Top Filming Locations in Malta (for 2020)
A sovereign republic, Malta forms part of the Schengen area and is also an EU member state.
With over 90 years’ of experience in the film industry, the Maltese archipelago has welcomed some of the most renowned filmmakers like Steven Spielberg, Wolfgang Petersen, Guy Ritchie and Ridley Scott. In this article, we will outline the top filming locations in Malta.
The island has also hosted several blockbusters like Troy, Gladiator, The Count of Monte Cristo and famous TV series like The Game of Thrones etc.
Malta’s prime geographical positioning in the heart of the Mediterranean was one of the determining factors for film producers and directors when deciding between different countries.
Consequently, over the years, the tiny island nation was successful in establishing itself as a hub for international production, specialising in exterior filming.
The archipelagos’ natural and historical beauty and an English speaking population along with all the financial incentives that Malta has to offer, makes it one of the most preferred filming locations for 2020.
Today, from all corners of the world, the filmmakers are drawn towards the islands’ scenic coastline with many harbours, bays, creeks, sandy beaches and rocky coves and to its breathtaking architecture.
10 Best Filming Locations in Malta (for 2020)
Over the years, multiple locations on the Maltese islands have appeared on screen, making it popular worldwide.
Below are just a few of the locations that you can visit to find out why the camera loves them.
#1 Mdina, Malta
Malta's former capital, a fortified hilltop city on Mdina, has been recognised by many local and foreign directors as one of the ideal filming locations in Malta.
With certain buildings dating back to the 12th century, this historical city is also known as ‘The Silent City’, and one is of Europe’s best-preserved ancient walled cities.
Several movies and TV series have been filmed here, the most recent one being the 'Game of Thrones' and ‘Bharat’ starring Bollywood superstar Salman Khan.
#2 Cittadella, Gozo
This ancient, hilltop citadel, encloses several historic buildings, offers an exceptional view of Gozo island and is one of the popular screen locations on the Maltese islands.
Recently BBC’s Byron was filmed here, in which it doubled for a fort in Greece, 1811.
#3 Valletta, Malta
Valletta, the capital city of Malta, has also featured in several movies like the zombie thriller 'World War Z' starring Brad Pitt and Mireille Enos; 20th Century Fox’s Assassin’s Creed where it featured as a double to for 15th-century Spain.
Other Hollywood films that were shot in Valletta include 1995 film 'Cutthroat Island', historical drama 'Munich' as well as 'Midnight Express'.
Bollywood movies like ‘Thugs of Hindostan’ starring Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan and perfectionist Amir Khan and ‘Bharat’ starring Salman Khan have too used Valletta as a shooting location.
#4 Popeye Village, Mellieha, Malta
Popeye Village, located at Anchor Bay, on the north side of the island was originally and solely developed for the film 'Popeye' in 1980 starring Robin Williams. One can still visit the movie sets today as it now serves as an open-air museum.
Full of family entertainment, the location is very popular among locals as well as tourists!
So, If one is looking for a quaint movie set, then Popeye Village it is.
#5 Fort Ricasoli, Kalkara, Malta
Fort Ricasoli is a large fortification in Kalkara built between 1670 and 1693. The fort boasts wonderful views of Malta's Grand Harbour, making it a popular filming location.
Some of the movies shot here include the historical dramas 'Gladiator' starring Russell Crowe, 'Troy' and 'Agora'.
#6 Vittoriosa, Malta
Vittoriosa is another medieval walled city overlooking the Grand Harbour on the south side of the Maltese islands.
The city worked as a film set for the romantic comedy 'Swept Away' starring Madonna.
Other films, such as 'The Da Vinci Code' and 'The Count of Monte Cristo' also filmed some of their scenes here.
Vittoriosa could be the ideal location if one is planning on making a contemporary or period movie.
Malta's sister island, Gozo has also received considerable interest from the filming industry.
Last summer, the dramatic film 'By The Sea' starring Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt used Mġarr ix-Xini in Gozo as the filming location.
The Azure Window which was one of the main attractions in Gozo, also been featured in many films and TV series including the 1981 film 'Clash of the Titans', 'The Count of Monte Cristo' and TV series 'Game of Thrones'. Sadly, the Azure Window no longer exists; In 2017, the rock formation succumbed to the elements and collapsed into the sea after heavy storms.
The stunning clear waters encompassing the tiny tranquil island of Comino has also pulled a fair amount of attention from the international film industry.
St Mary's Tower, built-in 1618 to defend the island, featured in 'The Count of Monte Cristo' and the gorgeous Blue Lagoon also featured in 'Swept Away' and a TV mini-series called 'Helen of Troy'.
#9 Mediterranean Film Studios (MFS), Kalkara, Malta
Since its inception in 1963, the MFS has hosted dozens of feature films, TV dramas, mini-series, commercials and music videos with almost all of them featuring action set on the water.
Set at Rinella on the eastern coast, the MFS has two main water tanks with a clear horizon behind them, allowing the directors to create an illusion on-screen that the characters are miles out to sea while filming in a controlled environment.
One may well have seen that illusion in MFS's recent credits, a Bollywood production, ‘Thugs of Hindostan’.
Some of the Hollywood movies shot there are Cutthroat Island, Pinocchio, Swept Away, U-571 and White Squall.
#10 Palazzo Parisio, Naxxar, Malta
This extravagant 19th-century stately home in Naxxar is rapidly becoming one of the island's most in-demand and versatile film and television locations.
It has doubled on screen for two French chateaux in The Count of Monte Cristo, an Italian villa and a palazzo in the BBC drama Byron and a Genoa hotel in Daniel Deronda.
Not only the Best Filming Locations (for 2020), Malta also offers several financial benefits to all the producers who plan on filming in Malta.
Quaint locations with cash rebates are some things which only Malta can offer.
Why Nexia BT?
With a team of seasoned professionals and vast experience in various sectors, Nexia BT can assist with a portfolio of services in connection with the film industry, including:
Preparation of applications for cash grants and other incentives;
Advice on maximising the cash grants and other incentives through proper Tax Planning;
The incorporation of the appropriate corporate structures, and advisory services such as corporate finance, EU funding, business planning, cost;
Accounting and for film projects, payroll administration for local crew and extras;
Connection with other film industry service providers on the island; and
For further assistance, please Contact Us.