Film industry expected to inject €100 million into economy

Seventh edition of Malta Short Film Festival launched, winner of the Rising Star award will get to work on a film set in the UK

Tim Diacono

The film industry is expected to directly inject €100 million into the local economy this year, Tourism Minister Edward Zammit Lewis said, revising his earlier prediction upwards by €20 million.

Speaking at the launch of the seventh edition of the Malta Short Film Festival, Zammit Lewis hailed the film sector as Malta’s fastest-growing industry- recounting how it had injected €5 million into the economy in 2013 and €29 million in 2014.

“The Malta Short Film Festival allows local filmmakers to attract a global audience, particularly as their films will be uploaded onto the Internet,” he said. “It will also help put Malta on the map with regards cultural tourism, a formidable tool to attract tourists in the winter months.”

The Malta Short Film Festival will be broadcast on TVM every Friday night from 21 August till 25 September, concluding with an Awards Ceremony.

15 short films have qualified to the final, including four films from Malta – Hostage, Obscure, The Artist and The Bench The other eleven finalists are Absent Body (Mexico), Cart (Saudi Arabia), Cheese Dog (USA), I’ve Just Had a Dream (Spain), Nena (Spain), Oh My Princess (South Korea), On That Day (Iran), The Dependents (Ukraine), The Fly (Italy), The Prime of Life (France), and The Tip (Spain).

The award winners will be decided by four judges – Professor Saviour Chircop, former Dean of the Faculty of Media and Knowledge Sciences at the University of Malta; Charles Stoud, producer and director of drama; Tony Cassar Darien, commentator for arts and culture; and Joyce Grech, festival executive producer.

This year, the Rising Star Award will be given to the filmmaker judged to have the most potential to forge a career in the film industry. Courtesy of the Matthew Martino Benevolent Fund, the winner of this prize will get to work on a film set in the United Kingdom.

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