WordHasIt: Time To Sharpen Film Marketing Strategies

Mizal (left) and Emylia posing at their restaurant Zucchero Cafe in KL.

With the progress of technology, buying and selling films and TV serials via the Internet creates a huge potential for Malaysian products to make it big internationally.

Siti will be featured in a TV serial to be aired over TV3 next year.

But you need a marketing strategy.

“At a time when Malaysian cinema stands poised to influence the global film arena, filmmakers need to embrace the importance of marketing their movies,” said Finas director-general Mohd Mahyidin Mustakim at a meeting held at the National Film Development Corporation (Finas) in Ulu Kelang, Selangor recently.

The meeting focused on the benefits of marketing strategies, sales and acquisitions of local films/TV shows for international film markets.

“If Malaysian filmmakers have the right formula to market their films abroad, there’s a lot of money to be made internationally. There are many local filmmakers who are interested to make films for the overseas market and to bring home big money,” he added.
Yet, he stressed, there is a big gap between how films are marketed locally and how they are marketed abroad. There is, however, a growing interest in film distribution abroad.

Therefore, it is crucial to provide the exposure and marketing practices to help these films make the crossover, said Mahyidin.

Understandably, taking part in a international film markets will help penetrate the international arena.

With the co-operation of Finas, Malaysian producers have, to date, participated in three major international film markets including Hong Kong FilmArt in Wanchai, Hong Kong; and MIPTV and MIPCOM (both held in Cannes, France).

According to Mahyidin, local producers who are keen to participate in the international film markets will obtain a RM5,000 fund from Finas. (So far, Finas has invested RM120,000 to assist 24 films in promotion and publicity aspects.)

He added that the total statistics on transactions made by local producers at previous international film markets was RM1.57million.

“It’s a modest figure compared to what the other big players such as Hollywood and Bollywood are making. Yet we have realised that Malaysian products are slowly getting the recognition. Normally, our products such as documentaries, animated series and TV serials are the hot-sellers among TV producers from the Middle East and Europe.

“Foreign film producers, on the other hand, will opt for action-packed movies and thrillers. What with the present gloomy climate of cinema-dome worldwide, foreign producers are cutting costs and have not been actively acquiring programmes from other countries,” said Mahyidin.

He added that film producers are able to obtain fresh and new knowledge of the international film scene.

“They can learn everything – from artistic trends and high-end technology to the market ecology and mode of operation, and thus have a wide and realistic frame of reference,” he added.

Mahyidin also revealed that Finas will be taking part in the American Film Market (AFM) at Santa Monica in United States from Nov 5 to 12.

Five production houses have confirmed participation including Grand Brilliance Sdn Bhd, Hez Communication, Les’ Copaque Production, Line Clear Production and Take One Production.

* Film actor/TV personality AC Mizal and his wife, Emylia Rosnaida, have followed in the footsteps of rocker Amy Search to set up a food business.

Mizal, who previously hosted the sixth season of Akademi Fantasia, recently launched his restaurant, Zucchero Cafe, which is located at Warisan Cityview in Jalan Cheras, Kuala Lumpur.

The restaurant offers both Western and Asian cuisine.

According to Emylia, the idea to set up the restaurant came about two years ago.

“As we’re financially stable, we feel that it’s timely for us to invest in a profitable venture, which is naturally, the food business,” said Amilia, adding that the restaurant is operated by their share partners.

“Mizal will come to the restaurant three times a week to monitor its operations,” she added.

Zucchero Cafe opens from 11am to 1am and offers free wi-fi service.

Mizal will be starring in My Spy, a comedy directed by Afdlin Shauki. Produced by KRU Films Berhad, the film also boasts Harun Salim Bachik and Choy May Wan.

Apart from that, his fans will be able to catch the revamped version of his talkshow, AC DiSini, over Astro Ria (Channel 104) beginning November.

* THE nation’s most-loved songstress Datuk Siti Nurhaliza may soon be seen on TV – in a different role. Word is that she will appear in a TV serial over TV3 sometime next year.

* IT is rumoured that film actor/director/TV personality Adlin Aman Ramlie and his actress-girlfriend Emelda Rosmila may tie the knot some time next year.

The celebrity couple has been dating for the past three years. So far, no official announcement has been made.

New Straits Times