All film producers must apply for Finas licence, including personal social media users – Minister

Video content has grown in popularity on social media. – The Click Hub photo.

By Chew Lip Song

ALL film and recording productions must apply for license prior to filming, and this applies even to individuals who upload content onto their social media, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah insisted today.

Saifuddin said under the National Film Development Corporation (Finas) Act, film producers must inform the agency seven days before filming starts.

“Film producers must apply for Film Production License and Film Shooting Certificate (SPP) regardless of whether they are mainstream media agencies or personal media which produce films on social media platforms or traditional channels,” Saifuddin during the Q&A session in Parliament today in a Malay Mail report.

He was responding to Kluang DAP MP Wong Shu Qi who asked the minister to state whether all film producers will be made compulsory to apply for SPP, regardless of whether they are a mainstream media agencies or personal media which produce films on social media platforms or traditional channels.

According to Saifuddin, who cited the National FIlm Development Corporation Act 1982, Section 22(1), said “no person shall participate in any production activities, distribute and exhibit films or any combination the activities specified in Section 21(1) unless a licence is issued authorising him to do so”.

He added that the Additional Conditions of Film Production under Regulations 4 of the Act (Licensing) 1983, Condition (1) that is enforced, “licensees, if filming, should inform the corporation no later than seven days before filming a movie begins through certain forms issued by the corporation”.

“By submission of the form, the SPP will be issued by the corporation,” he said, referring to Finas.

Among other things, Finas’ functions under the Act include the development of the film industry, and the regulation and control of the production, distribution and exhibition of films in Malaysia and to issue licences for such purposes.

Wong’s question came after Saifuddin reportedly said his ministry will check if Al Jazeera had obtained a licence from Finas to produce the documentary — Locked Up in Malaysia’s Lockdown — which was aired on its 101 East weekly current affairs show — before it started production, saying that a lack of licence would be considered an offence as permission from Finas is needed before films and documentaries can be produced in Malaysia.

The news outlet has since dismissed claims by Finas that it did not have the necessary licence to film or air its documentary on the alleged mistreatment of migrants in Malaysia.


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