Malaysian Film Producers Association (PFM) president and filmmaker Datuk Yusof Haslam has lashed out at his critics at a Finas dialogue session on Monday night (Aug 8).
PFM was said to be behind the decision to separate nominees like Jagat and Ola Bola into the Non-Bahasa Malaysia categories for Best Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay for the upcoming 28th Malaysia Film Festival (FFM 28).
“I know what people are saying about me on social media. They said I used my influence to make sure films like Munafik and Mat Moto are nominated,” Yusof said.
Munafik and Mat Moto are films produced by Yusof’s Skop Productions. Both films, directed by his sons Syamsul and Syafiq respectively, are Best Film nominees.
He says he is affected by accusations of nepotism.
“I have nothing to do with the nominees selection process. I myself was surprised when I heard about Mat Moto‘s nominations. The members of the judging committee were selected by Finas,” he explained.
Yusof also clarified that the decision for non-Bahasa Malaysia categories was purely to uphold the national language.
For local productions to qualify for the Best Film category, a 70% Bahasa Malaysia use in dialogue is required.
“I will not compromise on that. This year when we had the discussion on nominees, PFM wholeheartedly agreed that we should create more categories for non-Bahasa Malaysia films to compete as there are more Tamil and Mandarin language being made now.”
In an emotional speech, Yusof also announced that he does not want to be a part of the FFM committee next year. However, he will remain in PFM.