Yesterday (Aug 10), the Communications and Multimedia Ministry, Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak said that all film industry players in the country are eligible to be nominated in the Best Film category at the 28th Malaysia Film Festival (FFM28).
It has also created a new category, Best Film in the National Language, for the film festival.
Today, National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas) – the body co-organising the awards night that is scheduled to take place at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on Sept 3 – issued a statement confirming that all the nominees in the former Best Non-Bahasa Malaysia Film category will now be competing in Best Film category with the existing nominees.
The same goes for the Best Non-Bahasa Malaysia categories for Director and Screenplay.
This means, each of these major categories will now have 10 nominees.
Now, the Best Film nominees for FFM28 are Police Evo, Munafik, Mat Moto: Kami Mat Moto Bukan Mat Rempit, Nota, Jejak Warriors, OlaBola, Jagat, The Kid From The Big Apple, Maravan and Huat The Fish.
Best Director nominees are Ghaz Abu Bakar (Polis Evo), Saw Teong Hin (Jejak Warriors), Shamyl Othman (Rembat), Syamsul Yusof (Munafik), Wan Hasliza Wan Zainuddin (Love Supermoon), Chiu Keng Guan (OlaBola), Jess Teong (The Kid From The Big Apple), Puvanendran Selvaraja (Maravan), Shanjhey Kumar Perumal (Jagat) and Yee Kwan Huah & Silver (Huat The Fish).
In the Best Screenplay category, the nominees are Nota, Suamiku Encik Perfect, Polis Evo, Mat Moto – Kami Mat Moto Bukan Mat Rempit, Love Supermoon, OlaBola, The Kid From The Big Apple, Huat The Fish, Maravan and Jagat.
The nominees for Best Film in the National Language are Nota, Polis Evo, Munafik, Mat Moto – Kami Mat Moto Bukan Mat Rempit and Jejak Warriors.
All other categories will remain the same.
These changes came about as there had been many objections from the film industry folks on the segregration since the nominees were announced last week.
The category for Best Non-Bahasa Malaysia Film was introduced back in 2011, whereas the Best Non-Bahasa Malaysia Director and Screenplay were introduced this year.
One of the first to voice out against this segregation was Alfie Palermo, the president of Screenwriters Association of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor (Penulis).
On his Facebook post, Alfie said FFM should do away with the language criteria and focus on the quality of the production instead.
When the changes was announced yesterday, Alfie commented: “It’s a huge victory to have all the films compete in the same category without segreation.
“Although I do not see a reason behind the introduction of the Best Film in National Language category, I think this is still a historical step. I am very happy with this outcome.”
Afdlin Shauki chimed in on the change: “Our film industry should reflect all the races that take part in it. Previously, there might have been only Malays making films but today, we have a Chinese movie market and a Tamil movie market which are growing, and we should be celebrating this growth.”