Eugene Py became the first filmmaker and cameraman
in Argentina with his short film La Bandera Argentina
(The Argentine Flag). By 1908, Max Glucksmann
started opening theaters across Argentina,
Uruguay and Chile. Glucksmann had 13 brothers and brought
most of them into the business. Glucksmann became
the most dominant individual in Argentina cinema during the silent
In 1916, Federico Valle hired a young artist named Quirino
Cristiani to do a political cartoon. Cristiani created a 2 1/2 minute cartoon. It was so popular that in 1917, Crisitani created the first feature-length animated film ever made, El Apostol, which was an hour and ten minutes long and was
said to be composed of 58,000 drawings.
Argentina film industry really advanced with sound films in 1933.
Sono Film started at the same time. Soon, production was up to 30 films per year which
they exported to Latin American countries.
By 1938 there were already 29 filming galleries, but the equipment
used had not made the same advancements..
The main filmmakers of the time were Moglia Barth,
Francisco Mugica, Manuel Romero, Daniel Tinayre, Luis Saslavsky,
de Savalia, Borcosque and Luis Cesar Amadori with writers such
as Mario Soffici and Leopoldo Torres Ríos.
Argentina stayed neutral during WWII which had a backlash on
the industry. The United States had pushed Argentina to join the Allies in
the war, and when they declined, the US cut off many supplies from the United
States including film stock.
1955 was an important year in Argentine cinema. The Peron government,
which had caused Argentina to be cut off from the scientific and artistic
developments happening in the rest of the world, was replaced. This opened
up a period of great optimism in Argentina. In this optimism, the National
Film Institute was established.
The filmmakers that rose to prominence were: Leopoldo
Torre Nilsson, Simon Feldman, Martinez Suarez, and Rene Mugica.
By 1970, Argentina was about to
plunge into a civil war. In 1973, the exiled president Juan Peron was re-elected president.
Although he died the first year of office, his wife Isabelle Peron took his
place. But in 1976, a military coup seized power, replacing Isabelle Peron
and launching a brutal assault on the opposition. The country was plunged
into economic, political, and cultural crises. Inflation was at 100% and the
film industry became paralyzed and production halted.
In 1984, a new government seized control and did away with censorship. However, the 1989 Argentine economic crisis, with flourishing
inflation, turned into producer-directors depending on state subsidies or
foreign co-productions. Production plummeted and by 1991 only 15 feature films
Argentine filmmakers placed their hopes on the new Act, passed
in 1995, forcing video and television to make financial contributions to Argentine
movies. In the 2000s, the market is fairly stable with an
average production again back up to 30-35 feature films per year.