Govt seeks to expedite full vaccine for arts industry

By ASILA JALIL / Pic by TMR FILE PIX

The government is proposing to expedite vaccination for individuals in the film industry to allow more industry players to continue production.

Communications and Multimedia Minister (KKMM) Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah (picture) said the ministry had discussed with relevant parties on the proposed acceleration but it is not requesting an exception for industry players mainly because of the effective roll out of vaccine nationwide.

“We understand why the National Security Council and Ministry of Health set such terms for the industry. The vaccination process is doing well and more people are getting inoculated.

“What we can do now is propose to the committee involved with the vaccination to speed up the rollout of the second dose of vaccine for those involved in production,” he said in a virtual press conference on Friday.

Previously KKMM announced that those involved in the arts industry are required to be fully vaccinated to resume shooting for their respective productions.

The requirement drew mixed responses from artistes. Some had called for a relaxation of the condition as some of them either had yet to receive the first dose or are waiting for their second shot.

Saifuddin said the ministry is also mulling plans to provide funds to push the local industry in producing internationally-renowned works.

The fund dubbed as “Road to Oscar” will require a large amount as it involves various measures to expand market reach.

“We will announce when industry players can apply for the fund once we have capital for it.

“We will be working on the fund soon because the pandemic had delayed our works on it.

“The pandemic had shifted our focus to prioritise those who were out of jobs,” he said

He added the ministry and National Film Development Corp (Finas) are committed in encouraging the local film industry to create films that touch on nationhood.

The minister said the definition of the genre has been renewed to add in two new scopes namely eventual or literary.

“Hopefully the refined definition will not spark debates claiming that certain film producers were able to get funds from Finas but their work is not under the national category,” he said.