Jun 22
ROAD MAPPING FOR LOCAL FILM INDUSTRY by Alex J. Socorro  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Fri, Jun 22, 2007

Dateline – Newsdesk Café, So. Triangle, QC, June 20, 2007

Speakers:

  • LEO MARTINEZ – Director General, Film Academy of the Philippines
  • Sen. WIGBERTO TAÑADA – Lead Convenor, Fair Trade Alliance
  • CARLITOS SIGUION-REYNA – Board Director, Directors’ Guild of the Phil., Inc.
  • JESSICA SANTOS – chief of staff, office of Rep. ERIN TAÑADA

The so-called Road Mapping is actually a sort of partnership among the movie industry players to set up the goals and programs on how to pep up the local film industry. Short and long term goals would be set up after identifying the causes of the waning market for local movies.

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Speakers Carlitos Siguion-Reyna, Wigberto Tañada, Leo Martinez and Jessica Santos
As per the account of Direk Carlitos, 264 films were exhibited in 2006, most of which were foreign films and only 56 were local movies (11 digital films included). From an average of 200 plus films in the 1980s and an average of 100 plus films in the 1990s, the 2006 figure is a confirmation of the decline. While most foreign movies are raking a profit, local movies could only count on the December festival entries for a decent return on investment.

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Rolly Ruta, Wilson Tieng and Dominic Du
To segue a bit, Jessica Santos emphasized the role of disposable income vis-à-vis the shrinking market of local movies. “Even if the tax is drastically lowered, the disposable income is still the main consideration. You can get a pirated copy for 50 pesos, puwede pang maghiraman na lang,” Jessica added. The point of contention, in the viewpoint of Rep. Erin Tañada, was the low income of the ordinary moviegoer hence increasing the income would increase the disposable income allotted for entertainment.

Leo Martinez, pointed out the 25 centavos cultural tax, 5 centavos of which should go to the Film Academy. Although that tax is still reflected in the movie ticket, the sharing is not being implemented anymore. Another problem that Leo discussed was the lack of technical equipment despite the abundance of technical expertise. Perhaps the government should play its role in this area. He also aired his concern for the big cut on the Film Academy’s budget, from 30% share in the MMFF proceeds, it is down to 10% since last year.

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From front left Carlitos Siguion-Reyna, Wigberto Tañada, Leo Martinez and Emman dela Cruz. Rear left Wilson Tiu, Rolly Ruta, Rez Cortez, Isagani Sioson, Pablo Gomez and Felix Dalay.
Former Senator Bobby Tañada accented the sad financial state of the common tao like the fishermen and farmers. And since the masses comprise the main market of local movies, alleviating their lowly plight may indirectly contribute to the progress of the movie industry. Further, Senator Tañada said that the Fair Trade Alliance would cover all sectors and would focus on the immediate needs to resuscitate the said sectors.

The affair was formally opened by Wilson Wy Tiu, the Executive Director of PELSPI (Philippine Employer Labor Social Partnership, Inc. ). Road Mapping has an initial timeframe of 1 year to gather data, analyze the problems, formulate remedies and solution before final implementation. A concerted effort among all the stakeholders in the movie industry is a show of unity with one voice. Road Mapping is a continuing dialogue among the movie industry players and sympathetic NGOs.

Also present in the occasion were Wilson Tieng, who represented the producers, Rolly Ruta, president of STAMP (Sound Technicians Association of Motion Pictures), Gani Sioson, president of FSC (Filipino Society of Cinematographers), Pablo Gomez, president of SGP (Screenwriters’ Guild of the Philippines), Rez Cortez, board director of KAPPT (Kapisanan ng Artistang Pilipino sa Pelikula at Telebisyon), Dominic Du of the Cinema Bookers Group, Emman Dela Cruz of Independent Filmmakers, Leonardo Belen of the Film Workers Cooperative and Film Director Felix Dalay.

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Leo Martinez being interviewed by the wazzup girl

Some of the press people present were Crispina Belen, Entertainment Editor of Manila Bulletin, and Lahr Santiago of GMA-7 news team plus some tabloid and broadsheet reporters. Covering the event were cameras of ABS-CBN and GMA-7. There was also an ambush interview conducted by Wazzup, Wazzup for Studio 23.