Some of us are still dazed over proceedings at Festival Filem Malaysia ke-27 last weekend. Quite a fair bit happened that night – we guess it was a healthy mix of positive and negative – and days later, we’re still gushing about things at the office. We were due to write a comprehensive report about the event, but thanks to the wonderful Wendi Sia who provided live coverage via Twitter, it’s probably no longer necessary. Instead, you’re all getting this piece.
This is a tasty compliment sandwich made with utmost love for our film industry and the FFM27 committee.
So much production value! If there’s anything for which we want to commend the team behind FFM27, production value definitely deserves a mention. Set design and visual effects weren’t just confined to the stage; the walls on both sides of Plenary Hall came alive during performances with some super nifty projections. Joe Flizzow‘s segment especially saw vibrating speakers lined up on the walls in truly breathtaking fashion.
“Seri Mersing”, guys!
Najwa Mahiaddin slayed with her performance of “Seri Mersing”. Daughter to ex-deputy prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, she gripped everyone’s attention with an ambient, experimental take on the titular track of the 1961 film. Showcasing some high-level aesthetics and top-notch musical sensibilities, we can’t believe we’ve missed out on this young woman’s talent all this while!
Red carpet madness!
Perhaps having the most memorable and gracious winner’s speech of the night, Nadiya Nisaa was a stunning winner and we’ve never seen her decked in this sort of glam. It was a moment worth living for, but it wasn’t just Nadiya who had us stopping in our tracks and staring.
Sara Ali arrived in a vintage-inspired ensemble – her gold and black outfit, pearl necklace and shoulder-length pinup hairdo beamed with rare grace and class. Elsewhere, Fazura dazzled in a figure-hugging dark cyan number while Dawn Cheong startled us with her dusky-toned regal ensemble reminiscent of an imaginary Himalayan princess, complete with fur on the waist and jewels on the collar.
Questionable choice of hosts
While we don’t have much to say about Sherry Al-Hadad‘s emceeing skills, we felt that Nabil Ahmad‘s material was quite trashy and borderline misogynist. It is clear that he does not have the right persona or skill required to handle a prestigious national event like Festival Filem Malaysia, and we were left puzzled and irritated as to why he kept shaming Sherry for her body with his very crude jokes. On what basis is making fun of someone’s weight suitable for live television, especially if it’s meant to honour the contribution of the film industry and all its participants on a national scale?
Pontianak Menangis? Kbye.
Those in Plenary Hall were treated to upcoming film trailers during commercial breaks. We took note of all of them and noticed that Pontianak Menangis was promoted twice.
Sorry, but has anyone seen the trailer or poster or anything related to the film before choosing to display it to the hapless attendees? How was it appropriate to showcase another low-budget hantu comedy during an event like FFM? We understand the decision to air Jwanita‘s trailer (it looked wicked and audience members seemed quite excited) but we fail to understand the rationale behind Pontianak Menangis. No matter how much they were willing to pay organisers, it just wasn’t right for a prestigious national awards ceremony.
Poor attention to detail
Given an event of this immensity, we felt that a lot of little details were overlooked. For example, the video reels of Ryon Lee‘s Seventh still stated “Sevent”. This was a typo that has continued ever since the nominees were announced. Furthermore, the FFM program book was in all honesty a bit of a shoddy effort; aside from featuring a pixellated image of Prime Minister Najib Razak‘s face on page 3 as well as low-resolution film posters, some of the information fields were left blank in the local movies section, suggesting incomplete research and an overall rushed job.
Seriously? Police Evo again?
The amount of plugging done for Polis Evo left us slightly embarrassed for the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS) and the FFM committee. Aside from playing the trailer twice for attendees, we were also treated to Joe Flizzow performing a hip-hop track literally titled “Police Evo”. Making things worse was Shaheizy Sam, who wore a Police Evo shirt and even spoke of the film moments before handing out an award.
The thing is, we’re not expecting everyone to carry the impeccable sophistication emanated by the likes of Nandita Solomon and Dain Said.
But some people, aside from arriving in sports shoes and zany costumes like they’ve walked straight out of the Anugerah Industri Muzik stage, also left a mess after the event ended. There were FFM gift bags thrown about, with their contents strewn in the pristine room. Worst of all was we had to experience one man (an unknown repeat attendee) who casually lit up a cigarette in Plenary Hall, right after exiting the auditorium.
A definite upgrade from last year!
A lot of people left FFM27 feeling like they’ve attended the prestigious event it’s supposed to be, thanks to a brilliant choice of venue. Held in Plenary Hall, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, the awards ceremony was practically in the heart of the city and was accessible by many. Last year’s event was held somewhere in Sungai Gadut, Negeri Sembilan, to the surprise of many.
Oh no she didn’t – oh yes she did!
When called upon to hand out the award for Filem Bukan Di Dalam Bahasa Melayu Terbaik, Erma Fatima schooled organisers for still subjecting films to this category. In her introductory speech, she hoped that the category won’t be around next year and she asked for viewers to consider if language was that huge a barrier in appreciating film. We were shocked but we loved every minute of it! Thank you Erma Fatima for echoing our thoughts.
FINAS harapan Malaysia!
We cannot even begin to say how proud we are that the film industry has largely recognised the right recipients for each category. When Liew Seng Tat won Pengarah Terbaik and Filem Terbaik, we were having our own Fazura moment, our tears welling up over how far the jury has come. For giving credit to a beautifully-crafted film like Lelaki Harapan Dunia, ternyata ada harapan untuk industri perfileman tanah air tersayang. This also marks the third year in which FFM has gone for younger directors!
And that’s basically a summary of everything we wanted to say about Festival Filem Malaysia ke-27. Thank you FINAS and the FFM committee for this wonderful night devoted to film; we hope to be back next year and see if we can sustain this move in the right direction.