TV ASIA Plus: What are FINAS’ objectives and targets for the year?

The current market in Malaysia is growing significantly with the active support of the Malaysian government, through FINAS, as well as other government agencies such as Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC). In line with Malaysia’s Economic Transformation Program (ETP) that was announced by the prime minister in 2009, the government has implemented and executed significant initiatives and schemes to accelerate the creative content industry that will transform Malaysia into a high-income nation by 2020.

This year, the government will place an emphasis on encouraging cross-platform content development on platforms such as IPTV, tablet/ smart phone, social and casual media networks, etc. The key strengths of the Malaysian film and animation studios would be its richness of its culture and heritage, as well as its competitive incentives, state-of-the-art production facilities, low operating costs and its political stability. Additionally, the highly talented workforce, strategic geographical location and economic stability, allows the country to provide a unique position as being a multilingual, multicultural and rapidly growing market.

TV ASIA Plus: Which sectors of the content industry have performed well?

Several of Malaysia’s talented animation production companies are already delivering Malaysian-produced world-class content for major networks worldwide.

Since the release of Malaysia’s first 3D animation feature movie, Geng: the Adventure Begins (2009), produced by Les’ Copaque Production, more success was expected in the animation feature category. For example, SeeFood, supported partially by Malaysia’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and MDeC, is a 100% Made-in-Malaysia animated feature film co-produced by Silver Ant (Malaysia) and Al Jazeera Children’s Channel (JCC), and was released in Malaysian cinemas in March 2012.

Tripod Entertainment’s War of the World: Goliath, as well as Animasia Studio and Cartoon Network Asia’s Bola Kampung: The Movie, plus Intelture Technology and Studio W Baba’s Mask Master, are all expected for a year-end release. Third Rock Creation has also recently scored their first milestone, with Nickelodeon Southeast Asia Channel’s airing of their production Cingkus Blues (26 x 11’ shorts) since February 2012.

TV ASIA Plus: What help has the government rendered to local producers?

RM200 million have been allocated for filmmaking, music, animation, content development and other related activities as a loan.

The Creative Industry Loan offers a competitive interest rate for local projects related to animation, interactive, mobile contents, creative internet content, film, TV production, musical production, online publishing/web publishing and multimedia exhibits. The loan is a conventional fixed loan with a minimum of RM50,000 and maximum of RM5 million. The duration of the loan is 1 – 5 years, and can finance up to 90% of the project cost.