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Ipoh Has Potential To Be Film Hub

The desire to turn Ipoh into an artistic and creative city, just like Mumbai is the centre of the film industry in India, is not just a pipe dream or something impossible to achieve.

Although there are cynical opinions and scathing criticisms expressed by a few parties regarding the wishes of the Ipoh mayor before, the advantages in Ipoh are able to attract many filmmakers to the city.

Chairman of the Malaysian National Film Development Corporation (FINAS), Senator Datuk Seri Zurainah Musa said, taking the example of South Korea which is now known to the world for K-Pop, the country had previously been to Malaysia to see the role of FINAS in the industry.

“I don’t see why the Ipoh mayor’s vision to make this city like Mumbai is not possible.

“Even Korea in the early days, before there was K-Pop like now, they came to Malaysia to study with us, to see how we (FINAS) were established.

“They also saw what the scope and responsibility of FINAS is. But, unfortunately for Malaysia and good for Korea, they have improved the system to become such a great film producing country around the world.

“In Malaysia, people do not understand Korean, but they are interested in watching their song and movie performances, so there is no harm in the mayor having a big vision.

Zurainah answered a reporter’s question regarding criticism and cynical comments about Ipoh’s desire to become an art and film city before.

She was met by reporters after a courtesy call and discussion with the Ipoh Mayor, Dato’ Rumaizi Baharin @ Md Daud at the Ipoh City Council (MBI) on Friday.

Also present, Chief Executive Officer of Pincer MBI Studio Sdn Bhd, Kah Fee Yee.

In the meantime, commenting further on the four-point meeting, Zurainah said that her party is working on a collaboration with MBI to promote Ipoh as a mandatory location for art activists from within and outside the country.

She added that Rumaizi’s efforts and actions, which are seen as aggressive in promoting this city to the corners of the world, coincide with FINAS’ desire to develop art activities in Malaysia.

She also did not rule out the possibility that the cooperation could be expanded in every district in the state, including to other local authorities (PBT).

“I am optimistic with the efforts Rumaizi has put in before, plus the location here is very good.

“Not only is Ipoh close to an area with many mountains and beautiful scenery. When we have a close relationship with the mayor, especially in Ipoh, God willing the procedure can be speeded up and easy.

“FINAS will encourage more local and foreign filmmakers to shoot in Ipoh,” she added.

Meanwhile, Rumaizi said, Ipoh’s location on the north and south route is an advantage compared to other places.

“People always think that art and culture are not profitable from a financial point of view. We try to convince and emphasise that it is worthwhile.

“This FINAS courtesy visit is the beginning of our desire to become a city of film art like Mumbai, we are planning in that direction,” he said.

by Rosli Mansor

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