Movie energizes indie pic exhibition

A €22 million ($28.6 million) restoration of Mexico’s state-owned Cineteca Nacional film archive looks set to give a shot-in-the arm to the exhibition of indie and arthouse movies.

Opening November, the Cineteca will offer 10 state-of-the-art screens for Mexican classics and first-run imports from indie distribs including Canana and Mantarraya, Cineteca general manager Paula Astorga told Variety at Cannes. She predicts admissions will double from 630,516 in 2011 to 1.2 million next year.

As over all Latin America, Mexico has seen vigorous multiplex growth since 1994 and indies face huge problems accessing theaters. Art pics rarely get theatrical distribution beyond Mexico City and Guadalajara. Their print runs average 12-25 copies, Astorga said. And that’s in the world’s seventh-biggest film market.

Cineteca received support from the EU Media Program’s Europa Cinemas initiative for the first time in 2011. Thanks to that, it has created six cinetecas throughout Mexico screening Mexican, Latin American and European films. In December, it will bow a Cineteca in Tijuana.

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