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Freeman Cebu Entertainment

New MTRCB chief outlines her plans

SHOWBIZ DRIBBLE - Salve V. Asis -

PLUS: With Maria Ressa out,, Will Korina Sanchez return to  ABS-CBN NEWS?

As the daughter of film icons, Mary Grace Poe Llamanzares has a special affinity for the Philippine movie industry. This empathy will definitely serve her well now that she’s chairman of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB).

“It’s a big honor for me to be given a chance to serve in an industry that’s close to the heart of my family,” proclaimed Ms. Llamanzares in one interview.

She said she’ll welcome suggestions for improving the way the board does its business.

“We’ll have meetings with members of the television and film industry and even with the independent patrons of the art.”

Ms. Llamanzares hopes that she would be joined in the MTRCB by members who are not only competent but who also truly care for the industry.

She has set her sights on fighting film piracy, providing incentives to producers who come up with exceptionally good movies and reducing the tax burden of film outfits.

“It’s vital that MTRCB not only reviews films or shows but also helps the industry become a viable part of the economy,” she said.

Coming as she is from an esteemed movie family, she can easily earn the respect of the entertainment community.

It’s a big job, but I’m sure Ms. Llamanzares is up to the challenge. All the best to her.

***

The Philippines missed out on the chance to have at least part of the film Eat Pray Love shot here.

I learned from Digna Santiago, executive director of the Philippine Film Export Services Office (PFESO), that the producer of the film, which stars Julia Roberts, had talked to Philippine officials about doing some scenes here (most of the film was shot in Bali, Indonesia) and former Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita even assured security for cast and crew.

Somehow the talks didn’t prosper, Tita Digna says.

She adds that according to her Indonesian counterpart, filming Eat Pray Love brought in $125,000 in revenues to Indonesia.

The movie is based on the memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert about a woman who sets out on a journey to find herself after a difficult divorce.

***

Is James Yap dating actress Isabel Oli?

The two were reportedly spotted together in a mall. What’s more, Isabel is said to watch James’ basketball games.

But Kris Aquino’s estranged hubby vigorously denies the buzz. “We’re just friends,” was his typical showbiz reply. “We bumped into each other at the mall. She was with my cousins from Canada. I went with them.”

James says he won’t keep it a secret once he gets serious with another woman.

But that won’t be happening soon. He and Kris are still working out the annulment of their five-year-old marriage.

***

Now that Maria Ressa has resigned as head of ABS-CBN’s News and Current Affairs Department, is the path clear for the return of Korina Sanchez to the network?

The talk is that Ms. Ressa had stood in the way of the anchorwoman’s comeback.

Korina’s husband, Mar Roxas, had run for vice president and lost. She had wanted to resume her job at ABS-CBN but that hasn’t happened, and Ms. Ressa is said to be the reason why.

Now that she’s out of ABS-CBN, will Ms. Ressa switch channels? Don’t be surprised if she turns up at TV5 as a consultant. According to a source, TV5 head honcho Manny Pangilinan is interested in hiring her.

***

With only three months remaining in 2010, and only 21 films have been reviewed by the Cinema Evaluation Board.

That’s a far cry from the 40 or so films screened by the board the whole of 2009.

So far, the board evaluated 17 mainstream at 4 indie films. Only 17 were entitled to tax rebates.

I hope it’s not a sign that the Philippine movie industry continues to be on the decline.

BUT KRIS AQUINO

CINEMA EVALUATION BOARD

DIGNA SANTIAGO

EAT PRAY LOVE

ELIZABETH GILBERT

EXECUTIVE SECRETARY EDUARDO ERMITA

FILM

MS. LLAMANZARES

MS. RESSA

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