Film Commissioner denies favouritism amongst local producers

The Malta Producers Association demands the immediate resignation of Johann Grech

Johann Grech

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Malta Producers Association is demanding for the resignation of the Film Commissioner Johann Grech after allegations emerged that the Malta Film Commission has been selectively promoting certain local film production companies to international producers to the exclusion of everyone else in the industry.

After the details reported by The Shift News emerged, the producers association is calling for the removal of Johann Grech by the Minister for Tourism, Julia Farrugia Portelli, who is responsible for the film industry.

The association described the allegations as shocking but hardly surprising.

“The fact that government authority is willfully and maliciously interfering with the livelihoods of private citizens is corrupt and utterly unacceptable in a democratic nation in the EU”

On Wednesday, the Malta Producers Association, in a press statement said it is also demanding for the immediate return of the online directory listing all film personnel.

The association said that the Film Commission had, some years ago removed the existing online directory and replaced it with an “opaque system” called ‘Opportunities For All’ and it has not been uploaded.

“It is bitterly ironic that despite its title the new system seems to have been designed to be an opportunity for the very few, determined privately and arbitrarily by the Film Commissioner”, said the producers’ association.  

In the meantime, Film Commissioner Johann Grech has denied the allegations and statements made against him. In a press statement, the Malta Film Commission said it does not interfere when it comes to the choice of a foreign production choosing a local service provider.

The Commission said that if and when asked for an opinion, the Malta Film Commission does discuss local service providers, however, it is always up to the foreign production to do their due diligence and choose freely and accordingly.

Furthermore, Johann Grech categorically denied he has, by some form or another, used his position as a platform for profit and pocketing of money or gifts of any kind, from any individual.