KUALA LUMPUR: The 16th Malaysian Film Festival, touted as the premier showcase of the local film industry, took off on a subdued note yesterday.
The opening of the two-day expo and exhibition, was marked by a half-filled exhibition floor and a poor crowd at the Putra World Trade Centre.
“It appears no one seems to know about the festival. Either the promotions and publicity are weak or the festival has lost its credibility and magic. It also reflects on the standard of the local film industry,” said director-producer Anwardi Jamil.
He felt that some of the seminars and workshops were also inappropriately located at the expo site where it was noisy, instead of private rooms.
The expected crowd was not there and many of the curious onlookers who trickled in, hoping to catch a glimpse of their favourite stars were disappointed at the absence of big names such as Datuk Yusoff Haslam, Erra Fazira and Umie Aida.
Except for Eurofine (M) Sdn Bhd’s effort to do an audition for its latest “telenovela” titled Ika and RTM’s on-location screen test session for aspiring newsreaders, most of the booths failed to generate much attention.
This year’s festival, which was launched by Deputy Information Minister Datuk Zainuddin Maidin, drew 124 entries. Among them were 14 feature films, 25 telemovies, 37 short films, eight animations, 33 documentaries and seven commercials.
Finas has also lined up free screenings of local and international movies for the public.
Two theatre halls each at GSC, Mid Valley Megamall and TGV in KLCC here, have been reserved from today till Saturday for the screenings.
Viewers can also catch four international (non-competing) films: Devils at the Doorstep (China), Never Mind The Wall (Germany), Bride Of Fire (Iran) and Taloompuk (Thailand) while the screening of telemovies, short films, documentaries, animations and commercials will be held at Auditorium DBKL here.
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