FDAM warns TV stations to stop interfering with directors’ job

FDAM President Ahmad Ibrahim speaking at the event.

By Mohamad Letfee Ahmad

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 2 — The 24th Annual General Meeting of the Film Directors Association of Malaysia (FDAM) at FINAS on Friday turned into a heated debate over two motions, firstly to curb the interference of television (TV) stations in the selection of directors and actors and secondly, reviving the Padu Citra program.

FDAM President, Dr. Ahmad Ibrahim said the association’s Executive Council would draft a resolution to bring up the two issues to the attention of the relevant parties.

“The issue of stations’ interference in the production of TV dramas has been going on for the past two decades. But no one dared to speak up for fear of being sidelined by the TV stations.  

“Some stations have even gone overboard by forcing producers to fire directors who disobeyed  the stations’ requests to cast certain actors as the main characters,” he said in a statement here today.

Ahmad said the stations did so in favour of advertisers and sponsors who assume control of the programs’ contents.

He said, FDAM took the issue seriously because excessive interference would also affect the image of directors who are regarded as the anchor of a production.

Commenting further, Ahmad said FDAM which has more than 1,500 members, would ensure that any further actions by the association would not jeopardise the relationship between the association and the stations.

On Padu Citra, Ahmad said FDAM would pay a courtesy call on FINAS CEO’s office soon to request the latter to consider the revival of the program to ensure the production of motion pictures and TV programs can be regulated  effectively.

The Padu Citra program which makes it compulsory for those involved in production projects to be members of either FDAM, Professional Film Workers Association (PROFIMA) and the Malaysian Artists Association (SENIMAN) was abolished on Feb 1 last year and replaced with the Malaysian Creative Capacity Enhancement Programme (MyCap).

“We hope FINAS will revive the Padu Citra program to ensure that the production of films and TV programs is handled by qualified and skilled film professionals from the three main associations,” he said.