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FEATUREFOCUS n RISING STAR: COLOMBIA


Colombia’s youthful looks O


ne of Latin America’s fastest-rising cinema hotspots, Colombia is attract- ing investors, co-producers and fes-


tival programmers from around the world. Like similar new waves in the Philippines,


Romania, Argentina and Thailand, the cur- rent crop of Colombian directors grew up in the turbulent 1970s and 1980s and are now coming of age with new technology at their disposal and an awareness of the world stage. As Diana Sanchez, internation- al programmer of the Toronto International Film Festival wrote in the event’s 2010 pro- gramme: “The best film-makers of the next decade will be from Colombia.” The territory’s crop of hot directors includes


such diverse talents as Oscar Ruiz Navia, whose debut feature Crab Trap had its world premiere at Toronto in 2009 and was selected as Colom- bia’s submission for the foreign-language Oscar this year; Carlos Moreno, whose All Your Dead Ones was selected for Sundance and Rotterdam this year; Jairo Carrillo and Oscar Andrade, whose animated documentary Little Voices had its world premiere in Venice Days; Andres Baiz, whose highly anticipated murder mystery Bun- ker is being co-produced by Fox International Productions; Carlos Cesar Arbelaez, whose football drama The Colours Of The Mountain world premiered at San Sebastian in 2010; Spiros Stathoulopoulos, the Greek-Colombian director whose PVC-1 screened in Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes in 2007; Carlos Gaviria, whose Portraits In A Sea Of Lies played in Ber- lin’s Generation14Plus sidebar last year; and Ruben Mendoza, whose The Stoplight Society screens at the forthcoming Cartagena Interna- tional Film Festival (see box, p30).


Production growth Against the backdrop of a steadily rising local economy, Colombian film-makers have been boosted by a transferable tax credit which is attracting private equity investment to the pro- duction sector. Introduced by the government in 2003, the Colombian Film Law offers an income-tax deduction to investors in — or donators to — Colombian films or co-produc- tions. For every $100 invested or donated, the taxes for which the contributing company is responsible are reduced by $41.25. Investors may participate in profits if agreed by the inves- tor and producer. The maximum incentive given by the govern-


ment per project is $600,000, and there must be 20% Colombian financial participation as well as Colombian artistic and technical involvement. The investment or donation must be admin-


n 28 Screen International in Berlin February 13, 2011


‘For us, co-production is very important. We must get in touch with producers from Europe and


Latin America’ Oscar Ruiz Navia, director


Crab Trap was Colombia’s Oscar submission this year


With a diverse range of films breaking out on the international stage, Colombia is one of the most exciting emerging markets in Latin America. Hugo Chaparro Valderrama explores how the territory’s new wave of directors are combining local support with international savvy


Andres Baiz’s Bunker is co-produced by Fox International Productions COLOMBIA AT A GLANCE, 2010


Population approx 46 million Admissions 33,640,000 Per capita cinema visits 0.74 Total cinema sites 137


Total cinema screens 570 (78% of screens are in five cities: Bogota, Medellin, Cali, Barranquilla and Bucaramanga)


Total cinema seats 200,000 Ticket price for 2D film $4.83 Ticket price for 3D film $7.04


Number of television sets 15 million (estimated)


Total number of films released in Colombia 200 Sources: CADBOX, SIREC, DANE, Colombian Film Commission


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