eruption, situated a few miles off the coast of Malta and thus a tourist hotspot for many living on the island.


Video Source: Antenna Sicilia