Brazil taps local vet to run film agency

Dahl named prexy of Ancine

RIO DE JANEIRO — Vet Brazilian filmmaker and producer Gustavo Dahl has been tapped prexy of a new government agency, Ancine, charged with regulating and stimulating the growth of the Brazilian film industry.

President Fernando Henrique Cardoso announced Dahl’s nomination to head the new agency at a ceremony Thursday in Brasilia attended by top government officials and industry reps.

The creation of Ancine is just one part of a controversial presidential decree issued in September that, among many points, establishes taxes and fees on foreign films and programming. Ancine will be the federal arm in charge of collecting those new levies and fees and investing the resources to boost local film production, distribution and exhibition.

Dahl, who is prexy of the Brazilian Film Congress, was a member of Gedic, a committee that drafted recommendations for the Cardoso administration that formed the basis of the decree. Dahl is also a former prexy of Embrafilme, a government distrib agency that was shut down in 1990.

While reps of U.S. majors and programming distributors have expressed concerns about the decree, pay TV programmers fear that, if implemented as is, it could prove crippling to their industry.

The Brazilian Assn. of Pay TV Programmers — mostly subsids of U.S.-backed companies — is seeking a legal injunction against the decree and trying to build a broader-based coalition that will include the Motion Picture Assn. as well as local trade groups to lobby for changes.

The September decree established that Ancine must be created within 120 days. It will be based in Rio de Janeiro, where Brazil’s film production is concentrated, and may have as many as 250 employees, including three directors to be appointed by Dahl.

(Mary Sutter in Miami contributed to this report.)

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