Jagat won the Best Malaysian Film category at the 28th Malaysian Film Festival (FFM 28) on 3rd September 2016 which was held at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC).
Shanjhey Kumar Perumal; the mastermind behind Jagat which is undeniably one of the best Tamil Language movie was ever made in Malaysia, stated
“We feel happy because this is a national level recognition, and we see this as an opportunity to reach more Malaysians because we want to share the story”.
He also expressed his intentions to make Jagat available to more audiences; stating
“But Jagat haven’t fully reached the Malaysians yet because we released in cinemas with very limited screenings. So, after this we are going for online release or premiere it on video-on-demand services”.
Just recently the movie made news with The Malaysia National Film Development Corporation (FINAS) decision to separate Malaysian film nominees into two categories (Bahasa Malaysia and Non-Bahasa Malaysia) for 28th Malaysian Film Festival (FFM 28). After an intense backlash by Malaysians especially by Shanjhey Kumar Perumal who through his outspokenness; sought for answers to why Jagat having not abide the 70% Bahasa Malaysia requirement rule imposed by FINAS; will be limited to compete under Non-Bahasa Malaysia Film category and not the overall Best Film award in the industry.
The decision was then later overturned by Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak; Multimedia and Communications minister. Hence, the introduction of two new categories – Best Film in the National Language and Best Malaysian Film and the removal of Non-Bahasa Malaysia Film category at the 28th Malaysian Film Festival (FFM 28). The move by Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak opened the possibilities for Jagat to compete fairly with all other nominated local films.
The removal of Non-Bahasa Malaysia categories at the Malaysian Film Festival, has allowed the critically-acclaimed film that documents the plight of Indian Malaysians during post estate era to win Best Malaysian Film award. The win for some see it as an attempt by FINAS; organisers of Malaysian Film Festival (FFM) to divert Malaysians from the unsavory controversy regarding the language segregation incident a month prior to the film festival.
Nevertheless, Malaysians especially the Indian community welcome the worthy win as a huge achievement since this is the first time a non-Malay film has won the Best Film category in Malaysia. Even-though Jagat made moderate collections at the box office; the movie has set a benchmark for other local filmmakers to follow in order to produce an award-winning worthy movie in the near future and meet the rising expectations of Malaysian moviegoers.
In light of Jagat emerging winners of the Best Malaysian Film award and Shanjhey Kumar Perumal statement, we can be hopeful in seeing the movie again being available online or via video-on-demand services soon.
Congratulations to director Shanjhey Kumar Perumal and those involved in the creation of Jagat the movie for bagging the prestigious Best Malaysian Film award.