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New Mexican Film Law: What You Need to Know

After a long time of discussion and analysis, there is a new mexican film law. After the senator of Morena Ricardo Monreal presented on February 16 an initiative for a new Federal Law on Cinematography and Audiovisual, the Mexican Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences (AMACC) explained how it seeks to promote and defend to the Mexican film industry from the law.

“For decades, the film community has fought for a regulatory framework that adapts the law to the new circumstances and needs of the production and promotion of Mexican cinema,” the AMACC explained in a statement that also talks about the need to balance “the conditions market so that more Mexicans have access to independent and quality national content. Senator Monreal’s project includes the historical demands of the film guild to guarantee the diversity and plurality of the national cinematographic offer, for the benefit of the audiences. The proposal establishes the promotion of national cinematography as a State responsibility, guaranteeing the cultural rights of Mexicans and promoting the development of an independent and sovereign cultural film industry.

What does the new Mexican film law propose? Here are the most important updates proposed in this initiative:

The new Mexican film law proposes specific rules for the exhibition of national films. At a press conference, the producer Mónica Lozano, president of the AMACC, explained that it seeks to extend the minimum percentage required of commercial cinemas of Mexican films on their billboards. With this, it would seek to go from a current 10% (which is almost never fulfilled) to a minimum 15% of the billboard for Mexican cinema. The new law also raises sanctions in case of non-compliance with the quota and a regulation of the hoarding of the billboard.

new film law

The initiative also seeks to prevent a single film from once again monopolizing the entire billboard and screens available in the country. The law raises a 45% maximum limit for the exhibition of the same film in all theaters in the country. “Although it cannot be guaranteed that consumers will go to theaters to see Mexican cinema, it is not possible to say otherwise,” reads the initiative presented by Monreal. “In fact, given the discriminatory and disadvantageous way in which Mexican cinema is shown, by granting it better conditions, it is possible that it will resume the boom it once had in the country.”

The new Mexican film law seeks to regulate the number of films dubbed, in order to ensure that audiences also have the opportunity to see them in their original language. Taking into account the dubbing sector in our country, it is proposed that distributors have up to 50% of copies dubbed into Spanish and 50% subtitled copies.

Article 8 of the current law establishes that films must be shown to the public “in their original version and, where appropriate, subtitled in Spanish. Those classified for children and educational documentaries may be shown dubbed »in our language. However, the distributors issued an injunction to the law published in 1992 to continue doubling the majority of their family-style feature films. According to the initiative presented by Monreal, the article was challenged in said protection because it limited its access to the public. «The main argument centered on the fact that exhibitors were deprived of the right to exhibit foreign films, ‘dubbed’ into the Spanish language, thereby restricting their freedom of trade in front of a large sector of the population that, because they did not know reading, stopped going to movie theaters. Today, the argument is overtaken by the reality of our nation. According to data from INEGI, regarding the Intercensal Survey 2015, 93.6% of the population over 15 years of age can read and write. 87.5% of the population between 6 and 14 years old can read and write. In the same sense, the statistics indicate that, year after year, the level of illiteracy is lower ”, affirms the mentioned initiative. Therefore, a dubbing cap of up to 50% of the copies is proposed, taking into account dubbing actors and the population with some type of disability.

The proposal «guarantees the Audiences access to culture, taking into account the cultural diversity and plurality of the Nation; also specifying a chapter referring to the law and training of hearings, “as stated by the AMACC in a statement.

The new Mexican cinema law also proposes to have a minimum quota of Mexican cinema on streaming platforms. The requested percentage amounts to 15% and it is expected to specify that the amount be covered by tapes made in the last 25 years and that it does not include pure archival films.

new mexican film lawI’m not here anymore

The proposal for the new Mexican film law brings together the participation of all sectors of the national film industry. Its elaboration and discussion includes the Mexican Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences, AC (AMACC); the Mexican Association of Independent Producers, AC (AMPI); the Mexican Association of Cinematographic Sound, AC (AMSC); Cinematographic Directors; Mexican Animation Guild; Film Writers; Collective Movement for Culture and Art in Mexico (MOCCAM); Independent Distributor Network; Documentalists Network; Mexican Network Of Film Festivals, AC; National Network of State Cinematographies; Alternative Exhibition Rooms and the Union of Mexican Audiovisual Producers (UP).

Ricardo Monreal’s proposal has been presented in the Second Ordinary Period of Sessions of the Third year of exercise of the LXIV Legislature of the Congress of the Union. It will depend on the legislative work if the bill is discussed in this period or if it will be postponed until the next.

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Arturo Magaña Arce Passionate about watching, writing, reading, researching and talking about cinema in all its forms. I’m a Star Wars fan, I know all the Friends chapters by heart and if you ask me about Mexican cinema, there is no one to shut me up. Editor at Cine PREMIERE.