RadioandMusic
| 12 Nov 2018
Malta tourism minister Mizzi invites content producers to Malta

MALTA: The international leg of the International Radio Festival 2018 (IRF 2018) kicked off in a grand style in the Cultural Capital of Europe for 2018 – Valletta, the capital city of the island nation of Malta, yesterday evening (31 October 2018). The Maltese Minister for Tourism Konrad Mizzi opened IRF 2018 officially for international participants. Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) CEO Gavin Gulia was the other notable VIP from Malta present.  About 150 Radio professionals from across the world and Malta and Italy along with 30 registrations participated in the event. Among the radio professionals was the winner of the Sound of India contest RJ Devaki.

“There will be 100 million listeners of IRF 2018,” said IRF founder and festival director Darryl von Daniken while inviting Mizzi to open IRF 2018.

“This is really a celebration of wonderful channels coming together here and broadcasting from Malta,” said Mizzi after thanking all the IRF participants for coming to Malta.

“I’m delighted to welcome you all to the city of Valletta, the city of culture. Malta has been changing over the last few years. We’re welcoming nearly two million tourists every year and another 800,000 come by cruise liners. We’ve changed from becoming to resort to a city destination. We pride ourselves in having good cuisine, lovely beautiful shows, good parties and good music. Malta is a cosmopolitan place which welcomes business, welcomes tourists, which welcomes people to come and work here,” further added Maltese Minister for Tourism Konrad Mizzi.

Speaking with RnM/ www.indiantelevision.com  senior editor Tarachand Wanvari, Mizzi said, “Malta has developed its tourism industry since independence in1964. Now we must have a diversified economy. We have changed from being a resort destination to more of a leisure destination. People come here for 5-6 days, where they can enjoy history, culture and also have fun. We’re trying to create festivals for people of all ages. So we have young festivals like  Isle of MTV , but we also have initiative for older generations where festivals such as this (IRF) will bring people together and radio stations from all over the world to discuss a non-controversial topic like radio and music and have fun. We want to be a place where people meet, feel at home, more as a cosmopolitan  nation, becoming a cosmopolitan city and we want to act as a gateway to the Mediterranean.”

Speaking about benefits for the media and entertainment industry, Mizzi explained, “Malta has amazing facilities. We have the film studio with the largest water tanks in the world where large movies have been filmed and amazing outdoor areas and 200 days of sunshine. That is the reason why films like  Gladiator  and  Troy  have been filmed here. More recently, we are also attracting Bollywood Movies. Also the tax incentives and cash rebate system incentivize productions to be done in Malta. We have a 26 percent cash rebate. As of next January, that cash rebate is going to increase to 40 percent which will make it the most competitive cash rebate for producers from around the world.”

“We encourage producers to make more content in Malta. The supply chain is amazing, props are available. If they want costumes, equipment for making films, they are available here. We would also encourage companies to set up their own productions companies for individual movies in Malta,” he told.

Mizzi confirmed that the cash incentives would also apply to television companies for television shows. He said, “They will get the same incentives and cash benefits as films. We support television series, especially now, with advent of Netflix and online content.”

During an impromptu on air mini interview with Devaki, Mizzi’s message to India was, “Come to Malta, you will feel welcome here. It’s an amazing place that has also Indian culture. There’s an Indian community here. At the same time I am also encouraging people from here to visit the beautiful Mumbai, Delhi, Rajasthan and Udaipur etc. and all the wonderful places around India.”

The minister said that sequences of two Indian movies – Bharat  and  Thugs of India  were shot in Malta. Besides having met Bollywood star Salman Khan (with and without his shirt on) during his production of  Bharat , the minister informed that Bollywood diva Vidya Balan would be visiting his country soon. The first edition of the Malta India awards that would alternate between Malta and Mumbai in India would happen in Malta in December this year Mizzi informed further.