BUENOS AIRES — The Argentinean government has appointed helmer-producer Liliana Mazure as prexy of the National Film Institute (Incaa), a key source of financing for the industry.
She took office April 7, replacing Jorge Alvarez, who resigned after two years for personal reasons.
It is necessary “to support Argentine cinema so that it returns to the country’s screens and is not only seen at festivals,” Mazure said at a press event.
She also said she would seek greater distribution outside Argentina, a territory of only 1,000 screens.
Incaa has come under pressure to help improve exhibition of local productions. It manages some $30 million in state film funds that help produce 70 features a year at an average budget of $1 million, with the rest of the coin coming largely from European co-producers.
Yet with costs rising and competition strong from Hollywood, directors and producers want Incaa to expand a state-run arthouse circuit, secure more TV exhibition and financing from networks, help improve exports and beef up exhibition controls so that homespun pics have longer runs at better times.
Argentina’s 92 releases last year snared 9% of total admissions, down from 11.6% on 74 releases in 2006. That was the poorest showing in years, despite star-brimming action comedy “Incorregibles,” a pair of toon pics, detective caper “La senal” (The Sign) plus fest-laurelled “El otro” (The Other) and hermaphrodite drama “XXY.”
Mazure comes to the post with experience as general producer of the country’s main film festivals, in Buenos Aires and Mar del Plata. She co-directed the music documentary “Los Van Van, empezo la fiesta” (Van Van, Let’s Party) and worked on the production of “Evil Hour,” “Nicotina” and “Cobrador, in God We Trust” via her Buenos Aires-based Acra Difusion banner. A fictional documentary about Argentina between the 1930s and ’70s that she directed and wrote, “1973, un grito de corazon,” is slated for release this year.