PETALING JAYA: Cabinet minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan has urged Finas, the national film corporation, and the Malaysian Film Producers Association (PFM) to reverse their decision to create language categories for this year’s Malaysian film awards.
A row over language segregation has blown up after Finas broke up the best film category by language for Malay language films and non-Malay language films.
“I hope Finas and PFM will reverse their decision because it seems to me they are killing the very industry they are trying to save. There is no place for language profiling in the creative industry,” he said on Twitter.
“Don’t use it to curtail their creativity. Let them be & see the spark!” he said.
Films such as Ola Bola and Jagat which had been nominated for best film, best screenplay and best director awards were placed in the non-Malay language categories instead of the main categories.
Abdul Rahman said he was “a big supporter” of the creative industry “including those hard working and talented people in the movie industry. They are the faces of the nation”.
Urged by a follower, Hisham Hamzah, to do something about it as a cabinet minister, Abdul Rahman said he would bring it up with communications minister Salleh Said Keruak.
“Yes, I will bring it up to my friend @sallehsaid,” he said.
Yesterday, the Malaysian Film Producers Association clarified that the decision to have different language categories was meant to uphold the use of the national language in local films.
It also said that for a movie to be nominated in the best film category, 70 per cent of its dialogue must be in Bahasa Malaysia.
Actor and filmmaker Afdlin Shauki has announced a boycott of this year’s Filem Festival Malaysia, while cinematographer Mohd Noor Kassim has withdrawn his nomination for best cinematography for his work on Bravo 5.