Friday, July 23, 2010


A couple of days ago, there was an article in the Malay papers about calon-calon (candidates) for the soon to be vacant post of FINAS Director-General currently held by Mahyuddin Mustakim.
The speculation is that filmmaker and current FINAS Board member, Ahmad Idham, will be the next DG of this hot seat which he has of course denied. He said the confusion may have stemmed from the fact that he has been re-elected onto FINAS's Board.
However, his old friend film-factory producer David Teoh of Metrowealth, who is also on FINAS's board (yeah go figure), is full of praise for the fourth generation filmmaker and has his support as the next FINAS DG.
Amidst all this speculation, three other names have been thrown into the cauldron - Adflin Shauki, Dr Mahadi Murat and yours truly.
I have to categorically deny here that I am being considered for the post. As far as I know, I am the least likely candidate to be offered the job. If I was DG material, I would already have been sitting in Mahyuddin's office and not him, as I was one of the main candidates in the previous DG search. If I was not suitable four years ago, then I am still not suitable this time around.
This doesn't mean that I wouldn't relish the chance to lead FINAS and make into something resembling a body that actually develops the local film industry.
Firstly, as DG, I would ask the Minister to agree that those who are still active in the local film industry should resign from the FINAS Board. Not because they are not helping the industry but because it doesn't make common sense for them to be on the Board in the first place.
However, FINAS would do well by instead creating an Industry Advisory Panel that they can appoint all the David Teohs, the Ahmad Idhams and the Mustafa Maarofs of the world.
As for members of the Board, I would rather request the government to appoint accountants, change managements experts, bankers, marketing professionals, corporate figures and captains of industries to sit on the Board. No film practitioner should be aboard, except maybe the DG.
This statement I just made should also not be taken as support for the Memorandum made by the Malaysian Film Producers' Association for the dismissal of David Teoh and Ahmad Idham as Board members.
This should have been done three years ago when David and Ahmad were appointed as Board members then.
So why the memorandum now? I'm not quite sure, but I heard from a little bird that certain members of the Association are not happy that certain members of the current FINAS board (duhhhhh do I have to spell out their names for you?) have advised against the forking out of more millions for certain production companies who have already taken millions of the government. I don't know how true this is, but someone is said to be orchestrating hard to ensure that David Teoh should not be on board as he is one of the most vocal board member. If David Teoh is not okay for the Board what makes Dato' Mustafa Maarof okay for the Board? Isn't he still active in the industry and has his own production company too? What about Mr Murthee? Doesn't he own one of the fastest growing cinema chain in the country? Isn't that a conflict of interest too? So why only pick on David Teoh and Ahmad Idham?
As far as I know, there is no conflict of interest specifically in regards to David Teoh's position as a FINAS board member. It is in fact a thankless post for him.
And as far as I know, unlike most of those PFM leaders who want him out of FINAS, David Teoh's Metrowealth has not taken a single loan from FINAS or MDec or MCMC or BSN or SME.
He is however the most prolific film producer in the country. Not Pesona, not KRU and not Grand Brilliance. His output have now exceeded two movies per month.
You question the quality of his films? Why don't you ask the million of viewers who pay good money to see his films?
Is he revered by the practitioners (the directors, the actors, the film workers)? Of course he is. At the rate he is going, at least 200 hundred local filmworkers can celebrate this coming Raya with a smile. He gave the director of a box office hit movie he producer a car for work well done. What has FINAS given successful directors?
What I don't agree with David Teoh is his filmmaking philosophy. To him it is the only way for local films to work. His shareholders are happy and by that fact alone, one cannot argue that he is not doing great work. To him, a film should be done with a budget of maybe RM1-1.5 million, 20 days shoot and 20 days post, and wallahhh! a new film ready to be screened.
I also disagree that, for some weird reason, he is going to produce and finance Hatta Azad Khan's next few movies. In this weird arrangement, Metrowealth will produce all of Hatta Azad Khan's directed movies as some kind of strange partnership with Uitm's Faculty of Creative Technology of which conveniently Hatta is the Dean.
