Mex film fires up

Gov't funding arm to back 18 pix in 1998

MEXICO CITY — In the first concrete sign of an industry revival in years, Mexico’s film institute Imcine has announced it will support 15 pictures, an additional three debut features and 17 shorts in 1998.

Features will be funded out of the Fund for Quality Film Production (Foprocine), which was created in December with about $16 million in subsidy coin.

A consulting body comprised of industry vets will be formed shortly to review and recommend projects, as will a financial evaluation committee, said Imcine director Eduardo Amerena. A committee of federal ministry reps will have final right of approval.

Meantime, Amerena said, lensing should begin on three features during the first half of 1998: “Un Dulce Olor” by Gabriel Retes, “Sexo, Pudor y Lagrimas” by Antonio Serrano; and “Rito Terminal” by Oscar Urrutia.

Amerena said he plans to build more of a buzz for local pics by using Mexico City’s 12,000-seat Auditorio Nacional for national premieres.

Imcine is also partnering with cultural pubcaster Canal 22, which will sell TV rights to Imcine co-productions abroad.

Talks with U.S. distribs about domestic theatrical releases are ongoing.

Amerena also pledged the release of several Imcine-backed films that are in the can, including “En el Paraiso no Existe el Dolor” and “Un Hilito de Sangre.”

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