Taylor’s University is the first private university in Malaysia to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS), signaling the start of a public-private partnership to drive the growth of the Malaysian film industry among students.
The MoU outlines the collaboration of both parties with regards to practical training, academic programmes, expertise, and efforts in promoting and developing Malaysian films, talent and the film community. A notable event arising from this MoU is the Taylor’s University Film Festival, slated to take place at Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus on 20 – 22 November this year.
“FINAS believes in the promotion and elevation of Malaysian films and talent, and we believe Taylor’s University is serious in helping the nation achieve this goal by fostering a culture among its students to explore and push the boundaries of film,” said Ahmad Idham Ahmad Nadzri, Chief Executive Officer of FINAS.
“We welcome this partnership and see it as an effective way to engage the youth, with all their creative energy and digital savviness that they bring to the table. Many young people do not see an open door to enter the film industry, and hopefully with efforts like these, we will change that.”
He added that FINAS aims to give grants to filmmakers who win awards at the Taylor’s University Film Festival.
Taylor’s University Deputy Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer Professor Dr Pradeep Nair said he was delighted to that the university could play a part in championing the arts in Malaysia.
“Our students have a lot to contribute in the area of the arts. Film has an important role in society – it inspires, enlightens, makes us reflect on our values and ways of living, spurs creative thinking and even sparks technological innovation. Look at Star Trek – it introduced us to the concept of mobile phones, smart tablets, and GPS before they existed. A movie like Ola Bola stirred patriotism amongst Malaysians.
“And knowing that film gives us an avenue to explore the past, present, and the future, we are also using this medium to capture the essence of Taylor’s as we turn 50 this year. We’re very excited to screen our own Taylor’s documentary at TUFF,” said Professor Pradeep.
The Taylor’s documentary tracks the history of Taylor’s College from 1969, interspersed with human stories and the education group’s vision for the future, against the backdrop of Malaysian society. The film is shot by award-winning director Indrani Kopal, whose previous work has won awards at Harlem International Film Festival in 2014 and at the Cannes Film Festival 2015.
Following the signing ceremony, Taylor’s University Film Society also took the opportunity to launch the Taylor’s University Film Festival (TUFF).
Taylor’s University Film Society president, Bachelor of Mass Communication student Ilyas B. Zorin, said that his goal was to empower young filmmakers and hence, he felt that efforts such as the TUFF was important in propelling the industry forward with fresh new ideas.
“It’s very difficult for students to showcase their work because they find it intimidating to submit to film festivals where they are competing with thousands of others. We want to provide the youth a platform to have a voice.”
The festival is open to entries from universities students in Malaysia and Southeast Asia as well as upcoming filmmakers with no more than 5 years of experience. Entries stand a chance to win awards in several categories.