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Friday, June 24, 2011

Johor set to house region’s largest film-making complex

JOHOR BARU: Johor is set to house the largest film complex in the region when Pinewood Studios Iskandar Malaysia (PSIM) opens its doors in 2013.

PSIM chief executive officer Michael Lake said the complex, on a 32.37ha site in Nusajaya, would offer state-of-the-art facilities for film production and related activities.

He said that among the facilities would be production offices, filmset construction areas and backlot (an area behind or adjoining a movie studio, containing permanent exterior sets for outdoor scenes in motion picture or television production).

The complex will have five fully air-conditioned and sound-proofed film stages with floor areas of between 1,400 and 2,800 sq metres, and two high-definition television stages of 1,100 sq metres each.

“It will become a one-stop centre, providing filmmakers with world-class facilities,” Lake said at a talk held in conjunction with the Careers, Businesses and Skills Carnival 2011 at Persada Johor here.

He explained that Malaysia had all the elements to make it attractive to film producers, such as its competitive exchange rate, lower production costs and interesting locations that could be used for filming.

“We hope to attract film production companies not only from Asia, but also Europe and the United States,” he said .

However, Lake pointed out that building the infrastructure alone would not suffice, and that PSIM needed to train talents in various cinematic, organisational and technical skills.

He added that PSIM would look into providing internship opportunities for locals who were interested in the film industry.

Lake said he had already begun marketing PSIM to the film industry overseas, and the reaction has so far been largely positive.

“Malaysia presents a new and exciting frontier, and film producers have been interested in learning more about the country,” he said.

He added that PSIM would work closely with Multimedia Deve­lopment Corp and the National Film Development Corporation to promote and market the complex both locally and overseas.

PSIM was established with RM400mil in investments in a joint venture between Khazanah Nasional Berhad and UK-based Pinewood Shepperton.

By The Star

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