PUTRAJAYA: The Communications and Multimedia Ministry has decided that participation in the Best Film Award category at the Malaysian Film Festival (FMM) in September will be open to all film industry players in the country.
Its minister Salleh Said Keruak said the ministry had also created a new category, Best Film in the National Language, for the festival, organised by the Malaysia National Film Development Corporation (Finas).
He said the decision was made after taking into account the views and suggestions from all parties, including film industry players and members of the public.
“We are always willing to hear grouses from industry players and at the same time, we don’t neglect our responsibility of empowering Bahasa Malaysia as the national language,” Salleh said in a statement, here, today.
Prior to this, various quarters including MIC president S Subramaniam had called on Finas not to separate the films in Bahasa Malaysia from those not in Bahasa Malaysia, submitted for competition in the major award categories at the FMM this time.
Some local film industry players had objected to the films Ola Bola and Jagat being nominated for the Best Non-Bahasa Malaysia (BM) Film, instead of the Best Film category, as well as the creation of new categories for Best Director for a Non-BM Film and Best Screenplay for a Non-BM Film.