Mexico’s film academy in limbo

Dispute with Imcine tangles funds

Mexico’s 64-year-old film academy will meet this week to decide whether or not to suspend activities as a months-long dispute with the National Film Institute (Imcine) keeps funding in limbo.

The announcement by Pedro Armendariz, prexy of the Mexican Academy of Film Arts and Sciences, was met with “shock” by Imcine topper Marina Stavenhagen, who said that the org had every intention to “continue supporting the academy as always.”

However, she stressed the fact that the money is considered a donation, as opposed to formal funding. The academy received 3 million pesos ($240,000), half of its annual budget, from Imcine in January.

After that, Armendariz alleges that Stavenhagen claimed the academy would have to request additional funding from the National Council for Arts and Culture (Conaculta) due to budgetary concerns.

He said that Conaculta initially agreed to provide the second $240,000 disbursement in spring but later reneged, and sent the academy back to Imcine. Purportedly, Imcine agreed to provide the coin but only upon submission of a new aspect of the application, requesting the academy propose itself as a “cultural project.”

Armendariz feels that the role of the academy has been clearly stated in the past and needs no further explanation.

Imcine characterized the submission as a simple piece of paperwork and the only obstacle between the academy and the money it needs.

The Academy is best known for organizing the Ariel film awards each spring. It also studies, preserves and develops Mexican cinema.

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