Dato_Kamil_othmanHow has FINAS evolved over the years?

Dato Kamil: FINAS is currently assimilating the roles of several agencies at one point of time. The transition allows us to better define how content is being made, funded and organised for distribution around the world. We manage the major funding provided by the government and we have separated development from production. Now, we have the idea generators (producers of scripts, screenplays and ideas for animated series). This group of people whom we’ve nurtured the past years will be put in touch with production companies that have established links in the markets.

What FINAS has done is to make sure these two groups of people can merge and work together, yet remaining as two separate business ventures. For instance, we will peddle produced scripts to local producers and various markets such as MIPTV, to see if there are any interested parties outside Malaysia for the purpose of co-production.

For the past few years, the animation business has picked up with improvisation research and links with broadcasters. However, this has not happened with the live-action films.

Pinewood Iskandar is just one of the facilities that FINAS is supporting; we have many other studios but, this is the largest and the flagship where most international productions go to. Many productions come to Malaysia not just for the studios but also for the locations. As such, FINAS is preparing for productions that has more to do with location services.

The FIMI scheme has sparked interest from abroad. When they arrive, it is obvious that they will need the services from location managers. An example is Blackhat, although it was shot in Penang, the producers were looking for a location that resembled India. One of the things that FINAS did was to license people who can provide these services in order to streamline and to have the rates in hand.

When it was unlicensed before, anyone could intervene and recommend places but they are unable to answer questions from production companies such as supply of power source to generate the equipment. The problem now is that only a few could provide such service on an ad-hoc basis.

Beginning 2016, FINAS started to educate location managers, equipping them with exposure to the filming environment, logistic, catering, hospitality etc., so as to represent a one-stop assistance scheme for foreign companies. FINAS is supporting the incentives by linking up the location managers with various relevant businesses (for logistics) so that production companies can gain discounts and other benefits.

What do you think of the quality of the local content (Malaysia)?