Understanding the Finas License and how to get it is actually quite simple. The form is online here and the requirements for application is also on that page as well.
So what about Finas License is hard?
What stumped me, honestly, was the different Finas Licenses available.
You can see that there are 6 different licenses available with different amount of deposits and fees.
Basically the licenses is broken up to just 3 different categories;
- Production (P) – Anytime you shoot, you will need a company production license. With the license, you will be able to apply for the mandatory SPP (Certificate of Filming) or MIM (Made in Malaysia). From my e-mails with Finas – the Production license will cover all physical shoots – Commercials, Social Media Videos, TV programs, Documentaries and everything else.
- Distribution (D) – If you are dealing with Broadcasters such as RTM or Astro and you plan to sell your content to them, then you will need a distribution license. If, however, you are only commissioned to do work, then no distribution license is needed – only a production license.
- Exhibition (E) – If you are exhibiting cross borders, then you just need an exhibition license.
F(ilm) VS V(ideo)
So why is there Film and Video? When I asked around, everyone just said get a PF license. However, that didn’t make much sense to me since I don’t make films. I would have figured that I needed a PV license for the videos I make.
The PV license’s deposit is 5 TIMES HIGHER than a PF license – set at RM 5,000.00. That’s a lot of money for a deposit, especially since the PF license is only a RM1,000.00 deposit. So I went around and asked.
It took me WEEKS to finally get an answer on which license I needed. I just needed a PF license. A PF license will cover every single type of production shoot – from films to social media videos.
WHEN DO YOU GET A PV / VIDEO LICENSE?
You don’t anymore. The PV or any other video license comes from the 1980s and are not applicable for new companies anymore. When asked about the PV license, this is what I got;
Ok regarding the PV & PF license. the PV license is our old license way back 1983. [During] that period many production in Malaysia still using video format to produce content. In current situation, we advice any production house to apply Film Production license where it’s more flexible and widely used in the content market right now. You can use the PF license to make video or film content. Its one initiative from our side to reduce the burden on company to renew the license.
So that’s it really. Just get a PF license when you open a production house. I write this article really because I couldn’t find this information anywhere only and we just opened our new production house.
I want to ensure that everything is legit – so a license is definitely a must.