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E-Village: Wayang Gulung Tikar...
By Man Kubur
11/4/2001 1:33 am Wed
E-VILLAGE: LAGI SATU WAYANG GULUNG TIKAR
Lagi satu wawasan Mahathir yang semakin mewas-waskan
masadepan negara. Malaysia ingin menjadi Mollywood tetapi
tidak memikirkan tiada sesiapa mahu atau mampu menggunanya.
Lagipun pengeluar filem tempatan tidak mampu berbelanja sakan
menggunakan kemudahannya (yang mahal tentunya) kerana industri
ciplak meragut semua hasil mereka. Inilah bahananya membina
sesuatu tanpa mengkaji apakah permintaan itu cukup dan ada.
Yang menariknya 20th Century Fox memilih Malaysia sebagai lokasi
wayang "Entrapment" dan "Anna and the King", tetapi E-Village
tiada pun dalam agenda penggambaran mereka walau sekadar sesaat
sahaja. Sia-sia sahaja nampaknya kecanggihan E-Village yang
dikatakan bernilai RM3 bilion itu. Negara India yang banyak
mengeluarkan wayang Hindustan pun tidak berani membina pusat
pembikinan yang mahal-mahal tetapi kita yang masih kerdil ini
bukan main lagi. Siapakah yang dapat menikmati pelaburan yang
menggila ini jika tidak sipembina projeknya sahaja.
Seorang pemimpin yang berwawasan hanya akan melaburkan wang
sebanyak ini jika lebih banyak filem negara keluar dari filem
luar masuk ke dalam menjalar. Lainlah kalau filem kita selama
ini begitu hebat sehingga berlori-lori diekspot keluar. Atau
kita memang mempunyai ramai super-star. Jika tidak kita cuma
menjadi satu lagi bahan ejekan oleh negara luar dalam komedi
wayang bertajuk 'Wawasan Yang Menggulung Tikar'.
Monday, April 9 11:10 AM SGT
CYBERJAYA--Malaysia's E-Village needs greater depth and content
to complement its infrastructure, as well as broaden its scope
beyond just entertainment to encompass the technology and creative
Its development also needs to be better synchronized with that
of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC), said Energy, Communications
and Multimedia Minister Leo Moggie at a news conference Friday;
the briefing was in conjunction with the first E-Village
International Advisory Panel (EVIAP) meeting.
He was conveying feedback from EVIAP members, which he said, were
candid, frank but more importantly, constructive.
The government, he noted, would look into the possibility of setting up a film
commission based on the panel's suggestion of having a mechanism to
champion the local film industry.
"Malaysia has very strong assets--stories and rich culture. We need to tell
our stories in an effective way...create our own storyline to attract audiences
locally and internationally. There isn't much point in trying to be Hollywood
or Bollywood--what we are after is attracting investment."
The 14-member panel consists of a mixed bag of consultants, advisors,
film-makers and technologists as well as representatives from the
government and the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDC).
The Malaysian members of the EVIAP are Minister of Energy,
Communications and Multimedia, Datuk Amar Leo Moggie, MDC Executive
Chairman, Tan Sri Dato' Dr Othman Yeop Abdullah and Special Advisor to
the Prime Minister's Department, Tan Sri Razali Ismail.
From the film-making industry were well-known film-maker and producer
Raymond Chow, who is also chairman of Golden Harvest Entertainment Ltd,
Indian film-maker K Balachander, John Chu, President and CEO of Centro
Digital Pictures, which co-produced the digital effects driven box office hits
"Stormriders" and "A Man Called Hero", James Griffin, President of the
Vancouver Film School and local film-maker Dato L Krishnan.
Other panel members include Dr Khalid Abdullah Tariq Al-Mansour from
the University of California, Berkeley, Robin James, CEO of Pacific Film
and TV Commision, Ms Jennie Chua, Chairman of the Singapore Film
Commission, Shawn Underwood, Senior Director of Silicon Graphics Inc, TV
personality Professor David Bellamy and architect Kisho Kurokawa, who
designed the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
All panel members who were also present at the news conference,
indicated they were tremendously impressed with the level of facilities and
technology available and also the vision set forth by the E-Village.
Still a long road ahead
Despite the positive tone of the EVIAP, there is every indication that a lot
more work is necessary for the E-Village to achieve any measure of
Following its momentous launch in September 2000, with its talk of
"Mollywood" as the next big movie-town after Hollywood and Bollywood,
the E-Village has had a tough time getting business.
Although 20th Century Fox chose Malaysia as a location for "Entrapment"
and "Anna and the King", the E-Village was nowhere in the picture. Few
local production houses are expected to make use of the facilities at the
E-Village, which simply cost too much.
The E-Village is also actively seeking new investors, with theme park and
resort giant Genting Bhd rumored to be interested in taking a stake.
According to MDC chairman Dr Othman Yeop, the new investors are
expected to be finalised by next week.
The lack of funds available funds for production has also significantly
hampered the Malaysian film industry. Statistics provided by MDC from the
National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS) paint a bleak
picture. Investment in local productions for the year 2000 amounted to a
paltry US$4 million--approximately one-fifth of what Hollywood actress
Julia Roberts commands per motion picture.
Film producers seeking funds are hampered by banker-like terms which
make financing effectively a loan and demand that the applicant have a
significant track record and in some cases, collateral. They are also
mandated to make use of only FINAS-certified personnel in productions.
All these add up to significant barriers when it comes to the production of
local content which the EVIAP has identified as being a core component of
a successful local film and entertainment industry.