Senate Conducts Inquiry on State of Film Industry

Manila Bulletin, January 21, 2005 | Go to article overview

Senate Conducts Inquiry on State of Film Industry


The current state of the local film industry was the subject of a Senate hearing conducted the other day. The hearing was precipitated by a resolution introduced last month by Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla, Jr.

In Senate Resolution No. 139, Senator Revilla urged the Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media "to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the current state of the local film industry with the end view of creating a more viable, sustainable and globally competitive film industry that is a vital partner in nation-building."

The Senate hearing was attended by leaders of the movie industry, among them Atty. Espiridion Laxa, chairman of the Film Academy of the Philippines, Armida Siguion Reyna, Laurice Guillen, directors Joel Lamangan and Carlitos Siguion Reyna; and actors Richard Gomez, Ricky Davao and Rez Cortez.

Multi-awarded film director Joel Lamangan of the Nagkakaisang Manggagawa ng Pelikulang Pilipino, read a position paper regarding the problems of the movie industry.

The film industry has been on a slump for several years now. Film production has declined steadily from an average of 130 full-length features films about seven years ago to only 80 in 2003 and to no more than 50 movies as of the end of November 2004.

In view of this, Senator Revilla said there is now a need "to revisit and re-examine all laws, policies, rules and regulations that affect the movie industry and evaluate the effectiveness of the same so that new laws and policies may be crafted to support and fast-track the development of the entire local film industry as well as improve the regulatory environment where it operates..."

On the other hand, Senator Ramon B. Magsaysay, Jr., through Senate Resolution No. 4 which he introduced, urged the Senate Committee on Trade and Commerce, Cinema Affairs and other appropriate committees to conduct a comprehensive inquiry, in aid of legislation on the state of film production in the country, with emphasis on funding and business assistance that may be extended particularly to small film producers and independent filmmakers, their status as a contributory sector of the national economy and not simply as a mere discipline of the arts, the globalization trend, and assistance that can be extended to the sector, with the end-view of formulating an omnibus incentives program for movies and for other purposes..."

* * *

Rachel Alejandro off to the US for good

Singer/actress Rachel Alejandro left recently for the United States where she now intends to stay for good. Rachel already has an apartment in Manhattan, New York.

This 2005, Rachel has set her mind on a new goal to make it as a recording artist in America!

We met with Rachel two days before she left and she told us that last year, she has started recording some songs to include in her demo tape to be sent to record producers in America. She has recorded a song at the Lobo Recording Studios in Long Island (where some of the top international singers record their songs) where she tapped the services of a Grammy Awardwinning mixer/arranger who recently did an Eminem award-winning piece.

Another song that Rachel has recorded is a duet with Kevin Cebello, a Latin Grammy Award winner who Rachel said looks like our very own actor Jestoni Alarcon. The song is entitled "Close But Apart," a ballad with a Latin flavor. They launched the song in a showcase last year, at the Salsa Club in New York. The warm reaction to the song encouraged Rachel to go on with her demo tape.

Meanwhile, as she waits for Lady Luck to work her magic wand on her recording career, Rachel is set to do a pre-Valentine show in San Diego, California.

Before she left, Rachel was tapped to sing the soundtrack of a new ABS-CBN program entitled "Strut." This will be shown on The Filipino Channel in the US starting this month.

The original song, also entitled "Strut," was written by Shadow Edgar Cynio. …

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