A couple of days ago, the portal Regeneration carried out a journalistic investigation where he allegedly stated that Outpatient, the documentary festival created in 2005 by Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal, received more than 160 million pesos in donations during the six-year terms of Felipe Calderón and Enrique Peña Nieto. After that information revealed, the festival organizers issued a release press to clarify the information on the access and management of public funds for the promotion of documentary cinema.
«[…] For more than twenty years, this organization has received millionaire donations from different federal and state trusts “, reads the investigation of Regeneration.
The journalist Ricardo Sevilla had access to the reports of Authorized Grantees issued annually by the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP) where it was found that «from 2009 to 2018, this organization received more than 160 million pesos in donations«, Reads the special investigation. «From 2009 to 2012, during the Calderón administration, Ambulante AC received a total of 35 million 336 thousand 534 pesos. From 2013 to 2018, during the government of Enrique Peña Nieto, the association of García Bernal and Diego Luna managed to raise that figure four times more, reaching a figure of 133 million 737 thousand 742 pesos«.
Likewise, it was announced that before the disappearance of the trusts in 2020 -during the second year of the López Obrador government-, “the donations to the organization of García Bernal and Diego Luna decreased notably.” The data obtained indicate that «Ambulante received just over 10 million in donations. National income was 4 million 474 thousand 541 pesos, while foreign contributions totaled just over 5 and a half million pesos«.
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Ambulante’s response to the accusations
Reaffirming as “A non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and disseminating documentary film as a tool for cultural and social transformation”, Ambulante issued a letter to clarify that all its economic resources «They are obtained with full compliance with the requirements established in the calls issued by governmental or private institutions«. Consequently, Ambulante highlighted a complete and transparent handling of funds.
Ambulante also specified that the public resources with which it operates are guaranteed by annual and independent audits through the specialized firm Deloitte; as well as by the Ministry of Culture of the Federal Government, the Ministry of Finance and the IMCINE, who closely monitor the destination of public funds granted to the festival.
On the other hand, they were emphatic in admitting that Ambulante’s funds are exclusive for the operations of the festival; therefore, the Mexican actors Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal have not received any single weight.
«All the funds that Ambulante collects are for the exclusive use of its operations and its corporate purpose. Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna have not received a single peso, or salaries, or compensation, as it has been disseminated in some media in an erroneous way and without evidence, ”Ambulante highlighted.
Finally, Ambulante reaffirmed its commitment to continue traveling to places that have little offer for documentary film exhibition and training in order to create a participatory and informed public sphere, and open new channels of expression and reflection.