4 Aug – The full list of nominations for the 28th Malaysia Film Festival (FFM 28) has recently been announced and already it has managed to draw the ire of local movie fans and industry players alike.
The controversy revolves around two of this year's highly-acclaimed movies, "Ola Bola" and "Jagat", that somehow fail to be nominated in the FFM 28 Best Film category. They were instead placed in a newly introduced category, Best Non-Bahasa Malaysia Film.
The President of PENULIS (Persatuan Penulis Lakon Layar Kuala Lumpur dan Selangor), Alfie, has called out FFM, which is organised by the Malaysia Film Producers Association (PFM) and National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS), as being racist.
He voiced his concern over the issue in a long Facebook post, stating that the association officially rejects a majority of the nominees for this year's festival and that the unjustified nominations proofed that FFM has not shown any progression.
"However, that is not what worries us most. What's really worrying and aggravating is the existence of a Best Non-Bahasa Malaysia Film category, where movies that have done Malaysia proud and of high quality (and should be winning FFM) get dumped: such as "Ola Bola" and "Jagat"," the post stated.
"Where is the 1Malaysia concept advocated by the government? This is Malaysia Film Festival, not Malay Film Festival."
The post was also shared on the official Facebook page of local actress Ida Nerina, who shared the same sentiment regarding the issue.
Meanwhile, netizens who deem this year's list as irrelevant and one-sided have also taken to social media to express their dissatisfaction.
Some accused the nominations of being based on popularity instead of quality.
Neither FINAS nor PFM has released any official statements to explain the issue.