Ministry ‘still compiling’ amount spent on Malta Film Awards – report

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Photo: Maltese Film Awards Facebook page

A total of €1.3 million was spent on Malta Film Week. It’s still unclear how much money was spent on the Malta Film Awards party.

The figure was disclosed by Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo in comments given to The Times of Malta.

The daily reported that the exact amount for the night was “still being compiled”. The 1.3 million euros also included payments for masterclasses, panel discussions and film screenings.

Malta Film Week was held in January, with the Film Awards Gala Evening being held at the Mediterranean Conference Center on 29th January.

While the initial budget had been set at €400,000, this figure was called into question when it turned out that the host, British comedian David Walliams had pocketed €200,000 alone.

The awards were boycotted by a number of local film producers in protest at the amount of money spent on the one-night event compared to the country’s annual film fund.

In February, Bartolo declined to say whether the event had cost more than €2m, well above his €400,000 budget.

During Question Time in Parliament, Jason Azzopardi, then a Nationalist Party MP, claimed that English comedian David Walliams’ participation as host alone cost €240,000.

The debate began with then government deputy Jean-Claude Micallef asking a softball question about film prices and the Maltese film industry, for which Bartolo readily provided information.

But when Azzopardi asked what he considered an obvious follow-up question – how much the events cost, filling out his €2m prize claim – the minister was more reluctant.

Bartolo had noted that a number of PN deputies at the time had asked the same question in writing – Karl Gouder asked two related questions, as did Thérèse Comodini Cachia. But each was greeted with the assertion that information is still being collected.

And the minister refused to deny that the event went well over budget, despite repeated requests from Gouder and Azzopardi.

Minister refuses to deny that the Malta Film Awards cost more than 2 million euros

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