Malta/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation  

5.3.6 Film, video and photography

In 2005, the Malta Film Commission was set up through Chapter 471 for the promotion, development and support of the audiovisual industry, including the film servicing industry, in Malta, through the office of the Film Commissioner.

In 2014 the Government of Malta upgraded the cash rebates for filmmakers making the financial guidelines more attractive to the film industry. Productions that satisfy a cultural test can benefit from a rebate of up to 25% of eligible expenditure with an additional 2% if the production features Malta culturally. Qualifying productions are required to present a provisional application to the Malta Film Commission, including a detailed projection of the Malta budget for the production. The rebate is given once filming is complete and on receipt of the audit report and upon final review by the Commissioner, the cash rebate is forwarded to the qualifying production no later than five months from the date of receipt of the presented production expenditure in Malta.

Feature films, Television films or Television Series or Mini-Series, Animation, Creative documentaries, Transmedia and Crossmedia productions are all eligible for the incentives, provided that they are all or partially produced in Malta.

The age-classification of films is carried out by the Film Board as stipulated in S.L 444.01 under the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts Act. In the previous legislation, film classifiers had to report to the Commissioner of Police "whether having regard, in their discretion, to public morality, decency or propriety, or to the public interest, the film to which the application refers may or may not be passed for exhibition with or without any suppressed parts".

The new legislation shifted the responsibility from the Commissioner of Police to the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts and focused exclusively on film classification without any authority to censor or ban any audiovisual works or part of.

Films are classified into one of the following categories:

  • "U" - UNIVERSAL. Suitable for all.
  • "PG" - PARENTAL GUIDANCE. General viewing, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children.
  • "12A" - Suitable for persons of 12 years and over: Provided that persons younger than 12 years may attend only when accompanied by an adult.
  • "12" - Suitable only for persons of twelve years and over.
  • "15" - Suitable for persons of fifteen years and over.
  • "18" - Suitable only for persons of eighteen years and over.

Chapter published: 12-08-2015


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