Chinese artiste group defends FFM28 over segregation

FFM PETALING JAYA: The Association of Malaysian Chinese Artistes (Amca) has defended the move to divide the 28th Malaysian Film Festival Awards (FFM28) into Bahasa Malaysia (BM) and non-BM categories.

According to a report by the China Press, Amca vice-president Ye Xiao said that the move will give local Chinese films the chance to win more awards at the event, which is considered the local “Oscars”.

Ye Xiao also supported the organisers’ move to categorise Ola Bola as a non-BM film.

He stressed that FFM’s organisers have clearly stated since 2011 that films participating in the BM category must have all-BM dialogue.

“For the last five years, FFM has used the same (segregation) method to enable local Chinese films to take part, with The Journey winning top spot in the non-BM category last year.

“But because of issues related to Ola Bola, an unnecessary controversy was sparked,” Ye Xiao said, adding that boycotting FFM would only cause Chinese films to lose a platform.

Ye Xiao said that the awards’ segregation had its benefits, since the conditions set by the jury for scripts of different languages are different.

“This is understandable. Plots will differ, and the jury’s expectations will differ in turn.”

He stressed that he will not be boycotting FFM28, and urged the public to do the same.

Meawhile, award-winning cinematographer Mohd Noor Kassim told The Malay Mail Online that he is going to return the two awards for cinematography he won in previous FFM award shows over the segregation controversy.

“Tomorrow, I will send the letter and at the same time I will return the two awards,” he was quoted as saying.

“However, if they cancel the (segregated) categories, I will not return the awards but I will still pull out,” he said.