The inaugural Malaysian Indian Cinema Awards caters to a growing market for Tamil movies, writes Dennis Chua
WHILE the public believes that Malaysian movie awards should be open to films in all languages, the organisers of the inaugural Malaysian Indian Cinema Awards (Mica) 2016 this December see no contradiction in the project.
Mica Awards founder and chief executive officer R.G. Naidu says
Tamil language cinema in the country has grown significantly in the last decade.
Consequently, there is a need to provide incentives to homegrown Tamil language filmmakers and actors to excel and make the industry world class.
“Tamil movies have been part of the local movie industry as early as 1966, when the Tamil horror movie Rattap Peye was made by Mohamad Baharuddin,” he says.
“The first Tamil feature film was in 1991, titled Naan Oru Malaysian, and it was produced by Suhan Panchacharam, better known as N. Pansha.
“Since the Tamil movie industry is an integral part of the local film industry, we believe that steps must be taken to give it a boost. A strong Tamil film industry makes a strong Malaysian film industry, since it is one of the important components of Malaysian movies alongside Malay, English and Chinese movies.”
Pansha, who is also Malaysian Film Producers’ Association (PFM) chief executive officer, says Aandal, Undercover Rascals, Appalam, Vilayattu Pasangga, Vennira Iravugal, Mainthan, Maravan and the recent Malaysian Film Festival 28 (FFM 28) winner Jagat are some of the movies which have been popular at the box office.
“Movies like Salanggai, Chemman Saalai, Vetti Pasangga, Maravan and Jagat have even received recognition at international film festivals, and this shows that our filmmakers have great potential to be world-class.”
Naidu says Mica 2016 aims to honour excellence in Indian cinema, promote a uniquely Malaysian form of Tamil language films, encourage Malaysians to produce more quality movies, and enrich the film industry by highlighting talented and deserving actors.
“This is the right time to recognise local Indian talents. Our Indian film industry has great potential to grow into an integral pillar of the Malaysian film industry, and honouring the
best of the filmmakers and actors is the way to nurture the industry,” says Naidu.
Thirty-five awards will be given out and the winners will be picked by a panel of international jurists from Malaysia, Singapore, India and Sri Lanka.
“Winners in the Most Popular categories will be chosen by public voting,” he says.
The nominated films are thosescreened in 2015 and 2016.
The main sponsor is Rafflesia The Pearl Centre. Its director Winnie Sin says: “We are giving RM70,000 worth of pearl ornaments to the winners.”
Naidu says that nine Tamil movies screened over the last year would be in the running for awards. They are Iravan, Vera Vazhi, Kid, Agileswari, Pinnokom, Avana Nee, Maravan, Muthukumar Wanted and Nachatira.
“Jagat has not submitted its entry yet. It would be great if it joins the competition as it is a ground-breaking movie.”
The closing date for submitting films to the awards is Oct 7. More information on the awards can be found at www.micaawards.com
Mica 2016 was launched by Naidu at Parkroyal Hotel, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur early this month.
Also present were Rafflesia marketing manager Sin Hui Cin, Mica marketing director Jasmin Michael and Mica award director S Vijaya Rani.