'Anwar: The Untold Story' producers did not need approval from cops, says minister

KUALA LUMPUR: The producers of Anwar: The Untold Story was not required to seek a script review or approval from the police, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

Saifuddin said matters related to the production and filming of the movie were instead under Communications and Digital Ministry agency National Film Development Corporation (Finas).

"The film's script review was not done by the police as it is not an obligation for film producers to obtain script approval under any act from the police," he said in a parliamentary written reply yesterday.

"However, a completed film that is ready for public viewing needs to obtain the approval of the Film Censorship Board (LPF), which is under the Home Ministry, in line with the powers given under the Film Censorship Act 2002."

He said this in response to a question by Datuk Muslimin Yahya (PN-Sungai Besar) on the police's involvement in the filming and approval of script for the movie.

Saifuddin, however, said the police and LPF were involved in content review of the film as per the Home Ministry's Film Censorship Guidelines 2010.

The four main aspects of the guidelines are public safety and order, religion, socio-cultural issues, and order and discipline.

The film Anwar: The Untold Story was directed by Viva Westi of Indonesia, with Farid Kamil playing Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Tanda Putera actor Hasnul Rahmat as former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Indonesian actress Acha Septriasa as Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

The film charts Anwar's political career as finance minister in 1991 up to his firing from the cabinet in 1998, as well as his Reformasi campaign, which culminated in his jailing that year.

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