8 Aug – Director and producer of "Jagat", Shanjhey Kumar Perumal and Sivanantham Perianan are asking the Malaysia Film Producers Association (PFM) to explain the segregation of the nominees for the upcoming 28th edition of the Malaysia Film Festival (FFM) which is to be held this 3 September 2016.
Three main categories of the festival have been segregated for Bahasa Malaysia and non-Bahasa Malaysia language films.
The categories in question are Best Bahasa Malaysia Film and Best Non-Bahasa Malaysia Film, Best Director for a Bahasa Malaysia film and Best Director for a Non-Bahasa Malaysia Film, Best Screenplay for a Bahasa Malaysia Film and Best Screenplay for a Non-Bahasa Malaysia Film.
"Based on PFM's letter addressed to the National Film Development Corporation of Malaysia (FINAS), dated 14 July 2016, it is clear that this move was suggested by PFM."
"In lieu of that, we are appealing for PFM to explain the 70 percent Bahasa Malaysia requirement, which is used as a requisite to select and judge the best films for the previous Malaysia Film Festivals," they said.
The "Jagat" team added that according to their research, they discovered that there is an act relating to the issue, the National Film Development Act of 1981 which does not expressly state that the national language must be utilised for a film to be known as a Malaysian film
In fact, the act does not define what exactly is a National or a Malaysian film.
They believe that there is room for improvement in organising the film festival by having an open dialogue with various parties and taking in their constructive feedback.
Sivanantham and Shanjhey also suggested that the FFM panel take a leaf out of the national film festival of India which has more diverse language films than Malaysia.
However both of them also expressed their gratitude towards FINAS and PFM who had nominated "Jagat" for nine categories.
The nominations had instilled encouragement for the duo to keep maintaining their involvement in making films and thus elevating the local film industry.
They also thanked their fellow industry peers like Alfie Palermo, Afdlin Shauki and more for expressing their opinions and taking the stand to boycott FFM 28.
"Our peers have taken their stand and shared their opinions with the masses and have also pulled out from participating in FFM 28."
"We believe this is a strategy that can bring change to the proper planning of FFM."
However instead of also boycotting the festival, they are taking a different stand in the form of participating in the festival as planned in hopes that it will help accelerate a change for future editions.