RM15m Fund For Inspirational Films

27 Nov

Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal (second from right) admiring the award that Malaysia director Saw Tion Guan (left) won for the Best Short Film category for ‘G16G17’ yesterday. Leng Tzu Jien (second from left) and Bjorn Jensen (right) took the awards on behalf of the winners of the Best Animated Film titled ‘Memory Loss’ and the Best Documentary, ‘Under the Ice’.

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has approved the setting up of a RM15 million fund to make films of national interests.

Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal announced this at the launch of the three-day Kuala Lumpur International Film Festival at the National Handicraft Complex in Jalan Conlay here yesterday.

Shafie said the fund would support the making of films with historical, cultural and heritage themes.

“This will contribute to national unity and celebrate the stories of human courage and endeavour.”

Meanwhile, Wayang, a touching and inspiring story of a wayang kulit exponent who mentors a blind orphan in the fast-disappearing art form, is Malaysia’s representative at the festival.
The film, directed by Dr Hatta Azad Khan of sitcom Pi Mai Pi Mai Tang Tu fame, and which stars Eman Manan and Zul Huzaimy Marzuki, is one of 22 films from 15 countries competing in the festival held at the Putra World Trade Centre here on Saturday.

The other films include The Last Lullaby (United States), A Casa De Alice (Brazil), Hamoon Va Darya (Iran) and Fugitive Pieces (Canada). Sixteen awards are up for grabs in the festival.

Besides the RM20,000 top award for Best Film, there are also the Best Asian, North American, South American, African and European Film categories, each worth RM5,000.

The Best Director, Actor, Actress, Cinematography, Sound System, Screenplay and Musical Score categories are worth RM3,000 each.

The festival’s director, Wafa Abdul Kadir, said it was the first time it was rewarding all categories with cash prizes.

Previously, only the top prize carried a cash reward.

“It is our incentive to filmmakers, locally and internationally, to produce quality films with universal appeal.”

Wafa said the organising committee received 191 entries from Malaysian filmmakers. The festival’s theme is Celebrating Cultural Diversity.

The winners of the Best Documentary, Best Animated Film and Best Short Film were announced in the festival launch. They were Under the Ice, Memory Loss, and G16G17, from Canada, Taiwan and Malaysia, respectively.

The main awards ceremony will see performances by Datuk Siti Nurhaliza Taruddin, Yusry Abdul Halim, Ning Baizura, Suki Low, Zahid Baharuddin and Dafi Ismail Sabri, as well as India’s Mallika Sherawat and Indonesia’s Melly Goeslow.

New Straits Times

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