Buying an Oscar nominationwin for the sake of tourism

Buying an Oscar nomination/win for the sake of tourism

Mar 13, 2023, 7:58 AM
Rose De La Cruz

Rose De La Cruz


Just when the country is reeling from an uncontrollable inflation, shortage of food and rising fares, cost of utilities and a stagnant minimum wage, Rep. Christopher de Venecia's bright idea to attract tourists in the country is to allot P100 million ($2 million) to get a nomination, better yet a win, in the Oscars for the feature film category, just like South Korea. What, prestige over the stomach and survival?

Rep. Chistopher de Venecia wants to copy the Oscar win of South Korea for its film "Parasite" which attracted more tourists who want to visit the areas where the film was shot. We are miles apart from South Korea, economically, and why should we compete when we need our dollars more to import basic food items that we lack and other materials needed for infrastructure.

De Venecia (Pangasinan, 4th District) chairs the committee on creative industry and performing arts and vice chair of the Committee on Appropriations, so he thinks that by holding the second top seat in the appropriations committee, he could easily allot funds for Filipino films in the world market, when Filipinos here are wanting in so many basic necessities for their subsistence.

In a press statement, de Venecia said an Oscars campaign for Best International Feature Film “comes with the hefty price tag of about $2 million or roughly P100 million” which is an amount private film producers cannot afford, according to the chairman of the House special committee on creative industry and performing arts said as the Oscars winners were made known today.

“We concluded the third thorough but insightful hearings on the state of the film industry prompted by Deputy Speaker Camille Villar’s resolution in the hopes of finding a way to fund or support a potential Oscars campaign for the Best International Feature Film. At the onset, these hearings drew media flak for the simple question: “Do we really need to hold hearings just to find out why we do not have an Oscar?” The short answer: Yes,” Pangasinan (Fourth District) Rep. Christopher de Venecia said.

De Venecia said, “being recognized in the Oscars puts you on the cultural world map, just like how South Korea unsurprisingly got an influx of inbound visitors when Parasite won Best Picture at the Oscars. In fact, official South Korean tourism organizations have special tours purely for Parasite-related spots.”

“An Oscars nomination, or even a win, is free marketing for the place and for the film. As succinctly put by the Director’s Guild of the Philippines, Inc.: “Once you’re recognized globally in terms of cinema, it’s not only the talent that is recognized, but the whole country. This affects tourism and cultural sectors,” the congressman shared with his colleagues in the House.

De Venecia also pointed out that, “on the part of the actors who snag these major awards, a 2020 study shows that their salary increases by at least 20 percent following an Oscars nomination which leads to better productivity and sustainability of the workforce. This also turns global attention to the potency of Pinoy talent which could also create more opportunities for our working actors to showcase their talent on a global platform.”

The congressman lamented how “film is not as accessible as it used to be. The Cinema Exhibitors Association of the Philippines in its Position Paper gave a simple breakdown of a Php320 movie ticket (which is the current standard price). Ten percent of this would automatically go to the amusement taxes levied by the local government. The remaining value will be split between production costs, which roughly is at 55% and what remains will go to the cinema operators – who then use this share to pay for manpower, utilities, rent, advertising, and other operational expenditures – which remain generally fixed, whether or not a movie is a “box-office hit.”

“In fact, this P320 standard movie ticket is comparable to the minimum wage of some regions. It is even higher than the 316 peso minimum wage in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao,” De Venecia noted.

HB 7086 - Film and Live Events Recovery Act

But a two-year tax holiday and slashing theLocal Government Code amusement tax to 5 percent from 10 percent, de Venecia said as he proposes in HB 7086, would make watching movies in theaters affordable.

The lawmaker also noted that according to estimates of the Philippine Motion Pictures Producers Association,“gross sales of films should amount to 270 percent of the total production cost in order to breakeven or recoup investment. This is in light of the multitude of taxes that they have to pay throughout the filmmaking process (i.e. income tax, VAT), amusement tax included.”

De Venecia added that “in fact, according to PMPPA, no Philippine-made film in 2022 was able to make a profit out of their work.”

Tags: #RepdeVenecia, #creativesindustry, #Oscarnomination, #tourism, #SK, #Parasite

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