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Philippines wants to protect local film biz

Hollywood films face restrictions

The Filipino film industry faces disaster unless the number of Hollywood movies entering the country is restricted, according to the new government-back Film Development Council chief.

Speaking to Daily Variety at the Pusan Film Festival in South Korea, Briccio G. Santos said Hollywood had 90% of the market.

“We don’t want to dangle the word quota — we prefer ‘meaningful allocation’ — but we are fighting for our culture.”

Santos is examining an Indonesian model that gives 70% of cinema time over to domestic product, restricting foreign pics to 30%.

“We won’t go for that drastic a percentage, but we want a good percentage,” said Santos, himself a prolific filmmaker and artist.

Santos recognized that a quota could bring the Philippines into conflict with the World Trade Organization, but he said the trade group should help, not hinder, the Filipino economy. “There are fewer and fewer people watching local films. Regulation is important,” he said.

Santos will meet Filipino exhibitors this week to discuss the issue.

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