Malaysia will leverage on its partnership with Britain's Pinewood Studios to transform the country into a global movie hub, the National Film Development Corporation (Finas) has said. In a report published on Monday by Hollywood trade newspaper Variety, Finas director-general Mohd Naguib Razak said the establishment of Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios is expected to bring in US$1 billion (S$1.29 billion) a year and create some 10,000 jobs by 2020.
"Pinewood Studios will be a game changer. We need to make sure all the infrastructure is in place," he told Variety. The studio, due to open in a year, is being developed as part of a strategic agreement between Pinewood and state investment arm Khazanah Nasional Berhad.
The complex will house 100,000 sq ft of filming stages and 24,000 sq ft of TV studios, offices, workshops and post facilities. Mr Naguib said he was looking to seal coproduction pacts with other South-east Asian nations, among others, to make Malaysia a one-stop center for foreign producers.
He revealed that Malaysia was in advanced stage talks with Screen Australia, Canberra's key funding body for screen productions, and hoped a deal would be announced early this year. Mr Naguib also said he is in talks with parties from the UK and France with an eye on making Malaysia a one-stop center for foreign film producers.
"We have such diversity but we need to play catch-up on incentives. They should be in place by 2013," he said. Mr Naguib, a documentary film-maker who set up Finas in September, said the government has given him a "mandate to see where our ecosystem needs adjustment or recalibration". "In Malaysia we have had economic transformation now there is recognition that content can bring the nation forward," he added.