Mexico Out of Focus
Dec 16,2010 - 11:57 AM
For all the international acclaim lavished on Mexican filmmakers these days, Mexico does not do enough to support its own filmmakers.
That was the accusation levelled here earlier this week by Mexican director Filipe Cazals, speaking on a panel entitled ‘Y Tu Mexico Tambien’ – Mexico In Focus on Monday.
A presentation by Cristina Prado of the Mexican Film Institute said that Mexican films have grossed a record USD31.7m in 2010 so far.
But Cazals was not impressed. ‘I would in no way like to go against Cristina in what she has said and the facts and figures she presented but I would like to say this is not enough and it’s not their fault [Mexican film makers]. It’s the fault of continuous attitude through the centuries, we don’t see cinema as a part of our culture. These facts and figures are not enough. Not in terms of production.’
He complained that Mexican TV channels do not pay royalties to filmmakers. Furthermore, local entertainment giant Televisa is looking to expand outside its borders rather than within. He criticised a recently struck deal between Televisa and leading US independent Lionsgate to create Pantelion Films aimed to producing films targeted at Hispanic filmgoers in the US. The new joint venture was at the expense of local talent in Mexico, he argued.
The panellists communicated in Spanish, however Cazals’ passion was clear through the decidedly spotty translation.
Cazals and Crisitina were on the panel with Tontanzin Esparza of Maya Entertainment, and film producer Ximena Hiriart.