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Government rejects projects registered in the Rouanet Law



São Paulo – In two weeks, the Special Secretariat for Culture rejected two projects that were seeking approval in the Culture Incentive Law, the former Rouanet Law. For the first time in 10 years, the Vladimir Herzog Institute’s annual plan for 2021 was rejected by the government of Jair Bolsonaro, without any opinion on the legal basis of the act. And, this Tuesday (16th), a play about the civil-military dictatorship, prepared by the BR116 company, was also filed by the portfolio, without justification.

According to information from columnist Mônica Bergamo, Folha de S. Paulo, the group, which has been operating for 10 years, had also never had a problem with project approval under the Rouanet Law. But, without any justification, the final decision of the secretariat was against the staging of the work The Holy Inquiry (1997), by writer Dias Gomes.

Questioned by the vehicle, the portfolio declined to comment. Through social media, the secretary of Culture, Mario Frias, countered the information, saying that “this is the first time in ten years that the legislation is correctly applied”. But this is not the analysis of those who fight for the country’s culture.

Censorship mechanism

For the former special advisor to the Municipal Secretary of Culture of São Paulo, who has already served as executive secretary of the Ministry of Culture and is one of the founders of the Coletivo Brasil de Comunicação Social (Intervozes), João Brant, the two cases have “all the signs of persecution with an ideological nature ”.

According to Brant, the rejection is directly linked to “a vision that proposes a historical revisionism in relation to Brazilian history”, driven by supporters and members of the government. “In which it is questioned whether there was a military dictatorship or the effort of those who fought against it. On the contrary, this movement boasts and values ​​those who were torturers ”, analyzes, in an interview with Glauco Faria, from Current Brazil Newspaper.

What is the Rouanet Law

It is not by chance that the special secretary’s justification refers to the main myths against the legislation, as highlighted by the activist. Created in 1991, during the government of Fernando Collor, the Rouanet Law emerged so that the State could assume its mission of promoting Brazilian culture, which, at the time, was experiencing a particularly gray phase of its existence, with a national production of films that tended to zero. The objective was for the government to qualify projects that, in turn, should seek funding from the private sector, which benefited from the tax exemption.

During its 30 years, the model, in the opinion of specialists, suffered criticism for being considered limited for the promotion of culture in a broader way. But the law was also praised for fulfilling the task of encouraging national artistic production. In 2020 alone, almost 12,000 projects were approved by law and financed with tax-exempt money.

However, Rouanet also ended up at the center of the political dispute. And it became an argument against any artist who criticized President Jair Bolsonaro, with the insistent declaration that the opposition to the government comes from those who “lost the breast”. As if the artists were directly benefited by the money from the cultural incentive law.

Bolsonarist myths

“If we look at the list of the most benefited, we will see the presence of large groups and producers, and business foundations linked to the private sector, which use the law to do relevant activities”, says Brant. According to the former Culture advisor, questions about the financing of these companies must be raised, but the claim that the Rouanet Law’s money is “easy” is also just another myth.

“There is nothing easy. What is received from the government is an authorization for funding. But in order to make the resource feasible, it is necessary to take the project that was approved, knock on the door of countless financiers, mainly those who have real profits and who can benefit from the tax exemption process. It is hard work to attract the resource so that it reaches you ”, he explains, Current Brazil Radio.

Another fallacy, according to Brant, is that after raising funds, any type of application can be made with it. When, in fact, the money must be invested solely in the artistic and cultural purposes determined by the law. “There are social obligations, a series of counterparts that need to be fulfilled. In practice, it is supervised from the beginning to the end of the project, including accountability, which has a very strict inspection. ”

The activist adds that the embezzlement and fraud scandals involving the Rouanet Law were discovered precisely by the inspection of the former Ministry of Culture. And that all cases were referred to the Federal Public Ministry and the Federal Police. “This is a fourth myth, that there is no monitoring and control of the resource”, he guarantees.

Under the Bolsonaro government, Brant believes that the law is at risk of “falling short” of what it needs to, in fact, improve, and end up becoming a mechanism for censoring cultural works.

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Copywriting: Clara Assunção

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Festival brings together films, music and debate to debate human rights




São Paulo – The Human Rights Culture Festival, DH Fest, will bring together films, debates and musical performances, starting this Sunday (7), for free and virtually. The program, which runs until the 14th, aims to expand the cultural look at themes related to human rights. And it also sounds like a manifestation of the union of society to face the attack on rights, constantly promoted by the Bolsonaro government.

In the musical area, among the confirmed are the singer Chico César and the rapper Tássia Reis. In the debate cycle, Minas Gerais writer Conceição Evaristo, filmmaker Tata Amaral, activist Ailton Krenak and photographer Sebastião Salgado will also be present.

Festival organizers say that the proposal came about when the presence of guidelines related to human rights was noticed in national films awarded in 2020. “The films that had the most visibility, media force, repercussions had themes related to human rights. Then we will put these films together and create the festival of festivals ”, explained Francisco Cesar Filho, curator of the event, to the journalist Marilu Cabañas, from Current Brazil Radio.

The journalist and writer Bianca Santana, who is also present in the event’s grid, says that the covid-19 pandemic made the theme even more necessary. “It is a beautiful program. People are all connected looking for joint actions. Without new alliances, we will not be able to get out of this hole. This partnership between the Vladimir Herzog Institute and Sesc is important for conducting conversations that are inspiring ”, he said.

Festival schedule

The opening of the Festival of Culture in Human Rights, on Sunday, will be with a show by Chico César, at 19h. On Monday (8), the International Women’s Day, there will be a special agenda focused on the theme, with the screening of the film Kunhangue Arandu – The Wisdom of Women“.

On the same day, the debate “Women and resistance: narratives to break silences” will also take place, at 5 pm, with Conceição Evaristo and pedagogue Maria Clara Araújo, and mediation by journalist Semayat Oliveira. The day will end with the singer Tássia Reis.

During the week, the festival will also show 11 feature films, including the winner of the Best Documentary at the Cannes Film Festival, The Mountain Range of Dreams, by Patrício Guzmán. The Chilean filmmaker will also participate in the debate “My north is the south: Latin American portraits in cinema”, on Thursday (11), at 5 pm.

The program also features 26 short films and, in music, the repertoire will also include the collective Baile em Chernobyl, formed by artists who use funk to empower peripheral youth. Indian rapper Kunumi MC closes the event on the 14th.

On the 13th, at 5 pm, the debate “We are the land: the rights of nature and the future of humanity” will be held, which will receive the activist and writer Ailton Krenak and the award-winning photographer Sebastião Salgado, who will reflect on the challenges and the urgency to think of the rights of nature as human rights.

The event is held in partnership with Sesc, the Ação de Rua project – SP, the Ethos Institute and the Vladimir Herzog Institute, together with the Free Journalists, Mundo Pensante and Projetemos. The complete program can be seen on the official website of the event.

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