Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Film Policy under MERCOSUR: The Case of Uruguay

By: Tamara L. Falicov (2002)

Abstract: This paper explores the cultural dimensions of regional integration that could result from the regional trade pact of the Latin American Southern Cone called MERCOSUR. The aim of this study is to understand whether cultural industries such as film can be aided by state policies that work to erase borders between neighbouring countries and to facilitate interchange and trade through regional integration. Despite grassroots mobilization by filmmakers,this cultural dimension of MERCOSUR has not been realized in any material fashion. This research explores the various reasons for the failure of this policy.The Uruguayan film industry serves as a case study of some of the obstacles to cultural integration.


This study explores the ways in which cultural industries such as film are affected by state policies in the Latin American Southern Cone. The essential purpose of these policies,implemented under the regional trade pact MERCOSUR, is to erase borders between neighbouring countries and to facilitate interchange and trade through regional integration.By promoting a network of cross-border film co-operation, this effort could potentially contest (or, in an ideal world, circumvent) Hollywood's dominance in the areas of film production, exhibition, and distribution. Despite grassroots mobilization by filmmakers of the member countries (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay), however, this cultural dimension of MERCOSUR has not been realized in terms of any definitive, active institutionalized co-production initiatives. This paper examines the various reasons for the failure of this policy. Uruguay and its audiovisual industry demonstrate why the implementation of regional audiovisual policies has not worked under the regional trade agreement MERCOSUR. My research suggests that film production in Uruguay has been aided more on both local and pan-Ibero-American levels than on a regional level.

This is a very interesting 12-page article that can be found at the following link: 

From “Third Cinema” to “Latin American film”

Written by Samantha Holland , May 16

Globalisation, national identity and the demise of political filmmaking

This article stems from concerns I have about the label “Latin American film,” or “Latin American cinema,” because the films to which it refers are so diverse, but the label homogenises them – and, by extension, the cultures from which they emerge. My concern is not primarily about the use of the term by people interested in film and culture – such as community members on this site! – but by the global film industry and by cultural theorists (where the former have vested interests in the label, and the latter should know better). In presenting some of these concerns, I describe changes that have lead to the widespread use and acceptance of this label, as well as aspects of the history of films and filmmaking in Latin American countries that makes such a label problematic for me and more generally.

Some recent developments in “Latin American cinema”

It’s no exaggeration to claim that what we currently call “globalisation” has since the 1990s changed the production and distribution of films from several Latin American countries almost beyond recognition and, as a result, changed the very perception of what is now generally termed “Latin American cinema” or “Latin American film.” And terminology is crucial here – both to the issues I discuss, and to the concerns I raise. Especially significant is that while many of the countries I’m discussing were until recently called “developing countries,” they’re now termed “emerging markets” – something that’s happened as free-trade ideas and practices spread across the subcontinent and its governments lessen their involvement in filmmaking. The term “emerging markets” immediately shifts the identities at issue from national to commercial ones – something perhaps especially significant in the context of Latin American countries, for which the expression of national identities has been so important and so central to filmmaking, and for which commercial success was until comparatively recently neither a crucial aim nor a particular indicator of success.

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Latin pic marts sizzle:
Markets flourish, boosted by buying spree


GUADALAJARA, Mexico -- One decade ago, most Latin American national film industries were struggling for survival.

Now, after production levels have boomed in most territories -- Argentina alone made 154 features last year -- they're battling for the keys to further growth.

A dynamic clutch of dedicated national, mini-regional and pan-Latin American film markets are aimed at boosting exports and co-productions for young, but fast-maturing local production sectors.

Mexico's Guadalajara mart, under 2006-10 director Jorge Sanchez, built up its Film Market and Ibero-American Co-production Meeting, and imported Cannes' Producers Network and a Guadalajara Construye rough-cut section.

This week's Buenos Aires' Bafici Festival boasts a prestigious works-in-progress section, a BAL co-production forum and Puentes, a Europe-Latin America meet.

Buenos Aires' Ventana Sur, a custom-built mart for Latin American pics combining the strength of its organizers, Cannes' Film Market and Argentina's Incaa film institute, has taken Latin American film markets to the next level.

At least 300 buyers and 1,960 non-Latin American participants attended the second edition of Ventana Sur in December.

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Latin American Film Industry May Receive Boost in the Global Recession

FEBRUARY 13, 2009by Danielle Renwick

In the last few months conventional wisdom has said that all bets are off when it comes to investments. While most sectors of the economy are starving for cash and credit, Latin American film makers are hoping to attract foreign investors looking to lower costs by investing in non-U.S. projects.

Andres Calderón, executive producer at Dynamo capital, was in New York last week to test that hypothesis. Calderón, who worked as an investment banker for eight years before joining the Colombian production firm Dynamo, is hoping that the credit crunch affecting Hollywood will provide new opportunities for Latin American movie makers.
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