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Metro Manila Film Festival to be turned over to the film industry?

May 14, 2009

Senator Jinggoy Estrada, the son of former Philippine superstar, ex-president and convicted plunderer Joseph Estrada, delivered on Monday a privilege speech at the Senate, asking that the management of the Metro Manila Film Festival be given to the Philippine film industry itself.

from the Manila Bulletin.

The Metro Manila Film Festival  isn´t really a festival, but a two-week period after Christmas, where the local theatres are showing exclusively local films. The Festival was a brain child of Imelda Marcos, and used to feature prestige productions by directors like Lino Brocka. More recently, it has become one of the last opportunities for the Philippine film industry to showcase their productions, and is dominated by the usual Pinoy film fare such as comedies, melodramas etc. Handing over the mangement of the festival to the film industry would therefore only confirm this status quo.

There is an interesting tidbit of information at the end of the article though: The Philippines used to be one of the countries with the highest taxes on movie tickets in the world, but aparently that is about to change: “As of this writing, Quezon City no longer collects taxes from movies shown in theaters within its jurisdiction. The measure was authored by Councilor Ariel Inton. In Manila, taxes collected from movie exhibitions have also been reduced to 15% from the original 30%.. With zero or reduced movie taxes, the income – from tax rebates – of the MMFF has also been drastically reduced. The income therefore of the MMFF this year’s festival would definitely be reduced, and the beneficiaries would be receiving less.”

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