Malaysian films going global with first ever international festival

by - 16:10

Malaysia’s filmmaking industry is ready to move on to the next level, with the country’s first international film festival and award show – the Malaysia International Film Festival (MIFF), and Malaysia Golden Global Awards (MGGA) – to be held in the first quarter of 2017.

The 1st MIFF is a nine-day-long event that will run from Feb 24 to March 4, 2017 at Nu Sentral Shopping Mall, Kuala Lumpur, while the first ever MGGA awards ceremony will be held on March 5 at the Arena of Stars, Genting Highlands.

The international film festival is co-organised by Malaysia’s National Film Development Corporation (FINAS) and supported by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia, and is a joint effort between Malaysia, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Wen Tien Hsiang, the CEO of the Taiwan Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards (the prestigious Chinese-language equivalent of the Oscars), will serve as the main advisor for the two events. “I’m glad that Malaysia is conducting this international film festival. I’ve been seeing a lot of Malaysian films and meeting many Malaysian filmmakers in recent years. I hope that this event will spur further exchanges within the local filmmaking industry.”

Veteran Hong Kong actress Gloria Yip is also on board as an advisor. Best known for her role as Ashura in 1988 supernatural flick The Peacock King, Yip professed a preference for films with strong feminist themes. “I took on this advisory role for more opportunities to learn as well as to experience Malaysian filmmaking projects. For me, important criteria for film selection include shooting style and the message conveyed.”

Also invited are an extensive lineup of renowned producers, directors, artistes, and experienced film industry personalities such as film critic Zeng Nian Qun, film director Jau Feng, scriptwriter Meng Hao, and movie producer David Teo, who will also serve as advisors to the international level film event.

Joanne Goh of Jazzy Group and Dato’ Mike Loh of Snips International, both well known personalities from Malaysia, have been appointed as the organising board’s chairperson and vice-chairman respectively.

At the launch event, Goh said, “The two events are designed to promote local and international film productions, by recognising and rewarding quality films and filmmakers. The festival also aims to introduce Malaysian films, arts and culture to the world, with the primary intention of developing our country’s tourism industry”.

A variety of local and international films in various languages from participating countries will be screened at selected cinemas throughout the festival. These films will showcase the creative achievements of filmmakers from all over the world.

The organisers also aim to maximise cultural and creative exchange among filmmakers and movie buffs through forums and sharing sessions that will be held during the festival.

The film festival is expected to see participants from 16 countries, while the award ceremony will involve filmmakers from all over Asia. There will be about 16 awards up for grabs, including one for Best Local Film, for Malaysian productions.

Submissions for the film festival will be accepted throughout July, and can be done via the official festival website. Film selection will be conducted by an international panel. For details, visit or email

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