Appointed Malta’s film commissioner last week, Johann Grech pledges to actively promote Malta’s creative industries to emerging film industries such as India and China, as well among various digital platforms. “We don’t just offer attractive financing incentives but we are hands-on, giving all the support filmmakers need and Malta is a great place to call home during the months of production.” Mr Grech emphasised. The same day, Malta Film Commission release a video that underscores the advantages of filming on the islands (read about some of the famous films shot in Malta here).
As Film Commissioner, Johann Grech will be responsible for running the organisation which supports the local Maltese film industry and helps it attract foreign productions to Malta. His predecessor Engelbert Grech brought more than 50 productions in the past four years. The growth since 2013 is considered unprecedented: with a new strategy, the 50+ foreign productions filmed in Malta resulted in an injection of more than €200 million in foreign direct investment into Malta’s economy.
Malta’s history as a destination for film production goes back 92 years, during which our islands have played host to some of the most high-profile productions to shoot out of Hollywood. The Malta Film Commission was set up in 2000 with the dual aim of supporting the local film-making community, while at the same time strengthening the film servicing sector. Over the past 17 years, the Film Commission’s efforts to support the local film industry resulted in various financing incentives, including a financing incentive programme in 2005, the Malta Film Fund in 2008, and a Co-Production fund in 2014. Meanwhile, Gladiator (2000), Munich (2005), Assassin’s Creed (2016) and, most recently, Murder on the Orient Express (2017) have all come to the Maltese Islands for various scenic location shoots.
“My message to the global film industry is a simple one: Malta is a great film set in itself. Our islands offer a world of opportunity. And we can make it happen for your story,” Johann Grech outlined while presenting the new agenda.
Johann Grech wants to sail high seas with his new agenda
The UK-educated commissioner is a seasoned marketing communications professional, with over fifteen years’ experience in audiovisual productions, branding, marketing, and political campaigns. He most recently served as the Head of Government Marketing, where promoting Malta’s film industry at home and abroad was already a part of his job. “I am determined to ensure that we do even better in the years
ahead by bringing new types of film-making to our beautiful islands,” Grech believes.