Mexican film academy gets funding

Film institute to provide coin to beleaguered org

Mexico City– A week after declaring the Mexican Academy of Film Arts and Sciences all but paralyzed due to a funding shortage, prexy Pedro Armendariz Jr. confirmed Monday that the National Film Institute (Imcine) has provided the promised coin and resolved a misunderstanding between the two.

Armendariz revealed that the 64-year-old academy was in dire financial straits at the Expresion en Corto short film festival in the city of Guanajuato in late July.

He alleged the problem was caused by the non-payment of funds from Imcine.

Imcine topper Marina Stavenhagen countered that it had already released 3 million pesos ($240,000) — the first half of its annual donation — in January.

From there the stories began to diverge.

Armendariz claimed that Stavenhagen said that, for budgetary reasons, the acad would have to request the funding from the National Council for Arts and Culture (Conaculta).

He said that Conaculta initially agreed to provide the second disbursement but later reneged, sending the acad back to Imcine. Purportedly, Imcine agreed to provide the coin upon cmpletion of a “cultural” test.

It was this last aspect that provided the misunderstanding, one that Armendariz now says has been overcome.

The acad is best known for organizing the annual Ariel film awards in late March or early April. It also disseminates, studies, preserves, develops and defends Mexican cinema, according to its mission statement.

Government coin has been slashed for culture funding in Mexico in light of the economic crisis, and so far, film funding has been one of the few areas to avoid the ax.

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