The Venezuelan state's active role in the film industry during the Chávez years resulted in controversy both within and beyond Venezuela. With an aggressive national film law, and new state film institutions, the turn to film caused an unprecedented boom in Venezuelan filmmaking and a flood of press coverage. Chávez's public announcements celebrated the government's active investment in filmmaking likening the venture in film with a break from the past. I explore how the Venezuelan government under Chávez both ruptured with the previous relationship between the film industry and the government while also continued with past state film initiatives despite revolutionary discourse. While much of the research and press on Venezuelan film under Chávez often focuses on the institution that Chávez praised most, the politically aligned and controversial Villa del Cine (2006), I show that the well-known Villa does not entirely represent the role of the state in supporting Venezuelan film during the Chávez years. The Villa is part of the much larger understudied National Film Platform. With a close look at three of the state film institutions from the Platform, I examine the complex workings of the state/film relationship under Chávez hovering between continuing and breaking with the past.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/michelle_farrell/12/