By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers
Sure, movie ticket and popcorn sales are strong, but Hollywood studios tell Whispers they're hurting. "Our industry really is struggling like everyone," says Angela Belden Martinez, spokeswoman for the Motion Picture Association of America. And just to make sure Washington doesn't forget that, MPAA this month is planning a star-studded symposium to review the status of the industry and spotlight how Hollywood can produce local jobs when moviemaking is taken on location. "The purpose is to educate policymakers on the economic impact of our industry," she adds. But theirs won't be just some boring wonk gaggle. Showbiz will rule. Dwayne Johnson—aka the Rock—will headline the April 21 event at the Smithsonian, and director Martin Scorsese will be awarded the Jack Valenti Humanitarian Award, named for the former MPAA head.
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