Finas issues statement to ‘Pulau’ filmmakers over controversial trailer

Written by on 01/02/2023

A scene from 'Pulau'

Malaysia’s National Film Development Corporation (Finas) has released a statement over the controversial trailer for upcoming horror film Pulau.

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The statement takes umbrage over sexual scenes of kissing and lovemaking and women in bikinis in the trailer that have ignited public debate over the film, with Finas chief executive officer Prof Dr Md Nasir Ibrahim telling mStar: “The trailer has to be re-edited. The clip highlights sensationalised scenes to attract attention.”

“It needs to be changed to safeguard national sensitivities of our multicultural country,” he said, adding that Finas’ corporate communications unit had already extended a reprimand to the film’s producers.

The executive also pointed out that the controversy itself has become a gimmick and free publicity for the film. “This controversy can help us create detailed guidelines that will not strangle creativity. If the guidelines are too tight there will be issues as well, so everything must be made clear,” he concluded.

Set to be released this March 9, the first trailer for Pulau was released in mid-January and sets the stage for a group of friends who plan to stay on a deserted island overnight, awakening a vengeful spirit on the island who was killed for having sex with her supposed husband. The sexualised imagery evoked protest from Malaysians, with some religious figures calling for the film’s approval to be reevaluated.

Malaysian Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil has also addressed the controversy over Pulau at an exclusive screening of the movie Duan Nago Bogho, reportedly telling audiences that in his opinion, the trailer for Pulau was not suitable for viewing. He added that he has called on Finas to “reexamine and restructure its SOP [standard operating procedure]. We do not want this to happen again… the approval was given without a more specific scrutiny, I feel there needs to be scrutiny”.

The post Finas issues statement to ‘Pulau’ filmmakers over controversial trailer appeared first on NME.

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