Malta should treat all religions and denominations equally in front of the law to become attractive to global businesses, including filmmakers looking for exotic locations, acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, stated in Nevada (USA) today.
Malta Criminal Code reportedly makes one liable to imprisonment up to six months for publicly vilifying “Roman Catholic Apostolic Religion”, while committing such act against “any cult tolerated by law” makes one liable to imprisonment only up to three months.
Commissioner of Malta Film Commission Luisa Bonello was reportedly at the 40th International Film Festival of India (November 23 to December three) in Goa (India) to market Malta as a low expensive and diverse film shooting destination which offered cash incentives. Parts of Tamil film “Vinnai Thandi Varuvaya” directed by Gautham Vasudev Menon and scored by Oscar winner A.R. Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire) were reportedly shot in Valletta, Mdina, Gozo and Comino in Malta earlier this year.
Rajan Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, also urged Malta to replace the subject of “religion” with “comparative religion” in its public primary and secondary schools, teaching basics of all major world religions, including the viewpoint of non-believers. According to Constitution of Malta (Chapter I, Article 2, Item 3): “Religious teaching of the Roman Catholic Apostolic Faith shall be provided in all State schools as part of compulsory education.”
More than 50 feature films have been reportedly shot in Malta, including Alec Guinness starrer 1954 “Malta Story” and The Da Vinci Code, The Spy Who Loved Me, Gladiator, Casino Royale, Clash of the Titans, David Copperfield, Never Say Never Again, The Count of Monte Cristo, etc.
Malta Film Commission based in Vittoriosa is a government body for promotion, development and support of the audiovisual and film servicing industry. The Film Commissioner has the responsibility to market the locations, facilities, skills, talent and expertise available in Malta in order to attract inward investment in the form of international audiovisual productions shooting on the island. Elizabeth Lowell is the Commission Coordinator.
Maltese islands were first settled reportedly in 5,200 BCE. Few European countries have such concentrated architecture, history, and beaches in so small an area as Malta.