THIS year’s format for the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS)‘s box office tally page gave us a bit of a shock.
There’s a new column simply labelled Pemilikan installed, and it informs readers of whether or not a film is Bumiputera-owned.
Throughout the years, FINAS has always selected which variables to report to the public. Sadly, production cost stopped appearing on their charts in 2012. It returned a year later, but since 2014 has been kept away from the public.
Reaction on social media has been negative, though concerned users were convinced that celebrated FINAS Director-General Dato’ Kamil Othman was not behind the move.
One would assume production cost and accurate, up-to-date box office tallies are most important in providing a clear perspective on the local film industry. But perhaps we’re mistaken.
No, what we’ve learned here is that it’s more important to guide people so they’re not watching creative output from second-class citizens.
Cukup lah guys, how much further you want to segregate your people? Leave it to the vendors to use bumiputera like it’s a unique selling point; let them plaster it on their fabric stores, hair salons and keropok, but keep this sort of thing out of our film industry.
Last year, Erma Fatima gently reminded FINAS-operated Festival Filem Malaysia (FFM) — the nation’s highest film award ceremony — of its racial tendencies by highlighting FFM’s refusal to accept non-Malay-language films into the Best Film category.
She had hoped the following year would see a more inclusive ceremony.
But it looks like we’ve still got a long way to go.
As of 3:00pm, the 2016 tab has been removed from FINAS’s box office page.