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Thursday, October 12, 2006

When was the last time you watched a Filipino movie?

If there is one thing Filipinos love to do it is watching movies in theaters. It is one of the cheapest forms of entertainment in the Philippines. The cinema offers a temporary escape into another world where Sharon Cuneta is accused of being "a second-rate, trying hard, copycat" or Kris Aquino's Dida matches Rene Requiestas' Pido. But, this proud history of Philippine cinema that stretches way back to the Sampaguita, LVN, Premiere era is sadly being swamped by a tsunami of Hollywood blockbusters.

So, how did Philippine cinema, once the most prolific in Asia, end up where it is right now? Pinoy Post devotes 45 minutes to the state of the Filipino movie industry with Filipino film critic, Noel Vera. Noel is the resident film critic of BusinessWorld Philippines. He maintains a blog devoted to movies and he has also written a book on Philippine cinema called Critic After Dark.

The first part of the interview discusses the current situation of Philippine cinema. Why was Marcos good for the Filipino movies? Find out Cory Aquino's two contributions to Philippine cinema. To listen to Part 1 of the conversation, click this link: Episode002A (15 minutes)

The second part of the interview discusses the recent phenomenon of Hollywood movies outperforming Filipino movies in local theaters. Noel lists some of the great Filipino directors and their works. He also lists the upcoming Filipino and Fil-Am directors that people need to watch out for. To listen to Part 2 of the conversation, click this link: Episode002B (15 minutes)

The third part of the interview discusses the genre of Rizal movies, film piracy, "cultural amnesia" as Filipino film classics are lost, and the miracle of how some of the Brocka classics were preserved. To listen to Part 3 of the conversation, click this link: Episode002C (15 minutes)

The transcript of the interview will soon be posted here.

A short introduction to Philippine cinema

New York Filipino Film Festival 2006

New York Times film critic reviews new DVDs from the Philippines


Blogger Pinoy Post said...

This is a good initial step done by Quezon City. Please read the news report from Philstar below.


QC scraps amusement tax on local films
By Perseus Echeminada
The Philippine Star 10/24/2006

Quezon City Mayor Feliciano Belmonte Jr. signed yesterday an ordinance that exempts from amusement taxes all locally produced films shown at city-based theaters.

"The city government wants to help promote Filipino culture and values," Belmonte told members of the local film industry who witnessed the signing ceremony held at Albert Hall of Quezon City Hall.

Whatever amount the city government would lose in term of taxes can be recovered by the future benefits the film industry can contribute to nation building.

Present during the signing of the landmark ordinance were Vice Mayor Herbert Bautista, council majority leader Antonio Inton and other members of the City Council, Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) chairman Espiridion Laxa and movie director Leo Martinez.

The newly approved ordinance reduces the amusement taxes from 15 percent to 0 percent on films produced locally.

Belmonte said that with this pioneering piece of legislation, it is hoped that similar ordinances, or those that tend to support and give incentives to a "dying" cultural medium, will be enacted in other local government units as well.

Bautista, a former actor, said the decline in the number of locally produced films may be attributed to heavy taxation by both the national and local government.

Quezon City is the country’s first local government unit to implement the reduction of amusement tax on locally produced films from 50 percent to 30 percent by virtue of an ordinance passed five years ago.

Earlier, the FAP urged Belmonte to explore the possibility of giving additional assistance to local film producers and distributors by reducing further the amusement tax imposed by the city government.

Excessive taxation and film piracy are two major factors cited by Laxa and Martinez that contributed to the sharp decline in the number of films produced in the country.

According to the FAP, the Philippine film industry has experienced a substantial decrease in the number of locally-produced motion pictures from over 200 films in the 1970s and 1980s to an average of only 82 films from 2000 to 2003, and to a mere 56 films in 2004.

"There is a need to extend some incentives to the local film industry in order to encourage more local film productions, and breathe life to a financially-challenged industry," Inton said.

The imposition of taxes for places and activities of amusement is provided for under Section 39 of the Quezon City Revenue Code, which states that a tax with the corresponding rate of percentage of the gross receipts from admission fees shall be collected from the proprietors and operators.

The Quezon City government collects a 30 percent amusement tax from the showing of foreign films at its theaters.

12:12 PM  
Blogger Noel Vera said...

Makes sense. Quezon City is Phillywood--it has all the major studios, from Regal in Valencia Street, San Juan to Viva (now inactive) in the Scout area to ABS CBN and Star Cinema to GMA films to LVN Studios, or what's left of them.

Phillywood--think that makes sense? Been looking for a term for the local industry.

5:19 PM  
Blogger Noel Vera said...

Check out this clueless rube:

One cheap shot deserves another: a reply to an article on Insiang

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Rachelle Uy said...

Good day! This is Rachelle, the one asking for an email interview just recently. I'm just wondering if you got my email, because I got your response in the bulk folder. Maybe mine's in your bulk folder too if you didn't get it in your inbox.

Thank you sir!

P.S. Forgive me for using your comment box but I can't think of any other way of how to get into your inbox. :D

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Anonymous thailand real estate said...

The classic Filipino movies are more original and worthy to watch than today's movies. The movies of today are obviously rip offs from Hollywood and Korea. Sad but true.

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Tons of Filipino classic movies are around there are some bad and goodies.

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