Mexican Institute of Cinematography: 40 years promoting national cinema

Forty years ago, Mexican cinema lived through a dark period that began with the gradual destruction of the cultural infrastructure and continued with the fire that suffered the National Cinematheque in 1982, where a large part of the film heritage was lost. A year later, he was born Mexican Institute of Cinematography which since then has set itself the objective of promoting national cinema.

“Imcine arrived at a time when national production was vulgar and leper, to start making auteur films and an incentive for independent production that saw in the institute a means of distribution and development to finish managing and making their films”, recalled the film critic Jose Antonio Valdes Pena.

For the also teacher, this institution has been the head of the national industry, because it is where the six-year film policy arises and is in charge of disseminating productions both within the country and abroad. In addition, during all these years it has been directed by 11 different personalities related to Mexican cinema who in one way or another have created strategies in favor of it.

The three guidelines in which the Imcine They are the first works that are always difficult to start, it also supports documentary cinema, which is entrenched in reality and which constitutes an important part of its production, and finally auteur cinema.

However, its main weakness is that by depending on the national government for a budget, it is at the mercy of operating with the money assigned to it, and this often affects one hundred percent compliance with its tasks.

“But no matter how limited your budget is, Imcine He is always at the forefront, he is the head of the sector… There have always been people who have known how to lead the institute on the right path”, added Valdés Peña.

The current problem of the national industry, according to the critic, is that although more than a hundred films are made each year, in the last two years it has exceeded 200, the films that reach theaters are very few, and most of them last a short time, so the most important thing is to create laws on exhibition.

(Credit: Facebook / Imcine)


María Novaro, current director of Imcine, pointed out that although the main obstacle of this six-year term was the pandemic that affected in 2020, in the following two years the industry recovered.

“The good news is that in 2021, 2022 and now this 23rd everything goes up, we are growing. The supports are working very well, more movies and related projects are added. I have just returned from Xalapa, Veracruz, where there are two small cinemas created with Focine. So it is what we celebrate that Mexican cinema is made and seen,” said Novaro.

The Promotion of Mexican Cinema (Focine) is a budget subsidy program that was born in 2021 and replaced the two trusts that operated until 2020, Fidecine and Foprocine.

  • Its first director was Alberto Isaac, a figure much loved by the cinematographic medium.
  • In 1989, the institute joined the National Council for Culture and the Arts (Conaculta).
  • In the 90s, he promoted the New Mexican Cinema and helped the debut of 21 directors.
  • In 1997 the Film Promotion Fund (Foprocine) was created to increase production.
  • 11 directors has had in 40 years.
  • 2018 entered María Novaro, the current leader.


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