KLIFAA will be more than a celebration of cinematic excellence – Tengku Azlan

PETALING JAYA, Jan 10: The Kuala Lumpur International Film Academy Awards 2024 (Klifaa), set for August this year, will not only be a celebration of global cinematic excellence, but is expected to further drive the development the local film industry while bringing in a multiplier effect to the tourism industry as well.

Klifaa Chairman Tan Sri Tengku Azlan Sultan Abu Bakar (right) and Finas Chairman Dato’Kamil Othman (left) at the press conference on Klifaa 2024.

The five-day event will see the organisers collaborating with various parties including state and federal government agencies as well as players in the tourism industry such as hotels and convention centres to welcome participants from more than 50 countries to Malaysia’s first international film awards ceremony and related events.

“It is ambitious, but if we don’t try, we will never know,” said Klifaa Chairman Tan Sri Tengku Azlan ibni Sultan Abu Bakar during a press conference here Tuesday to give a picture of what was expected from the event and the potential it held for cultural exchanges, promotion of diversity, recognition of artistic excellence and inclusivity in the global film and television production industry.

“Klifaa was founded with the vision to be a global platform to celebrate the art of filmmaking, fostering cross-cultural dialogues and honouring the brilliance of storytellers from every corner of the world.”

Calling for support from the government, he said, the event, which would serve to nurture emerging talents and provide a springboard for young filmmakers to showcase their works and connect with industry professionals, will be also good for the country.

Asked on other challenges besides funding for the local film industry, such as creativity being nipped due to “oversensitivity” to some social issues, Tengku Azlan lamented on the earlier days when Malaysians were more together despite their religious and other differences.

Time is moving and people need to be in synch with the present era, he said, adding that there should be less politicking. He also pointed to Saudi Arabia and said how it was moving ahead with the understanding of how it cannot exist as it did 30 or 40 years ago and how it was in synch with the growing new technologies.

Leading creative industry members present at the press conference also said that support from the government will be a huge factor in ensuring Klifaa’s success as an international event while raising the Malaysian film industry to a new level and its capacity to serve as a film hub.

Chairman of National Book Development Foundation, Dr Hasan Hamzah, when asked on the efforts taken to encourage film making, admitted that there was a need for greater funding and a more conducive ecosystem capable of supporting young film graduates, considering the cost involved in conventional filmmaking.

He, nevertheless, added that that Klifaa was also aimed at encouraging young filmmakers to look into the new approaches in the making of films.

Besides the awards ceremony, there will be film screenings, panel discussions masterclasses and networking opportunities – all geared toward “igniting a passion for storytelling and filmmaking.”

Film director Shuhaimi Baba meanwhile said that Klifaa had been in the making few years back and that it was finally materialising.

For years, local film industry members have been attending awards events in many parts of the world but these have become very costly, especially with the rise in the US dollar and it is timely now for Malaysia to hold such a film award event, she said.

Tengku Azlan also pointed out how Malaysia would have much to offer for those attending the event where they will get to enjoy both the film festival and the country as well, which offered some of the lowest rates for top class hotels in the world.

With its theme of “Inspiring Brilliance, Igniting Passion” the Klifaa 2024 will take place from 7th to 11th August at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC).

Apart from marketing the event overseas, the organisers are also looking at bringing top film personalities as jurors for the feature films, television dramas, documentaries, animation and short films that will compete for awards in various categories.

Artists and filmmakers worldwide are invited to participate and contribute to the celebration by submitting their works for competition as well as for non-competition categories from March 1 to May 31, 2024.

For enquiries and submissions, please send an email to office@klifaa.com or visit www.klifaa.com.