Maltese filmmakers strike back at ‘shameful’ prices for new film as industry divisions exposed

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Malta filmmakers are rallying to call the newly announced Malta Film Awards “outrageous” and “shameful” – with some threatening to boycott the event.

The backlash comes amid allegations that some productions have received funding over others, with the new festival replacing the much-loved artistic Valletta Film Festival as well as the revelation that the awards ceremony will take place. A night is expected to cost € 400,000 when the entire annual budget of the Screen Malta Film Fund is € 600,000.

Filmmakers took to social media today in a rare moment of public criticism aimed at the Malta Film Awards, hinting at action in the near future.

“We would have liked to celebrate Simshar – The Movieincredible and hardworking actors and crew. However, we cannot do this at the expense of a long-term vision for our industry. More to come soon, ”director Rebecca Cremona said.

“It was not an easy decision to make,” said Martin Bonnici. “I really wanted to celebrate the amazing cast and team that made Is-Sriep ReÄ¡għu Saru Velenużi – Film a reality, but it can’t happen like that. More to come on this situation.

The directors’ comments come as the Malta Producers Association is set to issue a statement on the film’s awards.

So far, 72 projects have been submitted to the Malta Film Awards, with 80 producers, 60 directors and 340 actors taking part in the ceremony on August 27, the Malta Film Commission has announced.

The awards were launched as a “celebration of Malta and all those who collectively constitute its film and television industry”.

A young filmmaker shared her personal experience in the film industry, noting the division of the agenda between “the micro-budget, independent feature films and major foreign feature films”.

Recounting a number of ways the Malta Film Commission has genuinely supported budding creators in the past, Francesca Mercieca noted that serious issues quickly become apparent when you start to dig deeper.

“I went to find out who was getting the big sums for feature films / shorts between 2013 and 2020 and it didn’t really matter. Some names are particularly lucky, some really struggled to get the money even though their project was given the green light, ”she said.

“Being in competition with films that have other agendas is not fair,” she continued. “They got there for other reasons, and I totally support all of the directors who said it was morally wrong to be part of this lineup.”

“We are getting enough comments labeled as a corrupt country by other international cinema collaborators. Sort your priorities, Malta Film Commission.

Actor Thomas Camilleri noted how the Valletta Film Festival, which attracted international attention due to its focus on quality films, was canceled for a relatively small amount compared to the current budget for the awards. movie.

“It is more than scandalous that the Malta Film Commission can justify spending € 400,000 at an awards ceremony when its entire annual budget for the Screen Film Fund is € 600,000. The Valletta Film Festival, one of the best annual cultural events Malta has ever seen, had to be canceled because the Malta Arts Council withdrew € 35,000 from its funding. Unworthy, ”he said.

As the island continues to promote the local film industry internationally, with the aim of attracting big projects to the island, Maltese filmmakers are now wondering: who exactly are these new cinema awards intended for? celebrate ?

Do you think Malta needs its own big budget movie awards ceremony?


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