PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Artistes’ Association (Karyawan) has backed a decision to have two language categories for Best Film in the upcoming Malaysian Film Festival 2016 (FFM).
In a statement on Monday, the association said it supported the decision by the Malaysia Film Producers Association (PFM) to have a Malay and non-Malay category for the awards, as in recent years there were non-Malay films that were of high quality.
“This division will not only give recognition to non-Malay local films but will increase the number of awards to be won, in addition to the continuation of the legacy of the Malay film that was started over 60 years ago,” it said, adding that the move should not be politicised.
FFM had been criticised over the move to nominate local movies OlaBola and Jagat under the non-Malay category.
OlaBola, Jagat and The Kid From The Big Apple were not nominated for Best Film, Best Screenplay and Best Director at the FFM.
The popular films were instead nominated in the non-Malay categories for Best Film, Best Screenplay and Best Director.
Finas director-general Datuk Kamil Othman had explained that the decision to separate the categories based on language was simply a transitory compromise to reflect the diversity in the local film industry.
Karyawan, however, said that the decision to award the Best Film Award to Malay language films was “relevant” as it would continue to motivate local filmmakers to produce better films.
“It is a logical step to continue to uphold the use of Bahasa Malaysia as the national language and also as the successor to the legacy of the spirit of Malay films that have been written since the era of Jalan Ampas,” it said.