Carla’s Song: Exit INCINE, Enter ANCI

By Frank Pineda and Florencia Jaugey

Frank Pineda and Florencia Jaugey, two members of Ken Loach’s crew on the shoot of Carla's Song, report on a new association of Nicaraguan film-makers.

When the decade of the Sandinistas came to an end, so did the Nicaraguan film institute, INCINE. Created with the Revolution as a propaganda tool, INCINE became a formidable bastion of experiment for Nicaraguan filmmakers. Then little by little it disappeared, for lack of interest and support by the new government. Nicaraguan cinema would today have disappeared from the cultural panorama completely, were it not for the initiatives of a few independent film-makers who still make shorts and documentaries with their own resources, at the rate of roughly one a year.

In a country where the majority of cinemas closed down or were bought by the Evangelists and turned into churches, where film-makers had to invent ways of making films without camera, lights or editing tables, and commercial and institutional video has become the only means of survival and expression, the issue is the future of cinematography in Nicaragua.

In order to continue putting their own reality on the film screen, a dozen Nicaraguan film-makers have set about organising themselves in the form of the Nicaraguan Association of Cinematography (ANCI), which will shortly embark its first project. The film will be shot thanks to the help of Ken Loach, who on completing the shoot of Carla's Song left association members on the short-ends. This allows the shoot to go ahead, although without knowing when or how post-production will proceed, since we have no editing table or even a budget for lab costs.

Nicaraguan film-makers are determined, nevertheless, to restore and to defend film-making in Nicaragua, in spite of the lack of resources and the precarious conditions we find ourselves in; and to find new means and alliances to be able again to make films in this country.