The taxpayer forked out €708,000 on “logistics” for Malta Film Week, figures tabled in parliament show. 

The figures were provided by Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo in a reply to a parliamentary question by Nationalist MP Julie Zahra, who asked for a full breakdown of the expenses for the award ceremony, including the cost of billboards, stage, lighting, and any payments to the presenter and others involved in the ceremony. 

Back in April, Bartolo told Times of Malta that €1.3 million was spent on Malta Film Week, but at the time, he was unable to specify how much of the money went to the Malta Film Awards night. 

Replying to the parliamentary question, Bartolo said the €1.3 million figure was the total expenditure for Malta Film Week, including 22 activities and the Malta Film Awards. 

A total of €81,328 was spent on travel costs and €69,483 on marketing. 

The biggest expense was on “logistics” which cost a total of €708,011 and another €478,520 on “creative”.

No further detail was provided along with the figures and Bartolo did not provide the total amount spent on the Malta Film Awards. 

Held in January, Malta’s first-ever film awards caused an uproar among those in the film industry.

A number of local film producers boycotted the awards in protest, contrasting the government’s lavish spending on the event to the €600,000 in annual aid offered to local film productions. 

The Film Commissioner had refused to say whether the awards night went over the original budget, but promised it was  "value for money" and that he would reveal the cost afterward. 

Back in February, Bartolo said the data on the cost of the awards night was still being compiled. 

Times of Malta had subsequently filed a Freedom of Information request for that information. The FOI was rejected by the Malta Film Commission.

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