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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 schools.

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.

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, Inc.

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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 soundtracks).

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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