Students and lecturers it seem will be involved in this agreement as part of their course work.
Of course, I believe that Hatta will be paid as the director and writer for the work.
I have already said in an earlier blog posting, filmmakers who want to teach should just teach. If they miss making movies, leave the comfort zone of a salaried position of a lecturer or Dean and be a filmmaker.
Anyway, the only winners in this scenario are Hatta and David:
Hatta gets to become a Dean and a film director at the same time and have a financier for all his movies.
David pulak because he is deemed to be helping out an institution of higher learning's creative programme.
But I digress.
Back to the question of FINAS DG.
Who would be my suggestion to take over the post?
Easy. Get the guy who took Singapore's non-existent film industry into a critically acclaimed film industry within a decade, whoever that guy is. So what if he isn't a Malay or Malaysian. We need results and someone who would push the envelope and make the world stand up and take notice of our films.
We need someone who actually knows what makes the industry tick and what it will take for us to make movies that tick too.
We need someone who would listen to the real players in the industry and not to just one or two friends and relatives.
FINAS's role is to develop and support the industry - it is not a body that tells the industry what to do without consultation. It is not a body that patronises the industry players.
FINAS should also not be a body that sieves and evaluates scripts and approves loans for these scripts. It should be a body that would instead actually put its money where its mouth is. If they think a script is worth giving a loan to, they should actually invest in that script.
Why pass the risk to the producers? If FINAS think they can evaluate a script and tell the producers who to cast, what budget to maintain and who to direct and what location to secure, then shouldn't they be the producers and take the risk themselves? How can they evaluate and approve the script and the marketing and promotion plans of the film, and approve the loan? And when the film flops, why do they blame the producer?
See? Conflicts occur when FINAS doesn't know what role it should play in the industry.
To me, loans should be minimise or even scrapped.
There should only be joint venture funding facilities and full grants.
And these grants are only given to projects that are unique and need not be necessarily a commercial undertaking. It should be for projects that would elevate the industry cinematic profile worldwide.
Loans? Just get the banks (BSN or SME)to simply evaluate the capability of the producer to pay back the loan, and not the project's artistic merit. In the end, it is just another business loan from a bank to a client. And the client MUST be able to pay it back. Simple as that.
You have a contract with a TV station? Sure here's the loan. You have some valuable land as collateral? Sure here take a million ringgit loan. You have a salary of RM30,000 a month? Sure, here, take the loan.
You have the next Avatar screenplay that everyone is raving about? Sorry, not interested. Go find investors. Banks don't deal in fantasies.
FINAS's role should be making policies, and identifying ways of educating young filmmakers. Even after so many years of existence, it is still hard to believe that FINAS has not created a scholarship fund for young up-and-coming filmmakers who need to hone their knowledge in Universities around the world.
What other things should FINAS do? Here are some suggestions:
FINAS needs to promote Malaysian movies locally and not only internationally.
FINAS should hold hands with film producers and fight for a cess fund taken from foreign films that are screened in the country. This fund would be used to finance film projects.
FINAS should not beg for funds from the government but instead get it from the private sector. In the UK, the lottery concessionaires pool funds to help the creative industry including the film industry to create non-mainstream movies.
FINAS should fight for some of the money from sin taxes - gambling, smoking and drinking.
Companies like Genting and Sports TOTO should funds movies yearly.
FINAS should get each state to produce one state-themed movie every year.
FINAS should really tell us how long it would take them to develop filmmakers or films to be accepted by the major film festivals of the world like the ones in Turin, Berlin, Cannes and Venice.
Heck, FINAS should be moving their butts and make the industry buzz instead of going phhfffttttt!
So if the people in the corridors of power think that Ahmad Idham can do all these, then give him a chance.
What ever it is, the last four years have been uneventful for FINAS and directly the film industry. Therefore, it is really in dire need of a new Kapitan who has new ideas and new directions and brings us new hope.


