Argentinian film-makers have condemned the confusion that has reigned since their country's economic collapse and which has brought the local film industry to a standstill.

At a meeting held yesterday (Jan 30) during the Rotterdam Film Festival, directors including Lucretia Martel, Ulises Rosell, Hernan Musaluppi and Alvaro Urtizberea protested against the new government's failure to appoint a minister for culture.

"After more than one month since the change of government, it is of the utmost concern that no one has been appointed in the Ministry of Culture," they said in a statement they read out. "As a result of this, the Instituto Nacional de Cine (INCAA) is left without a president. This organisation has been the main support of the rising new cinema. In the past month, the absence of any authority has brought Argentine film production to an absolute stop."

The directors said that in recent years their country had been torn apart, but film-making had flourished. The fruits of that investment had recently started to become evident (see Screen International Jan 25-31).

Argentinian films appeared in competition last year at Rotterdam. This year Rotterdam features two in parallel sections while Sandra Gugliotta's A Lucky Day (Un Dia De Suerte) is set to appear in Berlin's Forum section while Daniel Burman's Every Stewardess Goes To Heaven (Todas Las Azafatas Van Al Cielo) will screen in the Panorama.

Other signatories to the statement included Lita Stantic, Lisandro Alonso, Quintin, Pablo Mazzolo, Nicolas Tuozzo and Lisandro Grane.