Several new changes will be introduced to ensure that the local film industry is competitive.
Last December, the National Film Development Corporation (FINAS) appointed Dato' Fauzi Ayob as the new FINAS Director-General, effective 1 January 2017.
His appointment was made after the contract of the previous FINAS Director-General, Dato' Kamil Othman, ended on 9 November 2016.
Prior to holding the position of Director-General, Dato' Fauzi was the Deputy Director-General (Production and Communication) of FINAS, making him a suitable candidate for the position.
After half a year, entering the second quarter of 2017, Cinema Online had a sit down with the new Director-General to discuss his updates and new plans to further strengthen the local film industry.
Cinema Online: What are the new changes that you have made since getting appointed as FINAS Director-General?
Dato' Fauzi: Ever since I was appointed as FINAS Director-General, I have made several guidelines or Key Performance Indicator (KPI), whereby one of them is returning the IP (Intellectual Property) to the production companies that share IPs with FINAS. We have started the first phase with the returning of IP to four production companies, Pesona Pictures Sdn Bhd ("Tanda Putera"), Infinite Motion Sdn Bhd ("Oh La La"), Tangan Seni Sdn Bhd ("Kanang Anak Langkau: The Iban Warrior") and Funcel Sdn Bhd ("7 Satria").
This initiative by the government and FINAS is made as an initiation to the effort of developing the marketing platform and property ownership of local productions that have received production grants via FINAS' Animation Film Fund and Nationhood and Heritage Film Production Fund.
How many IPs in total are on FINAS' list that will be returned to production companies?
Our side is still in the process of counting the total sum but I can say that it will be a lot. We will try to settle the process as soon as possible and the IP handback will be done gradually. It will only be given to those who share IP with FINAS. If FINAS paid a production for an IP, then the IP is owned by FINAS and will not be handed to the production.
Why only now is FINAS returning the IP to production companies that received funds from FINAS?
I decided to return the IP so the productions can bring their IP to be marketed outside of the country, and this indirectly will develop the local film industry and give chance for local movies to be shown overseas.
In fact, it will also be a platform for a production to grab the chance to work with overseas productions, which will in a way boost the local film industry.
Apart from that, did you introduce any other new plans?
FINAS has also recently launched the Pitching Carnival programme, where we gather the main television stations under one roof and any individual with a good idea or show for TV can go to the Pitching Carnival to do a presentation to the TV stations. It's much more convenient compared to visiting the TV stations one by one.
Aside from that, this year, all year long FINAS will host several other programmes such as the Round Table, Enhancing Directing Quality Programme, Director Phd Talk, Cill, Asia Directors Talk and First Screening Appreciation.
What about the grading system that was brought up by the former FINAS Director-General?
The grading system runs in the same vein to the changes that will be made soon to the Compulsory Screening Scheme (Skim Wajib Tayang). In the new Wajib Tayang, we will have two committees where one will evaluate and the other will do quality check. Previously, the existing committee has never rejected any film that applied for Wajib Tayang, so through this new system, the film quality will be more guaranteed.
Through the new Wajib Tayang, every new film that is submitted for a Wajib Tayang slot must go through an evaluation process and if it does not meet the quality set, it will not be allowed for screening in cinemas. However, they still have the chance to exhibit their films via other platforms such as DVD, Astro First and others.
The winners from last year's FFM pre-awards night.
In regard to this year's Malaysia Film Festival (FFM), when will it be held and what are the new changes that will be introduced?
This year's FFM 29 will be held on 23 September at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), which will see FINAS making some new changes in organising it to ensure it will be more honest, fair and free of controversy.
For FFM 29, there will no longer be any pre-awards ceremony prior to the main awards ceremony night like the previous years, and we will lessen a few categories, which will be combined into several categories that we feel are similar to each other.
As for the FFM judging system, we will work on improving the categories and certain criteria. We don't want it to be like last year when it caused controversy after a few new categories were introduced. We do not want local movies to be overlooked. In fact, a meeting was also held where FINAS welcomed the nation's various arts associations to discuss and give their thoughts and suggestions on how to improve this year's FFM judging system, and InsyaAllah, hopefully it will go well without any controversy.
(Photo source: FINAS)
Cinema Online, 06 July 2017