Audio-visual and entertainment
Colombia is an interesting place for international producers and networks because of the quality of its audiovisual output, fantastic locations, and the level of accomplishment of Colombian directors. In addition, the country-wide advances in hotel infrastructure has piqued big players’—like Netflix and Fox—interest in filming in Colombia. Additionally, a series of important legal incentives such as Law No. 1556 and Law No. 814 actively promote the sector with tangible incentives.
Why invest in the Colombian audiovisual industry?
Colombia's audiovisual industry is internationally recognized
- Due to its creative talent and productions, Colombia is recognized as a regional leader, competing in the market of the audiovisual industry.
- The Colombian audiovisual industry successfully exports television shows to other markets, with a special focus on soap operas, which has allowed Colombia to frequently produce content for the Hispanic market in the U.S. today.
- Some examples of Colombian soap operas that have been successful in international markets are: Yo soy Betty, la fea; Café con aroma de mujer; El último matrimonio feliz; Hasta que la plata nos separe; La hija del mariachi; Pura sangre; Pedro el Escamoso; and Pasión de Gavilanes.
- Colombian cinema is not formulaic, and that allows directors to create innovative and distinctive works.
- In recent years, Colombian films have gathered increasing national and international recognition. Among its high-water marks are nominations for Oscar and Goya awards, recognitions for Colombian films at the Cannes Festival, and Colombian winners of the Palme d'Or for a short film and the Silver Bear in Berlin.
- Some of the Colombian films that have been recognized by international critics for their quality are The Embrace of the Serpent (2014), Colombia Magia Salvaje (2014), Satanás (2007), The Colors of the Mountain (2001), and Dog Eat Dog (2008).
- Many Colombian films have won international awards. In 2014, Simón Mesa won the Palme d'Or in the official short film competition, with Leidi. In 2005, Catalina Sandino won the Silver Bear at the Berlin Festival for Maria Full of Grace. At Cannes in 2015, The Embrace of the Serpent won the Art Cinema award for best film at the Directors' Fortnight in Cannes and César Acevedo won the Caméra d'Or for Land and Shade. In 2002, Patricia Cardoso won best film at Sundance with Real Women Have Curves.
Colombia has a qualified and cost-efficient human capital
- Colombia has more than 4,000 professionals in the audiovisual industry, including professionals in areas of film and television production, audiovisual arts, space and stage design, music, fashion design, and communication.
- Colombia has decorated directors such as Sergio Cabrera, Ciro Guerra, and Victor Gaviria. Industry professionals are recognized for their commitment, resourcefulness, and the quality of their work on television series, soap operas, reality shows, cultural programs, among other formats.
Colombia has diverse and attractive geographic locations for audiovisual production
- Colombia has an enormous diversity of landscapes, structures, and climates that set it apart from other countries in the region and the world. Some examples of colonial locations are Cartagena, Mompox, Santa Fe de Antioquia, Barichara, and Villa de Leyva. All these locations preserve architecture from the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries, with squares, churches, villas, markets, and cobblestone streets. Even though these towns and cities seem to have frozen in time, they have the hotel and communication infrastructure required for large crew accommodations.
- The variety of landscapes, urban settings, ethnicities, and cultures in Colombia allows audiovisual productions to simulate landscapes and urban settings of other countries. An example is the filming of Mile 22, where some Colombian locations stand for a city in Singapore. Colombia has locations that simulate the four seasons (except extreme winter) all 365 days of the year.
- Colombia is being increasingly recognized internationally for its creativity and differential advantages, which allows producers to experiment and venture out in various styles and formats. The native culture, national folklore, and musical rhythms are differentiating factors that enhance the national audiovisual industry.
- Colombia is strategically located in between North and South America, which grants it easy access to North American, European, Asian, and Latin American markets. Its time zone also represents an advantage over other countries.
There are programs that provide incentives for audiovisual production
- Colombia offers a 40% reimbursement on the value of expenses incurred for film services and 20% of the value of expenses incurred for film logistics services for productions totally or partially shot in Colombia (feature films, television films, and documentaries). The refund applies to services provided by Colombian companies or individuals residing in the country. Resources will be disbursed through the Colombia Film Fund (FFC), a financing instrument created in 2012 with resources from the Nation’s General Budget.
The audiovisual industry in Colombia has strategic institutional allies and infrastructure for project development
- There are filming, post-production, special effects, stunts, and equipment rental companies, among others, based in different parts of the country, with different pricing alternatives depending on the client's needs and the characteristics of the production (professional, semi-professional, and amateur).
- Colombia also has several institutions that are responsible for supporting and promoting the sector:
- Ministry of Culture: The Ministry is responsible for the country's film culture and executes several programs that affect research, legislation, training, production, infrastructure, circulation, distribution, exhibition, and preservation in the film industry.
- ProImágenes: The mission of this institution is to promote, strengthen, and preserve the Colombian film industry. It administers the Colombian Film Fund (FDC), which provides funds for the national film industry.
- Colombian Film Commission: The commission promotes Colombia’s image abroad as a location for audiovisual productions in film, television, and commercials. It also advises and supports producers and directors in effectively executing their projects in Colombia.
Investment opportunities in the audiovisual industry in Colombia:
- Installation of audiovisual production operations and back-office services for cinema, television, and OTT. Examples: Viacom, Sony, HBO, Discovery Networks.
- Creation of infrastructure for audiovisual production, such as recording studios. Examples: Mediapro, Fremantle, Secuoya, Pine Wood.
- Creation of companies dedicated to sound and image post-production, specifically in animation, VFX, 3D, VR, and AR, among others. Examples: Folks VFX, OTB, Startgate.