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istered by the producer through a trust fund, which ensures the money is destined to catego- ries established by the Colombian ministry of culture. Once the fund is spent, a certificate of film investment or a certificate of donation is issued by the ministry. This is a negotiable secu- rity which can be used by the investor or sold to another individual or company which pays income tax in Colombia, so long as it is used during the same fiscal year as the investment. Foreign investors are also eligible for the

incentive. The Colombian Film Commission website ( states “multiple foreign investments in Colombia are eligible for this tax benefit, whether in the form of standalone trusts inside the country to be used in this type of project, or in the form of capital con- tributions to taxpaying companies in Colombia.” The introduction of the credit has led to a sig-

nificant rise in production. In the 1990s, Colom- bia produced just one or two films per year; now it produces between 10 and 12. More than 60 features and eight shorts — most of the Colombian films produced after 2003 — have utilised the tax credit. At the same time there has been a growth of production companies in Colombia, helping create infrastructure and outlets for film-makers. These include CMO Producciones, Laberinto, Ciudad Lunar, Dynamo, Antorcha, 64-A Films, Contento

Karen Cries In A Bus

Films, Dia Fragma, Fundacion Imagen Latina and Rhayuela Cine. The new generation of Colombian film-mak-

ers are savvy about attracting overseas co-pro- ducers. Crab Trap was set up as a Colombia-France co-production between Ari-


With a new artistic director this year, Colombia’s oldest film festival (Feb 24-March 3) is aiming to become the leading international platform for the territory’s fast-rising film-makers. Hugo Chaparro Valderrama reports

The Cartagena International Film Festival — or Festival Internacional de Cine de Cartagena (FICCI) — was created in 1960 by a group of prominent intellectuals and impresarios from Cartagena. At that time, FICCI was headed by journalist Victor Nieto, who remained director of the festival until his death in 2008. From this year FICCI has a new artistic director,

Monika Wagenberg, who has worked at events including the New York Film Festival and the Miami International Film Festival. One of her immediate goals is to establish Cartagena as the critical window for Colombian cinema. “FICCI must become more than just a local showcase for Colombian cinema — it should be our window to the international market,” she says. “My hope is that the festival becomes the international platform

IBERO-AMERICAN COMPETITION A Useful Life (Urug) Dir Federico Veiroj

Puzzle (Arg) Dir Natalia Smirnoff

It’s Your Fault (Arg) Dir Anahi Berneri

October (Peru) Dir Daniel Vega, Diego Vega

Craft (Braz) Dir Gustavo Pizzi

The Cinema Hold Up (Mex) Dir Iria Gomez

Old Cats (Chile) Dir Sebastian Silva, Pedro Peirano

Post Mortem (Chile) Dir Pablo Larrain

Karen Cries In A Bus (Col) Dir Gabriel Rojas Vera

The Colours Of The Mountain (Col) Dir Carlos Cesar Arbelaez

All Your Dead Ones (Col) Dir Carlos Moreno

18 Meals (Sp) Dir Jorge Coira

n 30 Screen International in Berlin February 13, 2011 Monika Wagenberg

our flourishing industry needs right now. I’m already excited by the response we’ve had from local producers and directors to the changes we’re implementing at FICCI.” This year’s edition will see

screenings of anticipated Colombian titles including Karen Cries In A Bus by Gabriel Rojas Vera, The Colours Of The Mountain by Carlos Cesar Arbelaez and All Your Dead Ones by Carlos Moreno, which appear in the festival’s official dramatic competition. Elsewhere, the festival’s Colombia al 100%

competition will screen around a dozen films. Mexico will be a focus of Cartagena in 2011 and the festival will hold retrospectives on Nicolas Pereda and Olivier Assayas.

COLOMBIA AL 100% Garcia Dir Jose Luis Rugeles

The Stoplight Society Dir Ruben Mendoza

In Coma Dirs Henry Rivero, Juan David Restrepo

Apaporis Dir Antonio Dorado

Life Was For Real Dir Monica Borda

Karen Cries In A Bus Dir Gabriel Rojas Vera

The Colours Of The Mountain

Dir Carlos Cesar Arbelaez

All Your Dead Ones Dir Carlos Moreno

Meanders Dirs Manuel Ruiz Montealegre, Hector Ulloque Franco

Little Voices Dirs Jairo Carrillo, Oscar Andrade

Pablo’s Hippos Dirs Antonio Von Hildebrand, Lawrence Elman

‘Co-production is a guarantee, for us Colombian film-makers, of finishing

our projects’ Andres Baiz, director

zona Films in France, and Burning Blue and Contravia Films in Colombia, while Javier Fuentes-Leon’s Sundance award winner Under- tow was a Colombia-Peru-France-Germany co- production between Dynamo (Colombia), El Calvo Films (Peru), La Cinefacture (France) and Neue Cameo Film (Germany). And Fox Interna- tional Productions is co-producing Andres Baiz’s psychological thriller Bunker with Colom- bia’s Dynamo, along with Cactus Flower and Avalon from Spain. “Co-production is a guarantee, for us Colom-

bian film-makers, of finishing our projects,” says Baiz. “We have a system to support Colombian cin-

ema,” says Crab Trap’s Oscar Ruiz Navia. “Nev- ertheless, we need more money. For us, co-production is a very important thing. We must get in touch with producers from Europe and Latin America.”

Attention from abroad Overseas sales agents are also showing an inter- est in Colombian titles, such as Jaime Osorio Marquez’s thriller The Squad for which Wild Bunch is handling international rights. Films Boutique handled Little Voices while M-Appeal sold Crab Trap and is handling Karen Cries In A Bus, a world premiere in the Forum section at Berlin. Others include Juan Felipe Orozco’s Espectro (Salt) and The Colours Of The Mountain (UMedia). Colombia is also attracting producers such as

US-based Maja Zimmermann. An independent producer who works in acquisitions for sales agent Altadena Films, Zimmermann says her love affair with Colombia began in 2008 when she saw Carlos Moreno’s Dog Eat Dog at Sun- dance and met the producers Diego Ramirez from Antorcha Films and Diego Ramirez Schrempp from Dynamo Capital. Zimmermann is now on board as a producer on Alejandro Landes’ Porfirio, currently in post. Produced by Antorcha Films, the project also includes pro- ducers from Spain, Uruguay and France. “I probably had the impression Colombia is a

dangerous place, a difficult place to do busi- ness,” says Zimmermann. “Then when I met the Colombians abroad, I had a very different impression... I was thinking this would be a great place to do business .” n


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