Pro­gres­sive in­dus­try

A new and im­proved Com­pul­sory Screen­ing Scheme is in place to bet­ter the film in­dus­try.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MOVIES - By MUM­TAJ BEGUM en­ter­tain­ment@ thes­tar. com. my

SOME im­prove­ments have been made to the Com­pul­sory Screen­ing Scheme ( Skim Wa­jib Tayang) by Na­tional Film Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion Malaysia ( Finas). The scheme, which aims to help lo­cal film­mak­ers, en­forces cinema oper­a­tors to show­case lo­cal ( or joint- ven­ture) films in the cinema halls for a pe­riod of time.

“I feel this scheme still has its im­por­tance to the Malaysia film in­dus­try,” said Zahrin Aris, Finas Skim Wa­jib Tayang’s pres­i­dent dur­ing a press con­fer­ence held at the Con­tent Malaysia Pitch­ing Cen­tre in Kuala Lumpur re­cently.

At the event, he also quelled the ru­mour of the abo­li­tion of the scheme which caused a bit of an up­roar among film­mak­ers.

He said, one rea­son for the im­prove­ment is to in­crease the qual­ity of the films made in Malaysia and so that the scheme is not abused by any party.

Un­der the pre­vi­ous scheme, a lo­cal film has to be screened for 14 days in the big­gest hall of a given cine­plex.p The im­provedp ver­sion states thatt if the lo­cal film does not fill up 15% of the hallh ca­pac­ity within three days, Finas enc courages the oper­a­tors to move it to a sm maller hall.

“With the mo ove to a smaller hall, the film does n not have to carry the huge bur­den off fill­ing a large num­ber of au­di­encee and can in­stead con­tinue to be screened in the cinema,” Zahrin no oted.

Datuk Yu­sof Haslam, pres­i­dent of Malaysia Film P Pro­duc­ers As­so­ci­a­tion ( PFM) – who wasw present at the press con­fer­ence – sa aid this makes more sense. “In a lar rge hall, 15% seems like an un­achievab le tar­get some­times. Whereas in a 1 100- seater hall, we just need 15 pe eo­ple to watch it and the cin­e­maa oper­a­tors can con­tinue to o show the film for the rem main­ing pe­riod,” he said.

On Finas offi icial web­site too, it states an nother con­di­tion for the mo ove to a smaller hall: “.. .. the num­ber of view­ers in the ini­tial hall are less s than 30% of its to­tal seati ing ca­pac­ity on the first f four con­sec­u­tive days o of its screen­ing.”

An­other welc come change to the s scheme is, a film has to be e shown at least five tim mes a day com­pared to pr re­vi­ous four times a da ay.

Be­sides the im mprove­ments, Finas ha as also added a new ru ule to the scheme – one th hat Finas hopes will enco ourage film­mak­ers to m make qual­ity films fo or the ben­e­fit of the au­di­encea and the film in dus­try.

Zahrin ex­pla ained: “Come July this s year, the films that wew deem as ‘ poor’ will bee vet­ted by a sec­ond pa nel com­pris­ing jour­nal lists, film crit­ics, lec­turer rs, film stu- dents, etc. This is to en­sure a film is truly wor­thy to be screened at the cinema for pub­lic con­sump­tion and we are not re­ject­ing a film based on one party’s opinion. If the film does not pass both lev­els, it will not fall un­der the Com­pul­sory Screen­ing Scheme.”

At this point, Zahrin said, the pro­ducer of the said film has to deal di­rectly with the ex­hibitor if they want the film to be screened at the cinema.

Ac­cord­ing to Datuk Kamil Oth­man, di­rec­tor general of Finas, the im­prove­ments and ad­di­tion to the scheme is a way to boost the qual­ity of lo­cal films. His long- term plan for Malaysia is to get lo­cal films to travel to the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket suc­cess­fully.

Yu­sof added: “I have found that cinema oper­a­tors are very en­cour­ag­ing of this Com­pul­sory Screen­ing Scheme as they do want the lo­cal films to make money. The low- qual­ity films aren’t that many, but film­mak­ers need to re­alise that there has to be a stan­dard for the con­sump­tion of pay­ing pub­lic.

“We want to make sure that the fu­ture pro­duc­ers and film­mak­ers are bet­ter than us, and with this new rul­ingg the stan­dard can be made higher.”

For more in­for­ma­tion on the

scheme go to finas. gov. my

Kamil hopes the ad­di­tional rul­ing in the Finas Com­pul­sory screen­ing scheme will im­prove the qual­ity of lo­cal films. — AZLINA AB­DuL­LAh/ The star

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