KUCHING: Hollywood and Bollywood seems ‘very interested’ to see what Malaysia, especially Sarawak, has to offer them, said Minister of Tourism, Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Abang Openg.
He told reporters on the sideline of the inaugural Asean International Film Festival and Awards (Aiffa) 2013’s closing ceremony here on Saturday that many delegates had shown interest in “discovering various locations in Sarawak”.
“I have had the privilege to discuss with local industry players as well as those in Asean countries, and the discussions were fruitful,” he said at the glittering ceremony which was officiated by Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.
“I am also looking forward to collaborating with Asean members to build up our film industry.”
On the three-day Aiffa 2013, Abang Johari, who is also Minister of Housing, said the state took pride in hosting it and that the response was encouraging.
He noted that there was also a hefty dose of healthy collaboration among industry players, especially those in the region.
“It (Aiffa) has really met the objective of attracting Asean nations to submit their films.
“And tonight’s gala dinner indeed reflects good collaboration among people in the film industry, and also the government of Malaysia and Sarawak the host.”
Abang Johari said he was glad that the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award 2013, Datuk Seri Michelle Yeoh, had touched on the potential of making films in the state.
“She won the Lifetime Achievement Award tonight (Saturday), and I think it is very suitable for her. She told us that she would come back to Sarawak.
“Actually she wants to assist us in wildlife conservation. We will discuss further with her. The objective (of making such films) is to educate and enhance awareness on the importance of the environment.”
He believed more people would be enlightened about sustainable ecosystem if films on this subject matter were produced.
Over 500 film industry players from Asean countries and local dignitaries attended the gala dinner which saw the presentation of 18 awards.
Other than Yeoh, Malaysia was awarded Best Screenplay (Bunohan), Best Actor (Shaheizy Sam), Best Picture – Comedy (Istanbul Aku Datang) and Best Picture – Action (Songlap).