Malta is a beautiful Mediterranean island nation, known for its picturesque ports and crystal clear beaches, ancient temples, and historical monuments. It is also home to a vibrant and thriving film industry and has a rich history of cinema dating back to the early 20th century. In this article, we will delve into the cinematic history of Malta.
The first feature film shot in Malta was “In the Silent Village” directed by Italian director Carmine Gallone, which was released in 1913. During the 1920s and 1930s, Malta’s scenic natural landscapes were captured in silent films such as “The Sword and the Rose” (1929) and “L’Isola del Paradiso” (1932), which attracted international attention.
During World War II, Malta endured heavy bombing, and its infrastructure was destroyed, which led to a halt in the film production, and it was not until the 1950s when the Maltese cinema industry started to thrive.
The Golden Age of Maltese cinema was during the 1960s and 1970s, where the island became a popular destination for filmmakers. Malta’s beautiful scenery and historic architecture, coupled with government support for the industry, provided an ideal location and infrastructure for international film productions.
In 1963, the first Maltese feature film “Sliema Wives” directed by Giuseppe Bennati was released, which became a box-office success, opening doors for many Maltese filmmakers.
Malta was also a popular location for Italian and Hollywood studios such as MGM, which filmed the epic historical film “Ulysses” (1954) starring Kirk Douglas, and “Midnight Express” (1978), which was based on the true story of a young American who was caught attempting to smuggle drugs out of Turkey.
In the 1980s, Malta’s film industry experienced a downturn due to financial constraints, and it was not until the 1990s that the industry experienced a revival.
Today, Malta’s film industry is thriving, with many international productions being filmed on the island, including “Game of Thrones,” “Assassin’s Creed,” and “The Count of Monte Cristo.” Malta’s film industry is also supported by the Maltese government, with tax incentives and production funding offered to local and international filmmakers.
The Malta Film Commission, set up in 2000, is responsible for promoting Malta as a location for film production and offers support and guidance to filmmakers. Malta’s film industry is not just limited to international productions, with a growing number of local filmmakers producing their work and screening them at Maltese film festivals.
1. What is the current state of the Maltese film industry?
Answer: The Maltese film industry is thriving, with many international productions being filmed on the island, and local filmmakers producing their work.
2. What are some famous films shot in Malta?
Answer: Many famous films have been shot in Malta, including “Ulysses,” “Midnight Express,” “Game of Thrones,” and “Assassin’s Creed.”
3. How is the Maltese government supporting the film industry?
Answer: The Maltese government is supporting the film industry by offering tax incentives and production funding to local and international filmmakers.
4. What is the role of the Malta Film Commission?
Answer: The Malta Film Commission is responsible for promoting Malta as a location for film production and offers support and guidance to filmmakers.
Malta’s cinematic history is rich and diverse, and the island’s natural beauty and historic architecture have provided an ideal backdrop for international film productions. The Maltese film industry is thriving, and government support, coupled with the Malta Film Commission’s promotion of the island as a film location, ensures that the industry will continue to grow in the future. Malta remains an ideal destination for filmmakers seeking stunning landscapes, experienced crews, and supportive infrastructure for making their cinematic visions a reality.