The Kuala Lumpur Communications & Creative Industry Mart (KLCCIM) and International Film Festival Malaysia (IFFM), originally slated to run alongside one another this November, have been put back four months. Malaysia’s Information Communication and Culture Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Kamaruddin Siaraf made the announcement at MIPCOM.
Launched softly at Filmart in March and confirmed in official announcements in May, the event was proposed along similar lines to Hong Kong’s Filmart, running alongside a festival and hosting a market, project market and financing forum, awards bash and some digital-focused events.
The KLCCIM website went live around the time of the announcements, but has been starved of updates ever since. Two days after the announcement to shift the event’s dates in Cannes, the website still proclaimed the event will run in November.
The new and, hopefully, accurate dates for the KLCCIM event are 26 – 29 March, the week after Hong Kong’s Filmart. Festival dates have not yet been confirmed, but are expected to overlap KLCCIM’s new dates.
The country’s state funding body for film and co-organisers of KLCCIM and IFFM, FINAS, hope that some of those travelling to Hong Kong for Filmart will extend their stay in the region and head on to Kuala Lumpur.
The Malaysian government has thrown its weight behind the industry in recent years and, even though no reason was given for the change of event dates, will be disappointed by the delay. Earlier this year Malaysia announced a 30% incentive scheme for inbound productions, which was to be heavily promoted at KLCCIM.
The government has also been a partner in the building of new studios in the Iskandar region in the south of the country, bordering Singapore. Malaysia and Singapore, with its stronger focus on VFX and post-production work, have been negotiating a co-production treaty for some time. The main delay to completing it has been around immigration. The territories are trying to develop protocols to fast track cross-border movements to enable film workers (of whatever nationality) to travel back and forth with a minimum of delay.
KLCCIM is not the first market event in Asia to suffer changes of plan recently. The inaugural ScreenSingapore event, which ran in June 2011, became the only edition of the event in its envisaged form. Following a fairly ho-hum debut, MIPCOM organisers Reed came on board as a partner and rescheduled the event to take place in tandem the Singapore-based Asia Television Forum, which runs in December.