The Argentine film industry is in the middle of a PR nightmare. The Minister of Culture Pablo Avelluto lobbed accusations of corruption and allegations of conflicts of interest against the president of the Instituto Nacional de Cine y Artes Audiovisuales (INCAA), Alejandro Cacetta, and asked for his resignation. The move was immediately met by a show of support for Cacetta by members of the local film industry who showed up to protest at Cine Gaumont cinema in Buenos Aires on Thursday.
The removal of Cacetta has sparked fears of cuts to INCAA that may cripple the world-renowned cinema coming out of the Latin American country. The Asociación de Productores y Realizadores Independientes (APRI), which represents independent producers and filmmakers, made clear in a statement following last week’s events that it remains committed to a fully transparent INCAA administration, even if they hadn’t personally accused Cacetta of any wrongdoing. Their hope is for a flourishing local cinema, an idea that many in Argentina feel is now in jeopardy. In a video that has since gone viral, several well-known actors decried what they saw as a move by the government to further dismantle the Ley de Cine that currently helps fund local fare. In fact, the Directores Argentinos Cinematográficos (DAC) organization called the removal of Cacetta an aggressive intervention (“una violenta intervención”) in what has long been an autonomous governing body.
Adding his voice to the mix is Viggo Mortensen, who spent part of his childhood in Argentina. The Lord of the Rings and Jauja actor voiced his support for the local film industry and against any potential cuts to funding in a video shared on Twitter.
He had some choice words for the President of Argentina as well as the Minister of Culture: “Así que Macri, Avelutto y todos los fanfarrones neoliberales,” he says in the video “déjense de joder. No a la destrucción del cine argentino.” In case you need a helpful translation, he called President Mauricio Macri and Avelutto a pair of neoliberal windbags, asked them to stop fucking around, and unequivocally stated that he’s against any move to destroy the Argentine film industry. Remind us to never get on Aragorn‘s bad side any time soon.