Cristiana Palacio: We have two important projects with two platforms, and with Netflix, we have a conversation pending

Cristina Palacio in #PRODUprimetime: Rebate has brought many international projects to Colombia
24 de septiembre de 2021

Colombian producer Cristiana Palacio, who was featured on #PRODUprimetime with Ríchard Izarra as a leading woman in pan-regional production, and a pioneer in introducing narco-novelas, said that she was very proud of everything that was happening in the Colombian industry today.

Cristina, what can you tell us about this moment in Colombia in 2021? asked Ríchard: “First of all, I am very proud of what is happening in Colombia with the industry. The issue of the rebate has brought many foreign companies, many international projects to Colombia. We have the great fortune of having the people we have in Proimágenes, who have been running that institution for a long time. That continuity as a team, and the steadfastness of their beliefs, have made this industry grow in an incredible way. It is something that all Colombian producers have to be thankful for. Because sometimes what happens in many countries is that when governments change, they remove people and the lack of continuity makes the processes slower. Here we have been fortunate to have a stable team for a long time.”

Ríchard recognized the internationalization of Cristina's production and of her having offices in Colombia, Mexico, and Miami. In his introduction, he called her tireless and described her as a legend, as she was a pioneer in the genre of narco-novela, with Sin Tetas no Hay Paraíso, El Cartel de los Sapos and Las Muñecas de la Mafia.

CP: “The truth is that when we started doing this genre we didn't know how the audience was going to react. But for someone who lives in Colombia, the issue of drug trafficking must be addressed, we grew up and lived with it, and more than looking the other way, we have to face things. I have always believed that doing these series made me understand a lot of what was happening in Colombia and that many did not want to watch.”

“My company, despite being in three or four different territories, is not as big as that of other Latin American producers. We like our size; it is not gigantic. We also like to work on all kinds of projects, because the challenge is always the challenge itself. I like to change gender and country. Thus the mind is always active. Right now we are making an important documentary here in Colombia, a series with a very rare genre, constructive reality, a kind of documentary with reality, that the Germans work very well,” she added.

The projects that she will be releasing soon are: “In Mexico two: Bake Off, for HBO, which is a beautiful product, and Inseparablefor Televisa. In Colombia, La Máscara, for RCN, and in Miami a production that I really enjoyed, Hogar Stars, for Discovery… Right now we have two important projects with two platforms, and with Netflix, we have a conversation pending. So we have a presence".

RI: Have your clients changed or are they still the same? Is broadcast TV investing in projects like yours, some of which were high-budget like El Cartel de Los Sapos? How does it work now?
CP: “It depends on the project. Open channels have their priorities, they have projects where they invest a lot and projects where they don't invest as much. The budget of a project has never caught my attention, what does is the story itself. I like to do very ambitious projects, also to do other less ambitious ones. But what moves me is the story, and there are some very good ones not so expensive, and there are others that do need a lot of production. We are always open to a story and the project, rather than the size of it."

RI: Do platforms concern you or without them can you, as always, live off your projects, which are so acclaimed by the audience?
CP: “What concerns me are the stories and the projects. When there is a very important project that I can't find the right house for, that concerns me. But apart from that, nothing else. We are very busy. We have a lot of work in many parts. I have to travel more than I want to. So I'm not complaining, on the contrary, I'm super happy and we have a spectacular team.”

Ríchard showed her a video of an interview he did with her at Cannes in 2006, when she was VP of Production at Caracol. “That video makes me nostalgic. I consider myself a set person, more than an executive. In my office, they tell me that I am an assistant director, which is what I do best. I am not so commercial. I like to be either in the writers' room, on the set, or in the editing room. When you talk about showrunners, I devote myself completely to a project. This means that I cannot do 100 things at the same time, nor run everywhere. Because the truth being said I come from being an assistant director, I was a script, so my nature is that of a set person.”

RI: Do you want to comment something about the new generations of filmmakers?
CP: “I think there are wonderful, talented people. There are some incredible directors, for example. There are many of what we call the second and third generation, whose parents or grandparents have worked in the industry, and they have knowledge from a very young age, with access to everything. Spectacular young people who are at this time in Latin America and who are breaking markets. It really seems like an incredible thing to me.
RI: I understand then that you see a bright future for our Latin American entertainment industry that is gaining more and more market, yes?
CP: "Totally".

View interview here