Far Right Libertarian Javier Milei’s Election Victory Questions the Future of Argentine Filmmaking
20.11.2023 - 11:47
John Hopewell Chief International Correspondent As U.S. and European sales agents and distributors gather in Buenos Aires next week for Ventana Sur, there will be a very large elephant in the room: the stunning victory in Argentina’s presidential election Sunday of far right Javier Milei, a self-described “anarcho-capitalist.” Milei won 55.8% of the vote promising to do away with inflation, running at over 140%, as part of “drastic changes” which include scrapping Argentina’s central bank, dollarizing the economy and slashing public spending by 15% of GDP.
On the campaign trail, he has promised to abolish Argentina’s Ministry of Culture and national film-TV agency INCAA. Currently, Argentina also holds the presidency of Ibermedia, the pan-regional fund for Latin America, Spain and Portugal, whose moneys are vital for art-house co-productions.
INCAA also co-organizes Ventana Sur itself with Cannes Film Festival and Market. A left-leaning Argentine film-TV industry, whether Peronist or not, will take time to digest Milei’s victory.
Many dismisssed its possibilty out of hand. It is imposible to think of relations being less than fractious between the industry and a new government whose Milei running mate, Victoria Villaruel, has been a longtime defender of Argentina’s 1987-83 military dictatorship and Milei himself has dismissed climate change as “a socialist hoax.” So many variables are in play, however, that it is hard to second-guess a full impact.
For distribution of movies in Argentina, it may not change matters that much. “If Milei solves inflation – which I hope very much he does for the sake of the Argentine people though I am doubtful if he can – box office attendance may surge,” said Antonio Saura, head of Latido
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