In recent years, Malta has successfully attracted some ambitious projects, such as Troy and Munich. The Mediterranean island may offer tax credits, ocean-side water tanks, sunshine and plenty of spectacular locations but the challenge now is to lure big US projects in the face of heavy competition from Eastern European rivals.
Oliver Mallia joined the Malta Film Commission in 2002. He was previously communications co-ordinator at the Ministry for Economic Services where he was also responsible setting up the Malta Film Commission.
Why shoot in Malta'
Despite its small size Malta has a legacy of a 7,000-year history that makes it one big, unique, open-air period set. It also has experienced, non-unionised, bilingual crew, advanced infrastructure and high-quality accommodation and an ideal climate.
What could Malta be doing better'
Malta still lacks soundstages which could help productions spend more time on the islands. Human resources, though adequate, are not substantial and hence government could help more by putting money into nurturing local talent, not only to service better international production but also to start producing Maltese films.
Which are your biggest competitors'
Attracting productions is a hugely competitive business, where many factors are outside Malta's control, including the type of stories greenlit by financiers, new fiscal incentives introduced by other countries, and exchange rate changes. In recent years we lost work to Eastern Europe and North Africa but costs weren't always the determining factor.
What is the biggest misconception about Malta'
Many think that Malta attracts only big budget productions and that it is only feasible for these type of shoots. This is totally wrong.