The federal government, through the Ministry of Tourism, said in a note that it will reincorporate the Brazilian Cinematheque into the Union. This Friday, the 29th, there was an impasse in a meeting between the Special Secretariat for Culture and Associação Roquette Pinto (Acerp) held in Brasilia.

Through the Special Secretariat for Culture, the government decided to terminate the management contract with Acerp. “The Cinemateca Brasileira will not be closed and now enters the natural phase of reincorporation by the Union, since there is no contractual support for the Social Organization to remain,” says the note, sent to Estadão. “All legal arrangements will be made with Roquette Pinto”, guarantees the ministry.

Earlier, a rumor circulated that the federal government would intend to terminate the contract immediately and close the Cinemateca. According to the note, however, the institution will return to the structure of the federal administration.

Terminating the contract without a transition plan would represent an enormous risk for Cinemateca, responsible for preserving the largest audiovisual collection in Latin America. Employees consulted by the report were taken by surprise with all the movement.

Since the beginning of the year, a procedural imbroglio involving the Ministry of Education, the Special Secretariat for Culture and the Educational Communication Association Roquette Pinto (Acerp) has doubted the situation of the Cinematheque. Employees have been in arrears since April, and according to sources heard by the report, agents from Enel Distribuição São Paulo (formerly Eletropaulo) visited the place in March to negotiate the power cut, as the property in Vila Clementino has the delayed electricity bill.

A good part of the films stored in the place, in film, depend on the cooling of the environment for their maintenance. The power cut could have catastrophic consequences.

The management contract, formalized in 2018, was linked to the contract that Acerp had with the Ministry of Education for the management of TV Escola. Unilaterally, the MEC did not renew its validity in December 2019, at the same time reaching the Cinematheque.

About 10 days ago, people linked to the institution released a letter asking for help for the Cinemateca, which, via Acerp, has not received any funds from the federal government since the beginning of the year. The Association had been maintaining the institution and the employees with their own money. The institution’s annual budget, backed by the government, is about $ 12 million.

On the 20th, President Jair Bolsonaro dismissed the then Special Secretary for Culture, Regina Duarte, but announced in a video beside him that the actress would run the Cinematheque. Although the federal government could influence decisions at that time, positions were defined by the social organization.

The reincorporation of the Cinemateca to the Union was one of the paths that several professionals involved in the subject saw as a possibility for the federal government to fulfill its promise to Regina Duarte, not yet officially named.

The problem with the institution, however, is older. Since 2013, Cinemateca has been experiencing one of the worst crises in its history for more than 60 years, with successive changes of directors and reduction of personnel, the culmination of which is the current situation.

See the note from the Ministry of Tourism and the Special Secretariat for Culture on the Brazilian Cinematheque:

“The Ministry of Tourism and the Special Secretariat for Culture clarify that there was no proposal to terminate the contract with Roquette Pinto, since the management contract was already closed since 12/31/2019 by decision of the Ministry of Education. Cinemateca Brasileira it will not be closed and now enters the natural phase of reincorporation by the Union, since there is no contractual support for the Social Organization to remain.

All legal arrangements will be made with Roquette Pinto.

The Cinemateca Brasileira, which holds a significant portion of the Brazilian audiovisual and documentary memory, will continue under the direction of Secretary Regina Duarte.? “

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