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Brazilian cinema: its fall, rise, and renewal (1990–2003)

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After President Fernando Collor de Mello dismantled the state public enterprise - EMBRAFILME - in 1990, Brazilian cinema virtually ceased to exist. Five years later Brazilian cinema made its phoenix-like rebirth, rising on the heels of new tax incentive laws, and it has since matured and solidified into a ‘new’ national cinema with a freedom of expression and level of artistry of which it had previously only dreamed. This article offers a concrete glimpse of both how legislation for audio-visual investment played a crucial role in the revival of national film production in the 1990s and what subsequent steps were taken by the state to strengthen and protect the sector. This article shows that public policy toward the Brazilian film industry has been important but limited, and that chronic structural problems remained in the 1995–2003 period. It contends that Brazilian cinema is still overshadowed by the dominance of foreign films on national screens, not least because Brazil does not have effective control of its film industry.
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Keywords: Audio-Visual Law; Brazilian film industry; CONDECINE; EMBRAFILME; Globo Network; state policy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Kansas.

Publication date: 2005-09-01

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  • The journal aims to provide a platform for the study of new forms of cinematic practice and fresh approaches to cinemas hitherto neglected in western scholarship. It particularly welcomes scholarship that does not take existing paradigms and theoretical conceptualisations as given; rather, it anticipates submissions that are refreshing in approach and exhibit a willingness to tackle cinematic practices that are still in the process of development into something new.
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