Anonymous said...

paling bernas pernah saya baca dari apa yang tuan nukil sebelum ini.

Penchinta Ruang Gelap

ps-wajar di tulis kembali dalam bahasa melayu.

fadz said...

this is the most sensible answer to finas' problems anf the malaysian industry as a whole.. yah, u shd be KP.

Anonymous said...

ya saya setuju dengan banyak cadangan abang. memang sepatutnya abang jadi kp finas. ide-ide dan cadangan ni cuma jadi bual kosong kalau abang tak punya kuasa. jadilah KP finas yang terbaik dalam sejarah.

sudah gaharu cendana pula, you have my vote, kind sir!

lagi ikhlas

ps-festival turin tu menarik jugak, tapi kalau nak tengok stats filem festival kebanyakan ada kat sini>

Rashdan said...

I believe in Anwardi Jamil.

Anonymous said...

Sedap membaca komen tuan berkaitan FINAS..macam2 idea yang tuan cetuskan namun saya lihat apa yang tuan nyatakan hanya sedap didengar dan dibaca tapi tidak realistik dengan prosedur2 yang perlu dilalui oleh FINAS sebagai sebuah agensi di bawah kerajaan.Paling menyedihkan idea tuan adalah berdasarkan teori semata-mata dan tidak praktikal dengan situasi industri kita hari ini. Saya juga tidak bersetuju dengan pendapat tuan bahawa En. Mahydin tidak melakukan apa2 dalam 4 tahun FINAS di bawahnya. Mungkin tuan ada sedikit kecil hati lagi dengan beliau kerana tidak terpilih sebagai KP FINAS dahulu. Saya merasakan beliau telah banyak membawa pembaharuan kepada FINAS dan industri. Pelbagai inisiatif di gerakkan oleh beliau namun mereka2 seperti tuan yang selalu merujuk diri sebagai serba tahu yang mengagalkan usaha-usaha beliau supaya tuan lebih nampak cerdik dan berkeupayaan. Sebagai seorang karyawan, saya tidak nampak apa yang boleh dibanggakan sangat dengan keupayaan dan karya2 tuan apatah lagi sebagai seorang penerbit atau pengarah yang berjaya. Teori dan praktikal adalah dua benda yang berbeza, tahu teori tapi xtau praktikal pn satu masalah juga. Tuan pun saya rasa jika tidak ada kabel RTM dan Astro, jadi kontraktor agaknya. Jadi janganlah kita melihat diri sendiri saja yang cerdik, orang lain juga berusaha dengan kuasa dan pertimbangan yang ada pada mereka, sedap mengkritik tapi sukar membuktikan. Dua orang lagi yang bagi komen ni pun iyekan saja.lain kali baca dan fikir jangan jadi pak hangguk je..wassalam.

anwardi said...

Saya ada kabel kat RTM dengan Astro? Hehehehehehe....kelakar...kalau saya ada kabel dah lama aku senang. Kalau 'anonymous' faham posting saya, maka apa yang saya senaraikan adalah wishlist...dan ya saya setuju dalam situasi FINAS sekarang sebagai agensi kerajaan mungkin sukar, tetapi pernah kah pengurusan FINAS mencubai? Adakah salahnya mencuba praktik teori?
Ya memang senang dan sedap untuk seseroang mengkritik, anda juga sedap kritik, tetapi anda kritik diselindungi nama samaran, saya mengkritik dengan nama yang benar. Sesiapa pun boleh mengkritik saya dan filem-filem saya. Itu hak mereka dan kerana itu juga hak anda, saya tidak menapis komen anda. Saya juga tidak kesal atau kecilhati kerana tidak dipilih menjadi KP Finas 4 tahun dahulu. Saya tidak gunakan kabel malah terima keputusan YB Menteri memilih Mahyudin dan jika YB Menteri rasa Mahyudin telah membawa banyak pembaruan, pengurusan dan sukses yang amat untuk FINAS dan industri maka insyallah YB Menteri akan meneruskan khidmat beliau. Kita hanya boleh meneliti dari jauh. Kalau semua cadangan saya itu hanya cadangan atas awan, takperlah tetapi kalau ada satu-satunya cadangan yang takboleh gunapakai itu menjadi, saya harap sangat FINAS akan menyediakan dana untuk scholarship bagi pengamal-pengamal filem muda. Dengan adanya sutradara, penulis skenario dan penerbit yang berakal dan berilmu, insyallah industri kita akan berlonjak dimasa akan datang. Insyaallah.

Anonymous said...

