Economy minister and Union por la Patria (UxP) presidential candidate Sergio Massa pledged “more and better state funding” for Argentine cinema on Thursday at the Mar del Plata International Film Festival inauguration.
“At a time when the construction of meaning is losing depth, Argentine cinema is an instrument to defend our identity as a country and show the world our beauty, talent, and geographic diversity.”
Funding for local film production provided by the National Institute of Film and Audiovisual Arts (INCAA, for its Spanish acronym) was recently targeted by far-right presidential candidate Javier Milei (La Libertad Avanza, LLA) as unnecessary government spending. The institute is one of many government areas related to cultural funding Milei has pledged to shut down.
Festival director Pablo Conde and president Fernando Juan Lima also stressed the need for government support in the film industry.
“Cinema without government funding is something that doesn’t exist anywhere in the world,” said Lima.
Massa also called the film industry “one of the pillars” for building Argentina’s cultural identity. He suggested streaming platforms should contribute funding to local productions, echoing a demand made by film collective Cine Argentino Unido. The group, formed by film industry professionals, staged a group photo with Massa at the Provincial Hotel. They later released an open letter endorsing the candidate.
“We remain united in defense of public funds for the promotion of INCAA and we trust this expansion can be achieved with the contribution of platforms,” the release stated.
“That is why we as a collective decided to endorse Sergio Massa in the next elections.”
The group also criticized Javier Milei and La Libertad Avanza, saying that the far-right party’s proposals “put democratic coexistence and the principles of our National Constitution at risk.”
Signed by some of Argentina’s top producers, directors and actors — such as Cecilia Roth, Lita Stantic, and Dolores Fonzi — the collective also expressed their concern regarding “the potential takeover of a set of ideas that vindicate state terrorism and threaten [Argentina’s] most basic consensus.”