MDeC’s Kamil Othman helms Finas, industry hopes raised
By Karamjit Singh November 18, 2014
- Aims to accelerate film body’s path to digital converged stage
- Target to be global hub for world-class films, other creative content
THE position of Director General (DG) of the National Film Development Corporation (Finas) has proven to be too hot a seat for the last two DGs, who each only served their one-year contracts without getting extensions.
But the recent appointment of a long-time senior executive from the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) Kamil Othman (pic) for a two-year term has been greeted with much optimism, especially within the digital creative content industry.
He officially starts his new role as soon as the necessary administrative process is completed.
Finas is a statutory agency under the Ministry of Communication and Multimedia, entrusted with the responsibility of developing the film industry in Malaysia.
There is great hope that Finas will now live up to its mission of driving higher quality local content with a DG steeped in knowledge of the content industry, especially its digital side.
Kamil was actively involved in the planning and production of the 13-episode MDeC-produced Saladin animated series, based on the life of the hero who united Muslims in the war against the Crusaders in the 12th century.
The series won awards at Seoul and Tokyo film festivals, and was also nominated for the International Emmy Awards.
The Association of Post Production, Animation & Creative Content Association Malaysia (Postam) has warmly welcomed Kamil’s appointment.
In a statement to Digital News Asia (DNA), it said it shared the hope that his appointment “heralds a new era in the development of our creative content industry, and joins the many recent strategic and progressive initiatives by the Communications and Multimedia Ministry to build an internationally-recognised creative content industry in Malaysia.”
Postam highlighted Kamil’s lifelong passion for film and focus on the creative industry’s development and future.
Extending its hand in cooperation to him, Postam said it “looks forward to collaborating closely with him and Finas to build an ecosystem that is world-class, sustainable, globally competitive, highly collaborative, and rich in cinematic expression and storytelling unique to Malaysia, for global markets.”
Kamil joined MDeC in 1999, with his last role there being vice president for Creative Industry Strategy and Policy.
In sharing his thoughts about what he hopes to achieve in his new role, Kamil told DNA that the digitisation of content has expanded the traditional boundaries of film beyond the cinema.
“With creative content seen as a key economic growth area and Finas as a key agency driving content quality, Finas needs to accelerate its move into the digital converged stage,” he said.
That stage has to be global, with Kamil aiming to beef up the internationalisation of Malaysian content and its commercialisation on the global stage.
“The success that MDeC had in bringing the creative content industry, especially from the animation side, to the global level is now something I hope to replicate with Finas and its role in driving quality Malaysian content,” he said.
Film producer Leon Tan, chief executive officer of DragonSlate Media, feels that Kamil’s appointment represents a fresh approach to the role, with Kamil bringing three facets to the table.
“You get the private sector discipline of a former corporate man from Shell, an executive with industry development knowledge and leadership forged during his MDeC tenure, and, at a personal level, a deep love for the heritage and art of filmmaking itself,” said Tan (pic).
Concurring with Kamil, Tan also feels it is critical for Malaysia to take huge strides in the next few years in “upping its industry game domestically, and establishing itself as a global hub for world-class films and other creative content.”
While hopes are high, it is hoped that Kamil can successfully drive Finas, used to moving at public sector pace, to quicken its speed of action and deepen its collaboration with the private sector in reaching the digital converged stage he envisions.
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