Efforts to create Argentina’s first national film and TV incentive are expected to come to fruition later this year.
With 10 films in Toronto, INCAA vice-president Fernando Juan Lima, a legal judge and longtime film critic who assumed his post last month, is in town to talk up a vibrant mood among the national film industry.
In a bid to champion home-grown talent, October 1-4 brings a brief period of discounted tickets on Argentinian films (tickets will be one-third of the regular price) in as many of 80% of the country’s 800 screens.
And anticipation is high for the slimmed-down 32nd Mar Del Plata Festival (November 17-26) that will present roughly 300 features compared to 450 in 2016.
“We want to strengthen our cultural and economic bonds with international co-production partners and Mar Del Plata and Ventana Sur [November 30-December 4] are important in this,” Lima said, noting Argentina’s co-production ties with Latin America, Spain, France and Italy provided the opportunity to learn.
Mar del plata’s new artistic director Peter Scarlet is in Toronto scouring for titles and works with an established team. “It’s an A-grade festival and president José Martínez Suárez and his chief programmers have been there for a long time, so that’s important for the business,” Lima said.
Those core programmers include Marcelo Alderete, Pablo Conde, Cecilia Barrionuevo, and Fernando Arca. “Continuity is the key,” the INCAA vice-president added.
“The festival has incredible power to show movies we would otherwise not be able to see,” Lima said, noting the three main competition strands covering Latin American cinema, Argentinian, and international – in which best feature Oscar winner Moonlight screened in 2016.
“The festival brings a mix with a lot of stars and galas and also looks for directors and films from a country that maybe the public isn’t so familiar with.” Mar del Plata brass will announce the line-up in the coming weeks.
Further optimism comes from ongoing efforts by INCAA and film commissioner Ana Aizenberg to introduce an incentive in 2017.
Lima could not comment on the ongoing government investigation into corruption allegations that forced out INCAA president Alejendro Cacetta in April.