Director Adrian Teh – whose next film is the action-packed Malbatt: Misi Bakara – is currently in France, to take part in the Cannes Film Festival’s Marche Du Film.
At this event, film industry professionals from all over the world get to present their films and projects in development to potential buyers.
Taking to Instagram and Facebook on Sunday (May 21), the director shared his “first experience at Marche Du Film with Finas” with promise of more to come.
He wrote that he decided to “tag along” with National Film Development Corp (Finas) as one of “their delegates” instead of going alone.
“The difference between the two options was that by going with Finas, I would have an official booth from the Malaysian authority to showcase Malbatt: Misi Bakara. For that, I had to pay RM5,000.”
However, he added, that upon arrival at the venue, he realised that the poster of Malbatt was missing from the Finas booth although it was featured on the pillar that showed all the Malaysian films.
Teh wrote: “To all the potential buyers I would meet, I emphasised that Malbatt: Misi Bakara was one of Malaysia's highest-budget movies, backed by the largest cinema chain, the strongest TV station, and even the Malaysian Army. It had the potential to be a blockbuster in Malaysia by August!
“So, if these buyers decided to verify the credibility of my words and discovered that my movie poster was absent from the Finas pavilion's wall, what impression would they have of me?
“Should I request them to stay and watch the continuously running trailer, waiting for the Malbatt trailer to prove my affiliation with Finas?”
He further expressed his frustration at the reason provided by the Finas representative at Cannes as to why his poster was not included; one of it being Teh was late in responding to Finas’s request to provide a poster design, which he said wasn't true at all.
“I distinctly recall having a conversation with him on that day regarding the design of Finas's booth for Cannes. I specifically mentioned my expectations for a certain design that would utilise the movies Finas was presenting, creating an attractive and eye-catching booth.
“At no point did he inform me that my movie poster might not be printed for the booth.”
“... If we were told, and still decided to go with Finas, then I wouldn't be blaming anyone.”
He also shared photos of the posters featured on the pillar and the booth.
This time, he compared Finas’ booth to other representatives that were at Marche Du Film and pointed out the lack of creativity present at the booth meant to highlight Malaysian films.
The Paskal director ended his post with: “It's as if Finas physically attended the film market but remained invisible. All these factors lead to my question: Why are we there?”
His posts got a couple of comments – the encouraging ones hoped for a change in the future, while others lamented that everything remained the same year after year, as it always has.