PH promoted anew as Hollywood film location
MANILA, Philippines — From Francis Ford Coppola’s Vietnam War epic “Apocalypse Now” to “Almost Paradise,” the first American TV series filmed entirely in the Philippines (specifically highlighting Cebu), the country has served time and again as a prime location for Hollywood and other American film productions.
This is a distinction for the country that the Department of Tourism must be keeping in mind, as it urges international movie and television producers to consider the Philippines as their next location.
According to the department, Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco recently met with film executives and other industry players in Los Angeles, as part of her agency’s efforts to boost film tourism in the Philippines.
The tourism chief noted in her meetings the Filipino’s facility with the English language as well as the many talented practitioners of film production in the country.
“[W]e are determined to push for the country and for the Filipino story to be told, and also to pitch for the Philippines as a viable destination to tell stories from around the world,” she said of her meetings with representatives of HBO Max, Disney Branded Productions, Relativity Media, A+E Studios, Cinema Sala, Janelle So Productions, Inspire Studios, and Electric Entertainment, among others.
To be sure, the Philippine film industry continues to cope with a lack of government incentives to foster its growth.
There have been proposals in the past, for example, to provide tax relief to the industry, which is the case with other film industries abroad, in keeping with the principle that the arts must enjoy state support.
Nevertheless, the country’s film industry has been cited abroad, since the postwar era, for its body of work and for its filmmakers and actors — from Manuel Conde’s “Genghis Khan” (1950), which earned acclaim at the 1952 Venice Film Festival, to actor John Arcilla’s best actor win last year also in that prestigious festival, for his performance in Erik Matti’s “On the Job: The Missing 8.”
The Philippines, as a location, was featured in such productions as the “Survivors Series,” which put the spotlight on the islands of Caramoan and Busuanga; “Million Dollar Island,” a Dutch reality show filmed in Palawan; and “Pekin Express,” a French version of the “Amazing Race.”
Other past notable projects include “The Bourne Legacy” (2012) which featured the lagoon of El Nido in Palawan and the streets of Metro Manila; Peter Weir’s political drama “The Year of Living Dangerously” (1982); Taylor Hackford’s “An Officer and a Gentleman” (1982); Joseph Zito’s “Missing in Action” (1984); and Oliver Stone’s “Platoon” (1986) and “Born on the 4th of July” (1989) — the last three, Vietnam War action dramas shot in the Philippines.
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