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Malta

Malta Film & Photography Production Services.

Are you a media company, brand, ad agency or production company looking for film / photography production support or shooting crew in Malta? We have fully vetted, locally based fixers, service producers, directors, DP’s, videographers, cameramen, photographers, sound operators, production drivers, and a range of other film crew. Contact us for referrals, questions, cost estimates and references.

Want to know more about shooting in Malta? See below for an introduction to Malta locations, permits, when to shoot, costs, talent, crews, fringes and premiums, equipment, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits, film friendly hotels, transport, communications and safety advice.

Film Locations. Malta is a small Mediterranean country located just south of Sicily. The archipelago has 3 inhabited islands including Malta, Gozo, and Comino.

Malta doubles well for a variety of European and Middle Eastern looks. Spielberg’s Munich shot Malta for Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Palestine and Spain.

Locations of particular interest to filmmakers and photographers include: The old city of Mdina, the capital Valletta, Grand Harbour, underwater photography at the Blue Hole, the paradise islands of Gozo and Comino, sea cliffs, picturesque fishing village of Marsaxlokk with its traditional Maltese fishing boats, vineyards, Neolithic temples, bastions, cathedrals and palaces such as the famous Palazzo Parisio. Malta has no permanent rivers or lakes. The countryside is lush and green in winter, and dry and barren in summer. Malta is also known for its world class water tank facilities.

Malta has a long history of servicing visiting productions. As an example of what is possible, Malta has hosted feature films such as Gladiator, Casino Royale, White Squall, The Count of Monte Cristo, Troy, Agora and Munich, as well as TV series such as Game Of Thrones.

Malta Film Location Permits typically take from two days to one week depending on the nature of the shoot. Shooting in public areas is usually donation based. Permits for use of government property are obtained from the Estate Management Department. Filming at protected sites normally requires additional permits or approval from the Malta Environment and Planning Authority, Heritage Malta or other relevant authorities. Please contact us for location specific information.

When to shoot? Malta has a climate similar to Los Angeles with sunny weather and long daylight hours throughout the year. April to October are the best months to film for weather. June to September is hot and dry. This is also the peak tourist season. Winters from November to March are mild and rainy. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

Malta’s towns and villages hold festivals throughout the year. Most are based on the Catholic calendar. Carnival celebrations take place in Valletta each February with bands, parades, and masked balls.

Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Malta.

Costs. Malta trades in the Euro. Local costs are around the same as the rest of Mediterranean Europe. The need to bring in some key crew and specialized equipment can add to the cost of the production. Our Maltese service producer / fixer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget. See here for the current VAT rate.

Talent is non-union and buyouts are negotiable. Talent in Malta is mainly Mediterranean looking with some blonde looks also available. Malta’s close proximity to major European production centres allows easy access to those pools of talent should you ever need to look further.

Crews. Malta has a small pool of local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Local crews are non-union. Supporting crew are good but depending on the shoot some key crew may need to be brought in from abroad. Malta’s close proximity to major European production centres allows easy access to those crews should you ever need to look further.

Given that Malta was for a time part of the British Empire, most Maltese people speak fluent English.

Contact us if you are looking for a director, DP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, or any other film crew for your shoot in Malta.

Fringes. Allow 14-20% mandatory social security tax for big construction crews. Allow 15% mandatory withholding tax for extras.

Premiums. Malta has an 11 hour shoot day plus 1 hour lunch. Typically Sunday, feast days and 7th day pay double time. That said, our Maltese producer / fixer will package deals depending on the specific needs of each project.

Equipment. Some basic equipment is available locally including 16mm, 35mm and HD cameras, Steadicam, basic lighting and grip equipment, some underwater filming equipment. All other equipment needs to be brought in from abroad. There are daily flights from Italy, the UK and Germany. For productions looking to bring in film equipment, Malta is in the EU and does not need ATA carnet unless equipment is shipped in from outside of the EU.

Art department and set construction. Local art department support is good and construction crews are very good.

Studios. There are no sound stages in Malta. Warehouse space is often converted to construct sets for filming.

Malta is best known for its famous water tanks at the Mediterranean Film Studios which are amongst the largest in the world. These consist of three main water tanks that are unique in size and depth, and offer a natural horizon with the sea. The tanks are water stages where sets are built and shot with various facilities of tie-downs and platforms. Various SFX machinery is available to create storms, using smoke, wind and wave machines, tip-tanks, water cannons and a 500 mph jet engine. The design of the Surface Water Tank with its natural horizon enables the water, sky and horizon to appear seamless, eliminating the need of a false backdrop. There is also the facility of a gimbal or a rocker in this tank.

Backlots. There are no backlots on studio grounds but there are a few constructions still remaining such as the Popeye village (now an amusement park) and a Roman street (left over from a Julius Caesar TV series, now left somewhat in disrepair). Fort Ricasoli is a 17 acre space where the huge sets of Gladiator, Troy and Agora, amongst others, were built. This fort lies just next to the Mediterranean Film Studios.

Tax Incentives. There are no tax incentives for commercials. Qualifying feature film and television productions, mini-series, animation and documentaries are eligible for a cash rebate of up to 27%.

Post Production. Post abroad.

Visas and Work Permits. Malta is a Schengen Area member state. Visiting US film crews can enter visa-free for a period of up to 90 days. Contact your local Maltese embassy / representative for more information.

Transportation Infrastructure is all up to known and expected world standards. The islands are small, so most locations are less than a 30min drive from each other. Regular ferries operate between main islands or for greater flexibility charters are readily available. Malta is connected well to the rest of Europe with major airlines and budget airlines servicing flights to Malta on a daily basis.

Accommodation. Malta has many great film-friendly accommodation options to fit any budget. Contact us for special Emerge Film Solutions rates at recommended hotels, villas and serviced apartments throughout Malta.

Communication. Web posted casting, scouting and videoconferencing.

Safety. Malta is a very safe and reliable filming centre. See here for up to date travel advice.

Projects. For an example of TV commercials, stills campaigns, online content, corporate videos, virtual reality 360 content, feature films, TV series and documentaries shot in Malta, please see below:

Down Time. The Maltese are a hospitable bunch, with a relaxed, can-do attitude. After long days of filming there are plenty of impressive restaurants and fine local wines to sample. If you have time, take a ferry out to the islands of Gozo or Comino.

If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer in Malta, please contact us.

We are able to provide you with answers, references and bids quickly.