If the symposium on Malaysian film industry held today at the National Art Gallery is anything to gauge the standard of the festival by, then we are in for a lousy time.
I have been to many seminars, symposiums, workshops - all around the world - and this symposium today, is by far, the worse I have attended.
The quality of the panel is questionable to say the least, and none had anything to say that was worthy of note. It was a sheer waste of time and money for all concerned.
For example, there was one panelist who said he could define an Islamic movie in two hours, and then there was this genius who saw fault with everyone but his first movie which he said would make RM10 million at the box office. He also said he has the solution to the ills of the local film industry and the answer to that is to place 1000 kiosks around the nation so that the masses can preview movies and buy tickets through the kiosks. The interesting aspect is that he wants members of the public to invest RM10,000 for each kiosk (of course there's the beautiful ROI story that the 10k will bring you 25k or some such profits in the very near future).
This kiosk thing sounds just like the direct marketing scheme which offers kiosk that dispenses mineral water and also the kiosk that dispenses pre-paid phone cards (but those kiosks are Rm40k each for the gullible investor).
By calculating the business, the guy makes RM10 million cash if he manages to finds suckers to fork our RM10,000 each for 1,000 kiosks. Sad, because most of the kiosks may only cost about RM3k each (I should know - I was a pioneer in interactive multimedia kiosks).
But for the guy to try and sell his kiosk concept at a symposium that was supposed to delve into the ills of the film industry, was to say the least, uncalled for.
Not only that, a representative of JAWI also presented a paper, to promote Islamic values in filmmaking. I thought this was a Malaysian Film Industry seminar - not a seminar in pursuit for the perfect Islamic film or even Malay film. No wonder there was hardly any non-Malays attending the seminar.
For those who didn't even know that the symposium actually marked the beginning of the three day Malaysian Film Festival, it was held at the National Art Gallery at 10 am this morning. About 50 people attended. Very few familiar faces attended - amongst them - Ahmad Ibrahim, Tengku Annuar Musaddad, Raja Azmi, Mansor Puteh, Yusof Mohd. I didn't see any artistes nor any of the younger directors. Of course, the FINAS board members were there in full force - I guess to see their handiwork and then praise themselves for a job well done. Jeez.