11 Sep – An Oscar Selection Committee was recently formed by FINAS, with the purpose of sifting through local movies and picking the one deemed best to represent Malaysia at the upcoming 88th Academy Awards.
It was revealed by FINAS Director-General Datuk Kamil Othman that priorities will be given to one of the works from the Best Film finalists at the 27th Malaysia Film Festival (FFM27), which took place earlier this month.
However, this is not set in stone and the decisions could still change. The committee is set to meet today for the film selection.
"At this point, we are not hoping for a nomination or a win but at least FINAS has done something toward developing the local film industry," said Kamil, as quoted by mStar.
"Hopefully, with the certification of Malaysia's name in the Academy Awards, it will inspire filmmakers to create more high quality works that are worthy of competing at the Oscars."
This will be the third time for Malaysia to make a film submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The first was for the 2004 Academy Awards with Saw Teong Hin-directed "Puteri Gunung Ledang", which is based on a local folklore and stars Tiara Jacquelina opposite M. Nasir.
For the 2012 Academy Awards, Dain Said's "Bunohan", which garnered thirteen nominations (winning eight) at the 25th Malaysia Film Festival, was selected as Malaysia's official entry but also failed to get a nomination.
One of the movies that could possibly be picked this year is Liew Seng Tat's "Lelaki Harapan Dunia", which was shown, and also won several awards, at various international film festivals prior to being screened in Malaysia. It won five accolades at the recent FFM27, including for Best Film and Best Director.
If picked, the movie will go against other submissions that currently include Hou Hsiao-hsien's "The Assassin" (Taiwan), Lee Joon-ik's "The Throne" (South Korea), Masaharu Take's "100 Yen Love" (Japan) and Jean-Jacques Annaud's "Wolf Totem" (China), among others.
Malaysia's official entry is set to be submitted by 1 October 2015.