Film commission back under Imcine's wing

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MEXICO CITY -- Mexico's state-run film financing body Imcine has reabsorbed the National Film Commission in a bid to better draw international production here.

The revamped locations and production services entity was set to launch operations Monday. Hugo Villa, who has worked as unit manager on such Hollywood productions as "The Legend of Zorro" and "Troy," will head up the commission.

Several years ago, in a move to gain independence from Imcine, the film commission, known as CONAFILM, became a civil association. But when several influential industry figures felt CONAFILM was doing a poor job as an independent body, a special committee was formed to reincorporate the film commission into Imcine.

The committee comprised representatives from screenwriters guild SOGEM, actors union ANDA and the powerful Film Production Workers Union.

Mexico, which draws about a dozen foreign shoots a year, lags far behind Canada in attracting U.S. productions.

"We have very few foreign productions here compared with other countries," Villa said. "But we're looking to change that by offering more fiscal incentives and by providing better coordination with state film and tourism offices."
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