Terima kasih di atas komen balas dari pihak tuan. Saya tidak mendedahkan nama kerana tidak molek untuk berbicara dengan identiti yang terdedah dengan perkembangan hari ini,harap tuan tidak skeptikal dengan saya atau komen saya, saya cuma tidak suka melihat situasi pukul anak sindir menantu. Melihat kepada komen dan bahasa yang tuan gunakan, memang orang lama yang berpengalaman dan tidak mudah melatah dengan usikan kecil seperti ini, saya tabik tuan dengan sikap yang sedemikian. Saya mohon maaf jika tuduhan berkaitan kabel itu tidak benar, mungkin salah anggapan saya. Berkaitan FINAS, saya percaya mereka di FINAS bekerja dengan sepenuh hati berdasarkan kuasa dan pertimbangan yang ada pada mereka. Mereka juga mempunyai keluarga dan haruslah mereka berkerja dengan terdaya yang mungkin untuk memberi rezeki yang halal kepada keluarga di rumah.Selepas akedemi filem dipindahkan dan disatukan dengan ASWARA, ASWARA di bawah KPKK telah menyediakan peluang yang secukupnya kepada mereka yang ingin aktif di dalam industri yang telah diperluaskan cabang2nya. saya berpendapat FINAS tidak patut menyediakan biasiswa atau yang seangkatan denganya kerana FINAS bukan badan pendidikan, namun saya rasa tuan juga serba maklum bahawa FINAS membantu para karyawan muda dengan Dana Pembangunan Filem dan Multimedia yang boleh dirujuk di dalam laman web rasmi FINAS. Dana sebanyak RM50 ribu diberikan kepada individu yang mahu menerbitkan filem pendek, dokumentari atau animasi bagi tujuan pembangunan industri. Sila rujuk dengan bahagian dana dan insentif jika mahukan penjelasan lanjut. Kerajaan mempunyai dasar2 yang tersendiri dengan peraturan2 tertentu yang telah ditetapkan agar semua agensi beroperasi dibawah bidang kuasa masing2.Merujuk kepada kenyataan tersebut, memang mudah memberi idea namun sukar untuk direalisasikan kerna semuanya mempunyai aturan dan aturan itu menjamin kestabilan..wasalam

Anonymous said...

Saya sikit-sikit ada juga terlibat dengan penubuhan Finas. Dari segi bersaudara, bau-bau bacanglah katakan.
Sejak penubuhannya, saya jangka Finas akan bergolak.
Memang jangkaan saya tidak meleset.
Sejak mula hingga kini Finas sentiasa saja bergelora.
Yang terbaru perlantikan David Teo dan Ahmad Idham.
Akta sudah ada. Digubal dengan baik sekali. Tapi kenapa dilanggar?
Menteri yang bertanggungjawab tau apa yang dilakukannya salah (beliaukan pakar undang-undang) tapi terus mengenepikannya walaupun perlantikan budibicara beliau.
Yang tak sedapnya, tak mau terima bantahan tak mau pula berdialog.
"Jangan pertikaikan," katanya seolah-olah Finas itu hak beliau sendiri.
Sudahlah industri filem Malaysia semakin merudum baik dari segi sambutan dan kualiti.
Kini ditambah pula pergolakan dalam Finas sendiri.
Bertambah merudumlah.
Menteri berkenaan patut mengkaji dari semua aspek sebelum melantik sesiapa menduduki Lembaga Pengarah dan Ketua Pengarah Finas.
Berbincanglah dengan PFM, Seniman dan sebagainya.
Jangan hentam keromo saja, apatah lagi yang dilantik itu kroni moni dan tidak sepatutnya mereka berada disitu.
Macam David Teo dan Ahmad Idham.
Yang mereka berdua ni pun satu, dah tau nak bergiat dalam penerbitan filem kenapa terima jawatan tersebut?
Besar sangatkah elaun RM500 itu, atau ada udang disebalik batu?
Pada saya apa yang dipertikaikan Norman, Shuhaimi Baba dan geng-gengnya berasas dan patut diambil perhatian.
Mereka penggerak dan pembuat filem. Finas sepatutnya membantu dan memantau sebagaimana tujuan asal penubuhannya.
Saya cadangkan, selagi Menteri tak ambil pusing. Ahmad dan David masih tetap dengan jawatannya, PFM, Seniman dan yang seangkatan dengannya boikot Finas. Buat demontrasi.
Persoalannya, ada berani ke?

