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Overview and productions

Malta enjoyed a strong 2022, with a reported 24 productions arriving on the island and generating more than $93m (€85m) in inward investment. And film commissioner Johann Grech has announced public funding in excess of $38m (€35m) to build two new soundstages and modernise existing facilities at Malta Film Studios. 

Illustrating Malta’s continued popularity as a location, Ridley Scott’s Gladiator sequel is shooting there this summer. The filmmaker’s biopic Napoleon, from Apple TV+ and to be released in partnership with Sony Pictures Entertainment later in the year, also shot in Malta. They have also launched the inaugural Mediterrane Film Festival, and signed an MOU with the British Film Commission. 

"The number of historical buildings that are preserved, if you’re doing a period piece, is fabulous," says Napoleon producer Mark Huffam, who praises the “aggressive” work of Malta Film Commission in courting new films and TV dramas, including Jurassic World: Dominion, which unleashed dinosaurs in Valletta. In addition, the water work for Paramount and MTV’s Yellowstone spin-off 1923 was done in Malta, along with Universal’s The Last Voyage Of The Demeter, which used the water tanks at Malta Film Studios where the eponymous ship was constructed. Meanwhile, Hallmark series The Dancing Detective is due to shoot, along with Brad Anderson’s action thriller The Silent Hour and Neil Marshall’s Compulsion. Sky and Bavaria Fiction’s Das Boot is also expected back for another series. It is not just blockbusters that are attracted to Malta. Terrence Malick’s The Last Planet, due out later this year, also shot here with the support of the film commission.

“We want to create a world-class film industry in Malta,” asserts Grech. “Apart from having a very strong cash rebate programme, we have excellent crews.” 

Grech is not just bringing international projects to Malta. He is encouraging film tourism that celebrate the legacy of previous productions to have shot on the island, among then Munich, Midnight Express, Troy and Gladiator. Malta also stood in for Jerusalem in World War Z and was a key location for HBO’s Game Of Thrones.

The film commission has started promoting the Valletta Film Trail, which takes in 21 locations around the city including the pub where Gladiator star Oliver Reed took his last drink. 


Malta is a suitable stand-in for the Middle East, with classic architecture in Valletta and former capital Mdina, as well as in the surrounding countryside. Productions are attracted by the 300 days of sunshine and more than eight hours of light a day — plus a generous 30% base rebate, rising to 40% if the production meets specific conditions.


Overview and productions


Middle East stand-in

Malta is known widely as a suitable double for Middle Eastern locations, with the region’s classic architecture in the historic city of Valletta and former capital Mdina, as well as in the surrounding countryside. To the north, St Julian’s is more modern and a centre for tourism. Plans are now being considered for studio development on the island to provide soundstage facilities and boost Malta’s all-round, versatile appeal.

Malta Film Commission is the first point of contact for filming on location in the country. Johann Grech has led the organisation since late 2017 — as a former head of government marketing for the office of Malta’s prime minister, the commission has even closer ties with the government. 

“Producers have often filmed in Malta before,” says Grech. “Sometimes they come with a specific location in mind, but they will also use our suggestions. It depends on the script and they often use our library pictures.”







Infrastructure and crews

Malta has a skilled English-speaking crew base. The country’s water tanks are on the coastline to offer a natural horizon. Producers have access to associated resources that create the necessary ocean weather conditions such as wave and wind machines, tip tanks and rain towers. “We can cater to any maritime and nautical scene and create storms on command in a totally controlled environment,” says Jean Pierre Borg, research and business development manager at Malta Film Studios. 

The government aims to build Malta’s first soundstage next to the tanks as part of a $34.9m (€35m) master plan for the studio. The island is especially strong when it comes to set construction. It is relatively easy to find crew and local heads of department across the board, with labour and facilities typically costing around 30% less than mainland western Europe.

“Our local crew are the essence of our industry. We want to continue investing in them, offering a sustainable industry and careers for tomorrow’s crew,” says Malta film commissioner Johann Grech.

Travel and logistics

Malta is 27 kilometres long and 14 kilometres wide. It takes 45 minutes to drive from one end of the island to the other, allowing crews to shoot multiple locations in one day. Valletta is a short taxi ride from the airport, and all the major hotels are within a short drive of the airport and popular nightspots.

First person to contact

Johann Grech, Malta film commissioner

Size matters

Malta is 27 kilometres long and 14 kilometres wide. It takes 45 minutes to drive from one end of the island to the other, allowing crews to shoot multiple locations in one day. Valletta is a short taxi ride from the airport, and all the major hotels are within a short drive of the airport and popular nightspots.

First person to contact

Johann Grech, Malta film commissioner:

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