Malta Film Week, which included the Malta Film Awards, cost the government and taxpayers a total of €1.3 million, Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo has confirmed.
However, the official figures are still secret, with the Department of Public Information now ignoring requests for an FOI update on the matter. The request was initially rejected, but JTF officials insisted the figures had just been compiled and would be provided.
This means that the event went three times over the budget, which had been set at €400,000.
The event was tarnished by a boycott imposed by several film actors, who called the €400,000 excessive while €600,000 was allocated to the entire annual budget of the national Screen Film Fund.
It has been reported that British comedian David Walliams was paid over €200,000 to host the Malta Film Awards.
Film commissioner Johann Grech refuse to confirm if the budget ended up exceeding the original budget, stating only that it will be “good value for money” when queried.
The Malta Film Commission has faced problems with overspending as the Auditor General found that it showed complete disregard for established policies and procedures governing overseas travel in addition to using public funds extravagantly.
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