Below is the list of films scheduled for screening under the Finas wajib tayang window:
Salam Cinta from MIG bows in this week. Followed by horror flick (so what's new right?) entitled Hantu Air. Comedy is still the choice of new producers and RR Empire is will be releasing Halim Munan contesting a local Cantonese flick called Kepong Gangster for box office coins.
Astro Shaw who has been quiet this year, releases Untuk Tiga Hari, followed by another MIG release with a cute title "Aji Noh Motor" (another rempit themed comedy?). Untuk Tiga Hari may be the only movie that may be raking better numbers - directed by Afdling Shauki, the trailer looks impressive.
This is then followed by a KRU Release Hantu Kapcai. Would this film be the best performing movie from the KRU brand?
The year ends with a strangely titles movie Sofazr The Movie Jiwa Kacau, from Nusan Bakti Corp.
What happened to Tanda Putera, the multimillion Ringgit Tun Razak bio pic from Shuhaimi Baba? Are the rumours that it is back to the editing room true? Pesona Pictures have been very quiet about their flick which was actually screened to VIPs some time back already.
Uwei's Hanyut may take some time before reaching our screens. Knowing Uwei, he might want to take the film onto the international film festival circuits first before releasing it over here. Maybe he is worried that Hanyut might go the way of Bunohan, appreciated and respected overseas but ignored locally.
And where is KL Gangster 2? It is not ready yet even after a year in post? What is Syamsul doing with the movie which according to reliable sources have passed way over the RM3 million mark in terms of costs already expanded.
I wonder what's FINAS's take is on all these.
There is a lot of talk amongst the feature film producers' and directors' circles that FINAS is now a domain that belongs to documentary film makers. Those in the feature film industry are just bystanders and are treated as second class citizens.
Is there truth in this? The total money that FINAS has spent on documentaries has not been officially released yet, but monies or grants for feature films have not reached many producers and filmmakers. Only a selected few has received millions in grants for feature films. But if I were to base ringgit value against per minute of screen time, FINAS actually recognises documentaries as being more valuable.
Understandably, the KP is a documentary filmmaker (is and not was) because his works are still making the festival rounds and also his short films, and one cannot blame him for putting Malaysian documentaries on the international film map. If that is the legacy he wants to leave behind when his contract ends in FINAS, that why knock it? If he feels that documentaries are the better medium in which to introduce Malaysian filmmakers to the world, it in within his right to do so.
If you are a feature film maker like me, that's just too bad. We have to approach producers like David Teo and other who believe in his 'box office formulas' with titles like CEO Rempit, or Bini Bini Hantu Gangster or Kapchai King to move forward in our careers as filmmakers.
Wonder if there's any more free money left for the so-called Filem Negarawan announced by FINAS sometime back. Was Tanda Putera a benificiary of the grant? Was Hanyut the other beneficiary? Did KRU also receive grants for 29th Februari? It would be nice if FINAS be open about who has received grants or loans from them. At least we can track where the money has gone too - whether it has gone to films that breaks the box office or break their bank accounts.