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Imcine backs Mexican pics

MEXICO CITY — Providing the best sign in more than two years that the moribund Mexican film industry may now pick up, national institute Imcine has pledged to support seven features in 1997.

That number could rise to 12 to 15 if a request made by institute prexy Diego Lopez for extra funds meets with state approval.

Lopez is limited to a budget of $6.5 million per year, only 35% of which goes toward feature projects. But the top-per is cutting staff to lower admin costs and has petitioned an extra $5 million, which would entirely be channeled to filmmakers.

Imcine’s policy is to provide only the minority of any film’s budget.

The slate for this year includes the first feature in several years by lauded helmer Jaime Humberto Hermosillo, “De Noche Vienes, Esmeralda,” a comedy about accidental polygamy.

Lopez, who took over the presidency last September, said Imcine’s subsidy allotment procedure would from now on involve three inscription periods per year. To minimize favoritism, the evaluating committee would consist of dif-ferent personnel each time.

He also announced the institute’s nine-person consultative board for 1997-98, which includes directors Sabina Berman and Nicolas Echeverria and film critic and “Variety International Film Guide” contributor Tomas Perez Turrent.

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