The Malta Academy Selection Committee (MASC) is proud to unveil its process for selecting the country’s official submission to the International Feature Film category at the upcoming awards ceremony. The committee is excited to uphold once again its commitment to showcasing the best of global cinema and celebrating the diversity of voices in film.

An international film is defined as a feature-length motion picture with a running time of more than 40 minutes, produced outside the United States of America and its territories, featuring a predominantly (more than 50%) non-English dialogue track. This includes both animated and documentary feature films, allowing for a comprehensive representation of cinematic artistry from around the world.

The rules and guidelines for the formation and operation of selection committees are designed to ensure a fair and transparent process. Each country is invited to submit its film for consideration, with the selection to be made by the approved committee. Crucially, at least 50% of the committee’s composition must include artists and/or craftspeople from the field of motion pictures. These guidelines uphold the Academy’s commitment to recognizing the expertise and artistic prowess within the film industry. 

The academy rules for the International Feature Film Category can be accessed from here:

To be eligible for submission, the country-selected film must have been first released in its country of origin between December 1, 2022, and October 31, 2023. Furthermore, the film must have been publicly exhibited for a minimum of seven consecutive days in a commercial motion picture theatre, allowing audiences to engage with the film in a theatrical setting that emphasizes the filmmaker’s artistic vision.

The Selection Process 

The approved selection committee will be adopting a solicitation and submission method during the submission process. The two Associations, MEIA and MPA collective membership covers an estimated 90% of producers in Malta. An email will be sent to the members of each association, inviting them to submit their films for consideration. Additionally, a public call will be made through a press release on independent media, including online platforms. The promotion will extend to social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and the respective Association websites. 

The final selection of the film being submitted for the International Feature Film Category will be chosen with a final vote taken by the members and the chairperson of the committee through an open discussion and secret ballot process.

The scoring round consists of all members of the selection committee watch all submitted films and rate the films according to the following rubric with 1 being the lowest rating, and 10 being the highest.

  • The story is compelling
  • The story has something to say
  • I was affected by it on an emotional level
  • The story has the ability to start a conversation
  • The film feels fresh, in cinematic terms
  • The story is told in an innovative way
  • The film feels complete
  • The direction is even-handed
  • The casting and performances are strong
  • The film is finished to the highest technical standards
  • The film connects to the broader human condition
  • The film presents a Maltese ‘voice’, representing Malta’s culture
  • The edit is tight
  • The use of Maltese is realistic (Maltese must be used in over 50% of the film)
  • Overall rating

Once the ratings have been received from all members of the selection committee, the Chairperson/s will review them and determine the three which received the highest total ratings across all categories (ie. The highest total score). These three films will then move on to the next round of the selection process with all others considered as eliminated.

The committee will convene to discuss the top three films and finalize the choice. Agreement on the winner will be sought through open dialogue, regardless of previous points. If consensus fails, a Committee vote follows. Each member selects a favoured film. The film with the most votes wins. In case of ties among 2 or 3 films, a revote occurs. Another tie results in using initial scores. If ties persist, the Committee Chairperson holds the deciding vote.

One film will be chosen as Malta’s Academy Award nomination.

For more information about the submission process and guidelines, interested parties are welcome to reach out to the Malta Academy Selection Committee via email at

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Photo Credits: Albert Camilleri