November 11, 2021 | 11:43pm

MANILA, Philippines — The number of films released in the Philippines in 2020, the year when the pandemic emerged and lockdowns shut out moviegoers from cinemas, was a sharp drop from the productive years that went before it.

Since 2015, the local film industry generated more than 200 movies a year, as data from the Film Development Council of the Philippines show.

Last year, however, only 56 locally produced films were dropped, compared to an already low figure of 190 film releases in 2019.

Chart: Local films produced in the Philippines from 2015-20120 artwork | Research: Anne Beatrice Lagman

Now the industry hopes to draw audiences back to the silver screen in brick and mortar movie theaters after nearly two years of streaming on their laptops and smart TVs.

Liza Diño, CEO and chairman of the Film Development Council of the Philippines, reminded the public of the “importance of local cinemas that gave life to the films that we enjoy and love” back in September for the relaunch of the #NoodTayoNgCine campaign.

On Thursday, the government approved the nationwide implementation of new COVID-19 alert levels as it aims to allow more businesses, such as cinemas to reopen, to take advantage of holiday consumer spending and lowering of COVID-19 cases.

The Department of Trade and Industry also issued guidelines and protocols for cinemas, which started to accommodate 50% of their capacity yesterday.

Only vaccinated individuals are allowed to enter enclosed movie theaters. Upon entering, they have to undergo a cursory temperature and symptoms check.

Physical distancing is required at all times, such as while queuing for tickets and at entry points. Movie goers are asked to stay one seat apart from all directions. — Research by Anne Beatrice V. Lagman

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