- Cucu Kassim Selamat.

Anonymous said...

good reading on your rambling :)
good ideas and suggestions too esp the part how could FINAS do their part to nurture the young and upcoming film makers of Malaysia.


Btw, need your email laa bang. Need to share with you about project I'm doing for Malaysians, Kuala Lumpur 48 Hour Film Project.

Appreciate if you could give your contact details at:

in the mean time try visit our website and facebook pages :)

Have a good day!

Anonymous said...

Salam kepada Tuan Anwardi dan cucu Kasim Selamat,

Tidak terlambat rasanya untuk saya ucapkan selamat hari lahir kepada Seniman yang saya hormati,ayah Tuan, Dato Jamil Sulong, semoga dipanjangkan usia dan dimurahkan rezeki dan bahagia seisi keluarga hendaknya.

Merujuk kepada komen dari cucu Kasim Selamat, tergerak hati saya untuk memberi sepatah dua maklumbalas berkaitan perkara tersebut. Cucu Kasim Selamat semestinya seangkatan dengan Tan Sri Jins Samsudin jika merujuk kepada pengakuannya yang terlibat di dalam penubuhan FINAS, bau-bau bacang mungkin tidak terlibat sebagai Seniman tetapi penggiat industri atau orang persatuan mungkin? Tepat sungguh ramalan saudara FINAS akan bergolak namun hakikatnya FINAS merupakan satu-satunya badan yang menjaga industri perfileman negara, muzik tiada agensi yang menjaganya,dan teater pula sedang membina. Perkembangan filem memang menarik untuk diulas oleh akhbar dan FINAS sememangnya sering mendapat perhatian media dengan atau tanpa sebarang isu. Merujuk kepada pendapat saudara berkaitan perlantikan David Teao dan Ahmad Idham, Saya menyokong saudara dalam perkara tersebut. Dengan ulasan panjang lebar di dalam media rasanya kita masing-masing tahu apa yang sedang berlaku, cuma saya tidak setuju dengan perenggan yang mengatakan industri filem kita semakin merudum. Untuk sekian kalinya, sila lihat di dalam web FINAS dan buat perbandingan berkaitan jumlah filem yang dikeluarkan sejak 5 tahun sudah. Peningkatannya adalah progresif dan bermakna industri semakin perkembangan. Dana Pinjaman Filem Cereka laris bak pisang goreng panas menandakan adanya keyakinan dikalangan penggiat industri untuk terus berkarya dan menghasilkan sesuatu untuk tontonan. Namun berkaitan dengan kualiti, mungkin kita harus menerima hakikat bahawa penonton malaysia mempunyai tahap pemikiran tersendiri untuk menilai sesebuah karya itu. Selagi adanya filem diterbitkan bermakna industri tidak akan merudum dan buat masa ini, saya berpendapat 'survival' industri melalui kuantiti adalah lebih bermakna dari kualiti. Untuk mendapatkan kualiti,biarlah mereka-mereka seperti Prof Hatta dan Dr. Mahadi yang meneruskan kesinambungannya. Tetapi bagi industri, kita perlukan lebih ramai pemain yang boleh menghasilkan filem blokbuster. Untuk perenggan terakhir itu pula, saya berpendapat, tidak harus FINAS diboikot memandangkan ia bukan bidang kuasa FINAS. Jika mahu diboikot, boikotlah menteri kerana ia memang bidang kuasa mutlak menteri. Pergilan seramai mungkin persatuan dan orang industri ke Jelebu, naikkan kain rentang 1Malaysia, panggil media dan jeritlah rakyat tidak didahulukan. Maka berubahlah muka menteri di dalam mesyuarat kabinet kelak. Ada BERANI wahai cucu kasim selamat? Jangan marahkan nyamuk kelambu dibakar, bakarlah nyamuk itu dan sarang-sarangnya, boleh hindari aedes sekali.

P/s : Untuk, kalau tidak mengerti jangan nak Finas oh Finas, kalau setakat young and upcoming film makers,masih jauh lagi untuk anda komen sesuatu berkaitan FINAS atau industri.