KUALA LUMPUR: The local film and creative industry seems to have not forgotten the impact Datuk Kamil Ahmad Othman had on its transformation when he was the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas) Director-General for two years from 2014.
When his term ended in November 2016, a petition by producers, directors, actors and members of the Malaysian film industry was launched to have it renewed.
Of course, it remained a petition because a new DG was appointed.
As if to take the cue from the outcome of the general election and ride on the wave of a new Malaysia, a new petition – for the new Minister of Communications and Multimedia, Gobind Singh Deo, to look into – started last week to bring Kamil back as Finas DG.
A fresh petition, on change.org, was started by filmmaker Zain Azrai has described Kamil as a ‘visionary former DG of Finas’.
The petition is targeting 500 signatures and so far, there are 532 signatures.
In the petition, Zain said Kamil ‘must return to transform the Malaysian film and television industry into a major source of domestic and export income for Malaysia’.
On his Facebook and Twitter accounts, Zain has also the hashtags #kamilothmankpfinas, #bringbackdatokamil and #datokamilfinas2018.
In an interview with Kr8tif Express last week, Kamil was asked if he would take on the opportunity of returning to Finas if it came.
His response: “If the Government of the day and the Minister are of the view that I can assist in the transformation of Finas or the Creative Industry in general, then why not?”
He said he was at Finas for two years and is well aware of what needs to be done further and as for the Creative Industry directly or indirectly, he was also involved with it for many years.
“If things don’t work out, well, I would be just as happy enjoying my days watching movies all day long amongst other things,” he quipped.
Those who signed the petition to bring Kamil back to Finas, gave their reasons for doing so.
Chacko Vadaketh wrote: “He is passionate about films. He has a truly Malaysian, non communal perspective on the industry. Knows what he’s doing. And had started some great programs and ideas during his all too brief tenure. He must given a chance to finish what he was doing. Which I have every confidence will take out industry to Great heights and put us in the final Movie map.
Rani Wemel said: “En Kamil is dedicated to his work and is the one who brought Malaysian Animation industry to the Global level and his position as DG with National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS) will definitely bring Malaysian Movies to a new level. I wish him the very best and sincerely hope Yang Berhormat Tuan Gobind Singh Deo – Minister Of Communication & Multimedia will bring back Dato’ Kamil Othman As KP Of FINAS. #industriperlukamil”
And Afdlin Shauki described him as “an awesome guy who actually knows about films!”