Q: FINAS has gone through some structural changes. How is FINAS different today as it was a year ago?

A: The objective of FINAS is still the same today. Number one is to promote as a regulator and number two to develop the industry. But lately, starting from this year, besides the Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture, there’s another unit called Film Negara which is now defunct, and has been absorbed and merged into FINAS. Also, the new parliament act allows FINAS to be a producer as well. So besides doing the job of regulating and development, now we are also producing our own content.

Q: Last year, FINAS announced the “Film in Malaysia” 30% rebate, meant to take effect in January 2013. Could you give us an update?

A: We launched it early this year and to date, we have not approved any applications that have come in. We need to scrutinise the applications and from there we will give them a conditional certificate for them to start their productions, whereby they will fall under this incentive scheme. This is the first time we are doing it and we will try to learn as far as possible.

Q: What criteria do you set in approving these applications?

A: For the time being, we welcome anybody from small productions to big productions with varying minimum budgets. The minimum spend requirement is RM5 million (foreign production) and if it’s a local production it’s RM2.5 million.

Q: How many applications have you received so far?

A: We’re unable to provide figures now but responses have been encouraging. We hope to start calling for interviews soon and get producers going on their production process.