Ecuadorian cinema for the 21st century : negotiating neoliberalism? Policy, industry, and memory during the Ley de Cine years

  • Maria Fernanda Miño Puga

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis (PhD)


This thesis examines Ecuadorian cinema after the 2006 National Film Promotion Law or Ley de Cine, and its relationship to the encompassing political ideology of Socialism for the 21st century. It contends that the local cinema developed during this period, the so-called “mini-boom” of Ecuadorian cinema, carries the same ambiguities, ruptures, and even reversals as its governing ideology, constituting what I label “Ecuadorian cinema for the 21st century”. In particular, this thesis identifies underlying neoliberal tendencies that are maintained, and at times encouraged by the mentioned policy and its operational arm, the National Film Council or CNCine, despite the anti-hegemonic rhetoric that informed this political period. To support this argument, this thesis initially argues for Ecuadorian cinema as a national industry, associating the local know-how with broader theories on national and transnational cinemas. With film activities dating back to the early 1900s, Ecuadorian cinema has constructed a particular definition of success that involves participation in film festivals, theatrical exhibition, and box office performance. Yet, Ecuadorian cinema also seems preoccupied by themes of social justice, environmental concerns, migration and coloniality, with cinema representing a continual space for negotiation and reorientation. As such, this thesis examines the production practices, aesthetic choices, and narrative themes of films that achieved theatrical exhibition between 2007 and 2015, resulting in four identifiable tendencies: narrative features supported by CNCine and constituting a preferred indie subfield, vernacular film expressions that operate outside state support, community cinema practices that prioritise the needs and rights of the community, and memory articulations in documentary form. For each case, the ambiguities of Ecuadorian cinema for the 21st century are made evident, further emphasised by the dismantling of cultural policies in recent years.
Date of Award13 Jun 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of St Andrews
SupervisorPhilippa Lovatt (Supervisor) & Will Fowler (Supervisor)


  • Ecuadorian cinema
  • Film policy
  • Socialism 21st century
  • Transnationalism
  • Memory

Access Status

  • Full text embargoed until
  • 19 April 2023

Cite this