Malaysian Finas to help local film industry financially (thesundaily.my)

26 August 2012 17 h 26 min Comments Off

FINAS, the National Film Development Corporation, will embark on several initiatives to put the local film industry on a sounder financial footing as well as help local producers seek more markets, says its director-general, Naguib Razak.

One of them on the immediate horizon would be the hosting of a roundtable, here on Sept 20 on the country’s creative industry with emphasis on film making together with International Investor, an international research firm that provides business intelligence on a country’s economy, he told Bernama today.

Naguib said the roundtable has attracted several noted local and international personalities on financing and film making to put their thoughts on how to move the film industry forward in Malaysia.

Among those who had been invited are Datuk Mohd Sharil Tarmizi, Chairman of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC); Datuk Amrin Awaluddin, managing director, Media Prima; Norman Halim, CEO, KRU Studios; Low Huoi Seong, CEO, Vision New Media; May Quah, Investments, Khazanah Nasional; Mike Lake, CEO, Pinewood Studios; Keiko Hagihara Bang, CEO, Bang Productions; Pieter Aquilia, Associate Dean, Tisch Asia; and Dr Fadhlullah Suhaimi Abdul Malek, Director, PEMANDU (Performance Management & Delivery Unit in the Prime Minister’s Department).

Naguib said the issue of funding was critical in film making and now that the local film industry has made a strong headway in terms of better revenue and market penetration, it was time to seriously look at harnessing more opportunities and examine how the industry could be better managed.

In this regard, he said FINAS would help local film producers master good business fundamentals and create good business models for achieving greater success in the box office so that they could attract more investors or financial backers. Naguib said although there had been stories of some movies failing, this was bound to happen anywhere, even in Hollywood, but the idea was to learn how to build upon success.

“A film is not a guaranteed thing (for success), but overall (in Malaysia), we are seeing more encouraging stories of success (here),” he said. FINAS, he said, hoped to help attract the banking sector and venture capitalists to see more opportunities or “bankable projects” in the Malaysian film making industry. “On our part, we also want to get the creative industry players to learn to organise their business in a financially prudent way with proper documentation so that they can develop confidence among those in the financial sector,” he said.

On another matter, Naguib said FINAS has been encouraged by the success of not only locally-produced Malay language films but also those produced in the Chinese language, some of which had even gone on to international markets.

“There is vast potential for films in other languages like Chinese and Tamil to be developed in Malaysia. We have seen great success last year for Chinese language films, for example, ‘Nasi Lemak 2.0′, which grossed RM7 million, ‘Great Day’, which did even better, and we have been informed that some of our local Chinese movies have succeeded in penetrating the market in mainland China. There are also strong indications of interest for Bollywood shoots for Indian films in Malaysia,” he said.

In recent years, among the noted locally-produced movies were “Petaling Street Warriors” (Mandarin), “Ice Kacang Puppy Love” (Mandarin), “Ah Beng: Three Wishes (Mandarin),”KL Gangster” (Malay), “Ombak Rindu” (Malay), “Hantu Bonceng” (Malay), “The Tuff Nuts” (Tamil) and “KIDNAP: The Crime Begins” (Tamil).

With the vast potential in local films in the future, Naguib hoped that local film makers would take advantage of the assistance offered by FINAS to produce not only good Malay, Chinese or Indian language films, but also English language ones.

Source: thesundaily.my, Bernama (25/08/2012)

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