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Malaysia Film Festival Is Delayed due to Coronavirus, Asian Awards Go Virtual

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Cheyne Gateley/Variety Intelligence Platform

The fourth edition of the Malaysia International Film Festival (MIFFEST) has been postponed until early 2021 due to a recent revival of the coronavirus in the country.

The Singapore-based Asian Academy Creative Awards will go ahead with its plans for a ceremony in December, but as a fully virtual, VFX-heavy affair.

“According to the latest SOP announced by the government, activities at cinemas are strictly not allowed during this Conditional Movement Control Order period, MIFFEST chairperson and founder Joanne Goh said on Monday. “As the film festival will physically take place at local cinemas, the festival committee has decided to postpone the event until 2021.”

Cinemas in Malaysia were shuttered for the second time after the government announced new social distancing and stay-at-home measures earlier this month, due to a new wave of COVID-19 in the populous Klang Valley. Some cinemas said that they would be closed for at least a month, but they could not be sure if that date would hold.

That degree of uncertainty was too much for the festival. MIFFEST was previously due to have been held Dec. 5-10, 2020, and a week ago it had gone as far as to announce its film selection. It announced “Victim(s)” by Layla Zhuqing as its opening title, and “The Story Of Southern Islet,” by Malaysia’s Chong Keat Aun as the closing film. It had also planned to launch a film project market. Goh now points to Jan. 2, 2021 as a possible start date.

“This is the time to be more innovative, more bold so the Asian Academy Creative Awards show will use an array of the latest technology in going virtual. It’s going to be an exciting 4-day event!” said Ricky Ow, 2020 chairman of awards. The AAA runs Dec 1-4, including a conference series and an awards ceremony on Dec. 4.

The ceremony will involve a global graphics production powerhouse which will provide real-time camera tracking virtualization and award show graphics systems. Elevate Broadcast and live transmission and streaming technology specialist LiveU will provide the remote network required to stream in presenters and National Winners from across the Asia region.

“We are likely to have around 270 feeds coming from right across the Asia-Pacific region in what is most likely the biggest show of its type, certainly in our part of the world” said Elevate Broadcast CEO and AAA patron Dennis Breckenridge.

Facebook will livestream the event globally and provide an award for the best dressed on the AAA’s virtual red carpet.