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E-Village: Wayang Gulung Tikar...
By Man Kubur

11/4/2001 1:33 am Wed


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'.

-Man Kubur-

Rencana Rujukkan: cnet/article.html?s=asia/headlines/010409/technology/ cnet/M_sia_s_E-Village_lacks_vital_success_factor--content.html

Monday, April 9 11:10 AM SGT

M'sia's E-Village lacks vital success factor--content

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 industries.

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 success.

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.