Cineteca head Pelayo chosen after 'Herodes' debacle

MEXICO CITY — Eduardo Amerena has ankled his post as topper of the state-funded Mexican Film Institute, Imcine.

Imcine’s bosses, the government’s Art and Culture Commission, announced the move after an embarrassing row in which helmer Luis Estrada claimed the release of his pic “La Ley de Herodes” (Herod’s Law) — which fiercely satirized the ruling Insititutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and was co-produced by the org — was being sabotaged.

Estrada accused Imcine of sabotage after the near-disruption of the pic’s November bow at the Acapulco French Film Festival, followed by its sudden appearance at two Mexico City cinemas in early December.

Helmer cries foul

Already battling with the state-funded org over the final cut, Estrada claimed poor quality, out-of-focus prints were being shown to the public without his permission.

He further charged that Imcine wanted to reset the film in another country, remove images of the PRI’s insignia and postpone general release until after the July presidential election.

Amerena had no prior film experience when he was hired in 1997 to run the institute, which provides some funding for almost every Mexican film produced.

Amerena will be replaced by Alejandro Pelayo, who will also remain in his current job as topper of the Cineteca Nacional, Mexico’s national film archive.

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