Mexico’s National Council for Culture and the Arts (CONACULTA) has announced the release of the 2009 edition of Diccionario de Directores del Cine Mexicano. The dictionary’s editor, researcher and journalist Perla Ciuk, described the 2009 edition as a tool that plots the course of 657 Mexican filmmakers—some contemporary, others dating back to the 19th century.
The editor noted that at the end of the 1990s, information on Mexican filmmakers was practically nonexistent and the few existing archives were largely inaccessible to the public: “In Mexico there was more information on French, German, Japanese, and Chinese directors than our own filmmakers. Individuals or family members had to be contacted directly to get any information.”
Since the last edition of the dictionary was published in 2000, 127 new directors have embarked on filmmaking careers, a number equivalent to some 20% of the total for the entire 20th century, according to Ms. Ciuk. “This increase is due in large part to two main factors: digital technology that has made feature films less expensive to produce and new funding formulas backed by government institutions.”
According to the researcher, many of the projects that allowed directors to make their first feature film in the past year came about as the result of a tax stimulus program to encourage investment in national cinema projects. “Up to 10% of taxes paid at many businesses have gone toward film production. In conjunction with other measures such as Fidecine and Foprocine, this has played a key role in encouraging up and coming filmmakers.”