Malta’s Offers to the Film Industry: Locations, Expertise, and Financial Incentives

Malta’s Offers to the Film Industry: Locations, Expertise, and Financial Incentives

5 min.

As filming for Ridley Scott’s Napoleon drama, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Vanessa Kirby, gets underway in several locations across the island, the Maltese film industry ramps up to offer the star-studded production the best it can offer in terms of location, service, and top-notch facilities.  The Malta Film Commission further supports the film industry through various financial incentives.

Up to 40% in Cash Rebates for Eligible Expenditure

Upon satisfying a cultural test, film productions that are all or partially produced in Malta can benefit from a rebate up to 40% of eligible expenditure, which may include location fees, catering services, property, and animals. Qualifying productions are required to present a provisional application to the Malta Film Commission, including a detailed projection of the Malta budget for the production, and the rebate is granted on receipt of the audit report and upon final review by the Commissioner once filming is completed. This cash rebate is open to feature films, television films or television series or mini-series, animation, creative documentary, transmedia and cross-media productions.

Investment Aid and Tax Credits

The Malta Enterprise Act also provides for investment aid for audio-visual facilities and the aid is offered in the form of tax credits vis-à-vis qualifying expenditure as part of an initial investment project.  In this regard, tax credits are computed as a percentage of either the value of capital investment or the value of wages for 24 months, covering new jobs created through an investment project.  For a production to be eligible for this investment aid, the qualifying enterprise must be engaged solely in activities, which are deemed as ‘eligible’ by the Incentive Guidelines.  These activities include:

  • The production (through scriptwriting, casting, shooting, directing and editing) of audio-visual productions including feature films, television films, advertisements and documentaries;
  • The operation and provision of facilities and equipment (such as film studios, audio-visual editing facilities and filming equipment) required in the production of feature films, television films, advertisements and documentaries);
  • The operation of a sound studio; and
  • The development of digital audio-visual media and digital games.

Co-Production Fund: Annual Budget of €1 Million in Support of International Co-Productions

The Co-Production Fund was set up by the Malta Film Commission to specifically encourage collaboration between Maltese and overseas production companies to produce feature films, television films or television series or mini-series, animation, creative documentaries, transmedia and cross-media productions intended primarily for cinema release and suitable for international distribution.  The Malta Co-Production Fund allocates a budget of €1 million per annum to assist overseas companies as well as provide an injection of funds to the homegrown film industry.  In turn, this provides a boost to the Maltese economy as co-producing entities must tap into Maltese talent and invest in productions, which are filmed primarily in Malta.  From a financial perspective, this fund allows partner countries to share the risks and costs of screen production while reaping cultural and economic benefits.  The Malta Film Commission emphasizes that productions that have been approved as official co-productions are treated as ‘national’ productions in each partner country.

Financial Assistance for Productions Directly Depicting ‘Malta’

Furthermore, film and television products that choose to film in Malta depicting ‘Malta’ directly, are eligible for further financial assistance provided by the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA).  The MTA will carry out an evaluation of a production’s suitability to the country’s marketing and eligible productions will benefit from financial assistance to cover certain expenditure related to the production costs.  Such fees usually include flights to and from Malta, transportation of cargo, as well as locations fees in areas administered by the Government of Malta of local councils, amongst others.  While each application for assistance is considered on a case-by-case basis, the following is a list of requirements for production companies to qualify for consideration for financial assistance:

  • Malta must be featured prominently in the script and locations featured must be authentic.
  • In a TV series, episodes should depict or mention Malta with a minimum of 50% in each episode to be shot locally.
  • A number of promotional slots are to be featured in TV films/episodes before the scheduled screening.
  • The MTA will give priority to productions that will broadcast a documentary on the ‘The Making Of’ the film/episode.
  • The production company is to engage the services of a local production manager and priority should be given to hiring local cast and crew.
  • The MTA are authorized to use the footage for marketing purposes only after the film/TV episode have been released to the general public.

How can ECOVIS Malta assist?

Our dedicated team can help you understand how you can benefit from the financial incentives relevant to the Malta film industry and assist with the application process.  Our specialists can also provide tailor made advisory and legal services for:

  • Drafting of contracts;
  • Acquiring the necessary permits, licenses, and clearances from the relevant authorities;
  • Employment matters including visas, work permits, and other employment matters related to specific groups involved in the production; and
  • Accounting and other support services throughout the production.

Kindly contact us on for more information.