Celebrities at the 29th Malaysian Film Festival press conference. Pix by Rosela Ismail

KUALA LUMPUR: There will be no more Best Malaysia Film and Best Film In A National Language categories at the upcoming 29th Malaysian Film Festival (FFM29) slated for Sept 23.

Instead, all film nominees will be competing for only one major award - Best Film award.

Announcing this, Malaysian National Film Development Corporation (Finas) director-general Datuk Fauzi Ayob said the two separate categories for Best Film which were introduced last year have been scrapped.

"We have decided to implement this change in order to avoid any controversies, so now all films have an equal chance of winning," he said at the film festival's second press conference held at Parkroyal Hotel, Jalan Imbi yesterday.

Last year, the film festival and Finas were criticised for not including fan favourites OlaBola and Jagat in the Best Film category since they were not entirely in Bahasa Malaysia.

This resulted in the introduction of the two separate categories for Best Film where Best Film In A National Language category was introduced for nominees that meet the 70 percent Bahasa Malaysia requirement.

The overall Best Malaysian Film in FFM28 went to Tamil drama Jagat while Malay horror Munafik won Best Film in a National Language.

Meanwhile, this year's film festival will see 53 films competing. Forty-one are in Bahasa Malaysia, six in Mandarin, five in Tamil and one in English.

Among the contenders are Bisik Pada Langit, Interchange, You Mean The World To Me, Maama Machan, Lurking Woods and Redha.

Popular comedian-actor Zizan Razak will be hosting the awards show, set to take place at the Putra World Trade Centre, Jalan Tun Ismail.

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