Malaysian filmmaker Syamsul Yusof has expressed his disappointment with the National Film Development Corporation (Finas) for not addressing the problem of piracy in the country, as local films are still being leaked illegally on social media.
Speaking to Harian Metro, Syamsul said the issue has been a major problem that continued to plague the Malaysian film and drama industry and its producers.
“I am disappointed with Finas. I don’t know why previous Finas chairpersons, some of whom were also involved in the film industry, have not championed the huge problem in this industry.”
“I’m obviously frustrated. Before talking about the tax problem, the No.1 problem in our film industry is the issue of piracy and copyright infringement.”
“Finas should make the effort to get the government to enact laws with regards to the copyright of films, TV productions and many more,” he was quoted as saying by the Malay daily.
Thus, he called on the authorities to take action before the local film industry could no longer sustain itself.
“What is Finas waiting for? Wait until the Malaysian film industry is dead? This is because the laws that currently exist are not stringent enough and should be tailored to suit the current times.”
“When the films leak, what I notice is that Finas is just quiet, as though it doesn’t care at all,” he said.
Syamsul also said that tackling this issue will help the long-term development of the industry. “The laws must be restructured to change history. Otherwise, we will just stay stagnant at the same level,” he said.
Commenting on the entertainment duty and percentage of revenues that cinema chains received from local filmmakers, Syamsul agreed with fellow director Datuk Afdlin Shauki’s opinion that the current 25% entertainment tax and 50% charge by the cinema operators have put a big burden on Malaysian producers.
“When producers don’t get their fair share of the profits, it’s very hard for the industry to develop to the point where there won’t even be any new job opportunities.”
“It’s hard to have an actual industry for films. We can even just count with our fingers the number of local films in the cinemas that actually make it. What more those that just receive meagre collections.”
“Just imagine the fate of the producers, it’s really pitiful. I agree with Datuk Afdlin Shauki’s opinion regarding this matter,” he said.
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