10 Aug – After all the hullabaloo surrounding the recent issue of the 28th Malaysia Film Festival (FFM 28), Malaysia's Communications and Multimedia Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak, has stepped up to end the dispute once and for all.
The Best Film category is now open to all, regardless of the main language utilised in the competing films.
"We are always willing to hear grouses from the industry players and at the same time, we don't neglect our responsibility of empowering Bahasa Malaysia as the national language," said Salleh, as quoted by Bernama.
The whole debacle started following the announcement of the FFM 28 nominations last week, which saw the segregation of Non-Bahasa Malaysia productions into their own Non-Bahasa Malaysia categories – an act that was quickly deemed racists by the public, including key people in the local film industry.
The issue was even highlighted on international movie publication, Variety, in its online report dated 8th August 2016.
The latest development means that films such as "Jagat" and "Ola Bola", previously sidelined for Best Film despite being critically acclaimed, now stand a chance to compete fairly against other local productions.