Coordinated by Alberto Baumstein, the debate focused on the financing of cultural productions via the Sarney Law, the private initiative’s participation in culture and the commoditization of cultural production.

The debate on financing cultural productions assumes an air of novelty in a country with a tradition of government paternalism in the cultural field. Discussions covered the new Sarney Law and all of the problems faced by cultural producers who have always sought support from government organizations. The private initiative’s involvement in the cultural sector creates distortions – like the establishment of institutes, enterprises and institutions that transfer State funds to producers in myriad fields: cinema, theatre, the fine arts etc.

Mediation |

Critical text Alberto Baumstein

In a country addicted to state paternalism in the cultural field, the debate on the financing of cultural production assumes an air of novelty. Especially when for the first time ever, a law is enacted to benefit those who risk their capital “on culture”: the much-publicized Sarney Law.

This debate is precisely about this law and all of the problems experienced by cultural producers who have always sought support from government organizations, believing that the State is the great financier. Obviously, distortions have emerged – institutes, enterprises, councils and hundreds of institutions whose sole purpose of existence was to transfer State funds to cultural producers in myriad fields: cinema, theater, the fine arts etc., thus bringing bureaucracy into the cultural sector.

The Sarney Law revives the idea of the private initiative’s participation in the cultural sector, which has always existed, but was never very significant, and the idea of a direct connection between artist and financier. Now, cultural producers will need to structure themselves up in order to persuade a potential sponsor that their cultural project is feasible, that it will bring certain institutional advantages to whoever sponsors it, or even that it is better than another project presented to the same sponsor. This structuring, I believe, should include a true marketing strategy that will benefit the cultural producer, causing him to be more objective in certain ideas about his own work. Of course this entails the danger of a certain “commoditization” of cultural production, but I believe it will be less harmful than the bevy of distortions caused by state paternalism.

In this context, video production has a chance of developing very rapidly, given its independence from bureaucratic structures, and its habit of dealing directly with its fiannciers. However, many doubts remain for video makers when it comes to the culture producer vs. financier relationship under the new legislation.