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Mediterranean Magic

Malta is growing as a popular filming destination with enviable tax incentives

With over 7,000 years of history, Malta is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, full of rich culture and heritage. Dating back to the Neolithic period, here you will find Megalithic temples the oldest free-standing structures, and remains of theByzatine, Phoenician and Roman eras.

Consisting of three islands Malta, Gozo, Comino, there are plenty of picturesque locations to shoot at. The islands present a kaleidoscope of past and present, a fascinating legacy of European culture and rural Mediterranean traditions.

Malta is also becoming a major island in film production with films like Gladiator, Troy and Count Of Monte Cristo shot here. This island is also a highlight of every Mediterranean holiday.

Climate

Malta has a subtropical-Mediterranean climate with mild winters and warm to hot summers. Rain occurs mainly in winter, with summer being generally dry. Malta’s ideal climate is strongly influenced by the sea and is typical of the Mediterranean. The islands have a daily average of five to six hours of sunshine in mid-winter to more than 12 hours in summer.

Summers are hot, dry and very sunny. Daytime temperatures in summer are often mitigated by cooling sea breezes, but in spring and autumn a very hot wind from Africa, known as the Sirocco, occasionally brings unseasonably high temperatures and humidity.

Winters are mild, with the occasional short chilly period brought about by the north and north-easterly winds from Central Europe. Annual rainfall is low, averaging 578 mm a year, and the length of the dry season in summer is longer than in neighboring Italy. Malta offers an excellent number of shooting hours per day, with 12 hours in summer, and 10 in winter.

Cash Rebate

The incentives are in the form of a cash grant given to eligible productions on the qualifying expenditure incurred in Malta. Up to 22 per cent of the eligible expenditure can be obtained as a cash rebate by a qualifying production company once filming is complete.

Feature film and television productions, mini-series, animation and documentaries are all eligible for the incentives, provided they are at least partially produced in Malta.

Procedure

A qualifying production is required to present an application to the Malta Film Commission, including a detailed projection of the Malta budget for the production and completion of the Cultural Test as included in the application form. Upon assessment based on specific guidelines and performance in the Cultural Test, the Commission would grant provisional approval no later than three weeks after receipt of the application.

The final approval would be granted on review of a final application, including audited accounts and a detailed analysis of the production expenditure in Malta, after shooting is completed. The cash rebate is forwarded to a qualifying production no later than five months from the date of receipt of the final application.

Tax Credits

The Government of Malta, under various legislations, offers filmmakers the possibility to produce and distribute productions from Malta and pay the lowest corporate tax rates in the European Union.

Investment aid for audiovisual facilities is also available under the Malta Enterprise Act. The aid is offered in the form of tax credits to a qualifying company in respect to an initial investment project in relation to qualifying expenditure. Value Added Tax, stands at 18 per cent and is fully refundable to productions on all goods and services.

Co-Productions

In order to obtain co-production status, the work must involve at least three co-producers, established in three different parties to the Convention. The participation of one or more co-producers who are not established in such parties is possible, provided that their total contribution does not exceed 30 per cent of the total cost of the production.

Once these conditions have been fulfilled, the Convention assimilates all co-productions, which have been given the prior approval of the competent authorities of the parties, with national films; i.e. they are entitled to the benefits granted to the latter.

Fast Facts

• Capital: Valletta

• Continent: Europe

• Currency: 1 Euro (EUR) = 65.09 Indian Rupee (INR)

• Area: 316 sq km

• Population: 4,17,608

Films Shot In Malta

• The Devil’s Double (2010)

• The Da Vinci Code (2006)

• Troy (2004)

• The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)

• The Count Of Monte Cristo (2002)

• Gladiator (2000)

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