Producers Guild of America partners with local creative guild

  • Entertainment
  • Wednesday, 03 Jun 2015

(From left) CCIG Deputy Chairman II Prof Dr Ahmad Rafi, Finas director general Datuk Kamil and CCIG Chairman Jurey launching the CCIG’s web portal and announcing its collaboration with the Producers Guild of America. Photo: The Star/Azlina Abdullah

Ever wonder how many actors there are in Malaysia? Whatabout directors? Or musicians?

The exact number of creative talents in the industry may be a mystery now, but not for long.

Established in 2011, Creative Content Industry Guild (CCIG) Malaysia is building an industry-wide database of those working both in front and behind the scenes, in fields such as film, TV, music, animation, advertising and fashion.

Speaking at the launch of CCIG’s web portal recently, CCIG Chairman Jurey Latiff Rosli believes it is important to show that the creative industry has a strong and united voice.

“We want as many people to register with our portal today so the government can help the industry. The government doesn’t know how many people are in the industry. There isn’t a place for them to refer to.

“In the future, with these numbers, we can tell Finas (National Film Development Corporation), ‘this is the amount we want in the upcoming budgets.’ But today, we can’t (do that) yet. It needs to be justified.”

Jurey adds the comprehensive database will also help promote local creative talents. Foreign productions filming in the country, bringing with them a stream of job opportunities, can find local talents that match their positions with greater ease through the database.

But CCIG is more than just a data hub – it is also a non-government organisation that aims to validate and accredit local creative practitioners. CCIG Deputy Chairman II Prof Dr Ahmad Rafi Mohamed Eshaq says: “We hope to become a governing body for the creative industry one day, in the same way we have, for example, the Institute of Engineering Malaysia for engineers.”

CCIG is also currently laying down the groundwork to help safeguard the welfare of industry professionals such as wage rates and working conditions.

Producers Guild Of America (PGA) International Committee Chair Stu Levy in a discussion with a CCIG member at the PGA office in Los Angeles.
Producers Guild Of America (PGA) International Committee Chair Stu Levy in a discussion with a CCIG member at the PGA office in Los Angeles.

CCIG has over 6,000 ordinary members and around 300 certified members to date in various fields and levels of expertise. The methods used for granting certification to applicants include proving one’s body of work in front of a panel of experienced industry professionals.

Jurey says the accreditation criteria and processes employed have even gotten a stamp of approval by the Producers Guild Of America (PGA). He also announced the collaboration between CCIG and PGA at the event, which was established early this year.

“When I visited Malaysia in January, I was impressed by the quality of filmmaking and production I witnessed, and I believe the future is exciting for Malaysia,” says PGA International Committee Chair Stu Levy in a press statement.

“I hope American filmmakers can not only teach Malaysian filmmakers some of our techniques, but also learn some of the Malaysian ‘special sauce’ of creativity – and hopefully we can work together in the future!”

Jurey adds the connection with PGA will serve as a platform to bring the local industry to the international level. For example, an upcoming by-invitation-only conference organised by PGA which will now be opened to CCIG members (yes, finally a chance to rub shoulders with the Hollywood greats!).

Veteran director and CCIG member Othman Hafsham feels “any link with the big boys is a good move”; while actor/producer Zizan Nin is happy to be a part of the organisation. “I was invited to attend the annual general meeting and express my views about the industry. I can vote and decide on the committee members. I get a higher priority when I apply for certain seminars,” he shares, on some of the benefits he has experienced joining CCIG so far. Zizan has been validated as an “actor (advanced stage) and producer” (certified stage).

Unfortunately, Zizan says many still do not know about the organisation. “Personally, I think the level of awareness is rather low and the feedback I got from them was that CCIG is just another association, not knowing the roles and functions it carries. It could be a powerful unit to govern and protect the interest of every member,” he offers.

And finally, Finas director general Datuk Kamil Othman says that CCIG’s initiatives play a part in fulfilling Finas’ overall mission. “It’s part of a holistic plan to build and expand the country’s creative industry, which has not been able to collect the data and numbers needed to create a ‘louder’ voice',” he concluded.

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