The documentary feature film El diario de Agustín / Agustín's Newspaper (pictured) by renowned director Ignacio Agüero was pulled from broadcasting on Chilean cable TV channel ARTV last Thursday, April 25, after it had been advertised to air as part of a series on Agüero's work. The film, made in 208, focuses on Agustín Edwards, owner of leading Chilean newspaper El Mercurio, and his ties to the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship and its abuses.
In an unexpected decision, this Wednesday Natalia Arcos presented her resignation as director of ARTV, in light of the decision to cancel the broadcasting of the film. The Chilean Association of Documentary Filmmakers (Asociación de Documentalistas de Chile, ADOC), made public a letter this week denouncing the censorship act and supporting the filmmaker and the former director of the TV channel.
Agüero's controversial film had been subject of previous acts of censorship, for instance TVN (Televisión Nacional de Chile), the state-owned TV channel had acquired the broadcasting rights of the film over three years ago, but failed to program it during all this time -the rights expire this same month. El diario de Agustín is yet to be broadcasted in Chilean television.
The film journalism students from the University of Chile as they launch an investigation into the work of the newspaper, and its reporting of and role in their country’s political history, in particular around the election of Salvador Allende in 1970, the violent coup against him in 1973, and the subsequent seventeen years of the military regime.
ADOC's letter of support is backed by numerous local and international film professionals and organizations including Constanza Arena from CinemaChile, Ricardo Greene director of FIDOCS, Documentary Film Festival of Santiago; Colette Loumède, executive producer of the National Film Board of Canada; Jonathan Miller from Icarus Films; Bruno Bettati, Raúl Camargo, and Erick González from the Valdivia Film Festival; Marcelo Panozzo, director of BAFICI, the Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival; and Maria Bonsanti, director of the Cinéma du Réel Festival.
Watch the trailer: