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Malaysia to launch international festival

Malaysia’s National Film Development Corp (FINAS) is launching a film festival and contents market to be held in Kuala Lumpur in November.

The International Film Festival of Malaysia (IFFM) will be held November 10-18, while the Kuala Lumpur Content and Communications Industry Market (KLCCIM) will be held November 15-18.

The festival will feature a competition for films from Asia and the ASEAN region; a sidebar of local-language hits from around the world; an arthouse section, and separate strands for contemporary and classic Malaysian films.

Two internationally renowned Malaysians had been tapped to oversee the festival – Hong Kong-based producer Lorna Tee has been appointed director and New York-based critic Dennis Lim as artistic director.

The industry side of the event will be held in KL’s Putra World Trade Centre, which will house a 16,000-square feet trade show, along with seminars and networking sessions. It will also feature a projects market to raise financing for feature films, TV programming, animation and games.

“Under Malaysia’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), the content industries have been identified as one of the key sectors that will help drive economic growth,” said FINAS director general Mohd Naguib Razak, explaining why the Malaysian government has decided to invest in the event.

Malaysia also recently launched a production incentive under which foreign films that spend $1.6m while filming in the country will be able to claim back 30% of their spend. The country is also gearing up for the opening of the Pinewood Iskander Studios in 2013.

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