The Philippine’s entertainment
industry is an ever-dynamic sector that is constantly
shaped by different trends sweeping across the globe.
A horror movie, for example, that becme a sensational
hit in Hollywood theaters will instantly inspire a gamut
of thrillers as soon as it reaches Philippine shores.
Recent happenings in the entertainment sector can be
summed up by four significant events: the surge of Korean
soap operas, new hit reality shows, and the rise of
independent films, and the rising popularity of film
The Philippines has a high television penetration rate,
with mostly VHF transmissions available all over the
country, and UHF and cable television available only
in urban areas. Philippine television basically revolves
around the ratings of two giant TV networks (ABS-CBN
and GMA Network), has
seen recently the increased popularity of Korean soap
operas, fantasy series, musical talent search shows,
and reality series. Because of the fierce competition
between the two television networks, the program lineups
closely resemble one other.
NATURAL MOVIE FANS
It is not uncommon for Filipinos to become fans of foreign
stars. In the past, Hollywood stars dominated the list
of Filipino movie fans, although there are Filipino
movie stars like Nora Aunor, Vilma Santos, Sharon Cuneta,
and Aga Mulach, who inspire leagues of local fans. In
more recent times, however, movie stars from other countries
have begun to gaainn foot-hold. Mexican actress Thalia,
Taiwanese boy-band F4, Korean soap stars Lee and Song
Il Gook, have gained sizeable popularity among Filipinos.
Most of these stars, however, were introduced to Filipino
audiences via soap operas. Filipino sociologists believe
that the reason certain TV soap operas succeed –
even if they are subtitled or dubbed in Filipino –
is the fact that Filipinos have always been captivated
by rags-to-riches or Cinderella storylines.
Movie theaters are found almost in all parts of the
country, the movies being a very popular pastime among
Filipinos. In urban areas like Metro Manila, these movie
houses are based in malls and shopping centers, while
free standing movie houses can still be found in the
provinces. Despite the popularity of movies, the movie
industry in the Philippines continues to fight for survival
on theback of the dominance of Hollywood films and rampant
piracy; the piracy rate in the Philippines is considered
one of the highest in the Asia Pacific region. Although
the government has announced its war on piracy with
the cooperation of the local movie industry (even recruiting
movie stars to head the Optical Media Board agency which
is given the task of monitoring piracy), the relative
affordability of pirated DVD’s and CDs against
the original (Php 50 vs Php 400) and against movie ticket
prices (Php 100) keeps these illegal media very popular.
Bent on reviving the dying industry, the Cultural
Center of the Philippines (CCP), together with the
Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) and
the University of the Philippines Film Institute launched
the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival in 2004 to
discover, support, and help a new breed of film makers
in coming up with new ideas and film styles that will
add dimension to local film industry. Two of the festival’s
first awardees include film directors like Lav Diaz
and Raymond Red, who have both have been hailed in the
international scene for their independent productions.
The mainstream movie industry, on the other hand, holds
annual film festivals such as the Metro manila Film
Festival, which are meant to boost local movie ticket
sales by locking out non-Filipino produced films from
theaters in Metro Manila, the event is held every last
week of December.
Although the Philippines has post-production outfits
(RoadRunner and Ignite), more sophisticated and special-requirement
post-production jobs are still sourced overseas. Howevver,
the country has a wealth of talented technicians and
animators who are often tapped by production outfits
from Japan and the United States. Recently, the Internation
Academy for Film and Television (IAFTI) was established
in Mactan, Cebu to become the center for learning for
film and television animation, digital editing, web
designing, and various other technical skills. The Php
62.46 – million investment consits of an education
and training facility that will cater to local and international
film students. IAFTI offers a one-year program and short
courses on 2D and 3D animation, digital editing, web
designing, Adobe Photoshop, compositing and after effectsetc.
IAFTI Is majority owned by Bigfoot Global Solutions,
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“Bollywood” is the informal
name given to the popular Mumbai-based Hindi language
film industry in India, and is a conflation of Bombay,
the old name of Mumbai, and Hollywood.
Bollywood is commonly referred to as Hindi cinema,
even though Hindustani, the substratum common to both
Hindi and Urdu, might be more accurate. Bollywood consists
of the languages of Hindi, Urdu and English. The use
of poetic Urdu words is fairly common. The connection
between Hindi, Urdu, and Hindustani is an extremely
contentious matter and is discussed at length in the
linked articles relating specifically to the languages.
There has been a growing presence of Indian English
in dialogue and songs as well. It is not uncommon to
see films that feature dialogue with English words and
phrases, even whole sentences. There is growing number
of English films. A few films are also made in two or
even three languages (either using subtitles, or several
Despite the word’s etymology, Bollywood is not
only Mumbai-produced movies; regional movies are playing
a very important role in volume and audience share.
Hindi, the offcial national language of India, is generally
not spoken in these states such as Tamilnadu, tamil,
Telegu, and Punjabi.
Cinema first came to India in 1896, when the Lumiere
Brothers Cinematographic showed six short films in the
Watsion. Three years later, Harishchandra Bhatvadekaar
shot and exhibited two short films. The first indigenous
silent feature film was raja Harishchandra, released
in 1913 and directed by Dadasaheh D.G. Phalke, who is
considered the father of Indian cinema.
Hollywood stars are expressing interest in the forthcoming
international release, "Gandhi My Father",
based on the untold story of Gandhi's tragic relationship
with his eldest son. The Former South African President
and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Nelson Mandela, has requested
a private screening of the film.
Often referred to as the living legacy of Mahatma Gandhi
and the Gandhi of South Africa, Mandela is now looking
forward to seeing a film based on his "favourite
hero". The leader who, of late, has cut down on
his public appearances, was due to make an exception
primarily for the screening which was held in Johannesburg
on July 29th 2007.
Actor Anil Kapoor, who has turned producer with this
film said: "It is an absolute honour that Nelson
Mandela will be seeing my film. He is, perhaps, the
biggest world leader that we have, and also someone
who comes closest to Gandhi."
British actress, Sienna Miller also saw the film on
a brief trip to India, which saw her promoting ways
to combat global warming. She commented: "The film
was unlike most Bollywood films in the fact that it
had very little singing and dancing in it. In fact it
was more of a sad tale about the life of Gandhi's son.
The director and lead actor met us after the film and
presented us with signed programmes."
Hollywood actors Will Smith and Goldie Hawn, who are
known as Gandhi supporters, have already seen the film's
initial showreel and were deeply affected by the film.
Smith was quoted as saying he was "very impressed
with the canvas of the film and the emotional intensity
of the actors".
"Gandhi My Father" has been called the best
Indian film of 2007 (The Times) and is a powerful study
of the nature and sufferings of the patriarchal relationship
between one of the world's most loved figures –
'Mahatma' Gandhi - and his misfortunate eldest son Harilal.
The film delves into a territory that has never before
been visited by film, and will spark debate by bringing
to light an unknown facet of the personal history of
a man who transformed the soul of a nation, but who
could not save the soul of his own son.
The team behind “Gandhi My Father”, especially
producer Anil Kapoor, has taken a risk with a film they
believe in and a story they feel needs to be told. As
Gandhi himself once said: "A small body of determined
spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission
can alter the course of history."
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