Culture

Colombia’s film industry becomes force to be reckoned with

posted by Aylish O'Driscoll

cine

Colombia’s film industry has hit a record high as it gets named the fourth biggest Ibero-American film producer in the world after Spain, Mexico and Brazil.

Speaking from this year’s Berlinale, Claudia Triana de Vargas — director of ProImangenes Colombia, the main funding body for Colombian-made films — said that Colombia’s film industry now rivals those of Argentina and Chile, placing it forth behind Spain, Mexico and Brazil.

Triana de Vargas said the increased production of quality films in Colombia was reflected in their increased selection for international film festivals, highlighting the presence of Colombian film “Choco” in the Panorama section of this year’s Berlinale.

The director highlighted the huge potential of cinema in Colombia — where only 45 cities have cinema screens despite the country’s 1,000 municipalities — describing the Colombian people’s passion for the big screen as “notable.”

In 2011, three million people went to see the 18 Colombian-made films that were screened in cinemas across the country, a marked increase on the five films made in Colombia in 2005.

Triana de Vargas highlighted the knock-on effect of more films being made in Colombia, as “there is a percentage of revenue from film distribution that passes directly into production. The [ProImagenes] fund provides annual grants for the development of scripts and projects, production and promotion, and to bring our films abroad.”

“Regarding private investors, there is tax incentives for them to support the fund. This interests the private sector and especially television channels such as [Colombia's two main stations] RCN and Caracol, which have produced several films in recent years,” she added.

ProImangenes was created 14 years ago, at the same time as the country’s Ministry of Culture. The private and publicly-funded body will have a stand at this year’s Berlinale, where it will hope to network with the worldwide film market.

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