2022 was the best year for the Maltese film industry in a decade and 24 productions injected €85 million in the economy, tourism minister Clayton Bartolo said on Monday.

He did not know, however, how much film companies are expected to take back in cash rebates from the Malta Film Commission.  

The cash rebate system was recently described as “the most generous cash rebate in the world” by Aidan Elliot, who works with director Ridley Scott. 

Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo speaking about the film industry.

The payment system, introduced in the lead-up to the last election, will see large-scale film and TV productions go from receiving up to a €200,000 cash injection to cover the cost of on-screen talent to a new maximum of €5 million. 

The minister, who is responsible for Malta’s film industry said that the cash rebate bill for 2022 still needs to be calculated.  

“The cash rebate is calculated every year, each film that applies for the rebate is audited,” he said. “The cash rebate is not paid in the year (of production) but needs to pass through a process and so is paid later.”  

Asked for an estimate, Bartolo said that calculations still needed to be made.  

Times of Malta also asked Bartolo if plans announced in the PL electoral manifesto to increase the fund for local filmmakers from €600,000 to €2 million are still on, Bartolo answered in the affirmative. 

“The plans are still in place,” he said. “We have already fulfilled one part of the promise to remove the recoupment clause,” he said.  

The scrapped recoupment clause provided that if a film funded by the film commission made a profit, the remaining revenue had to be reinvested in an upcoming project.

The minister announced that the Malta Film Commission will seek to promote Malta as a film production destination, with Screen Malta being the marketing slogan overseas.

He said the film industry was a motor of economic growth and it was important that investment in the industry stayed ahead of the competition.  

He said the government was investing in training for people who wish to join the film industry and those already working in it. 

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