President's cuts to 2010 budget withdrawn

Mexico’s Congress approved a 2010 budget Tuesday that maintains coin for all of the country’s film fund programs.

The original budget put forward by President Felipe Calderon in September proposed a 46% cut to film commission Imcine’s annual budget and a 20% cut to the tax incentive program referred to as Efecine or Article 226.

Credited for pumping the biz here, Efecine allows companies to write off up to 10% of their taxes to invest in films. The program has a 500 million peso ($38.4 million) cap. The 20% cut would have reduced that cap to $30.6 million.

The president backed down in early October after coming under fierce pressure from the film community — pressure furthered by a recent, high-profile visit to Congress by industryites including thesp Diego Luna and Mexican Academy prexy Pedro Armendariz Jr.

The budget passed following a heated marathon session of Congress over a holiday weekend here that sent one legislator to the hospital with a heart attack.

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