“All the engines on for the reactivation of the country’s economy. We have practically all the movie theaters open to the public. From Proimimages we follow up on 300 projects that received incentives and that have started shooting after being in ‘airplane mode’ for nine months,” said Claudia Triana, director of ProimImages Colombia in #PRODUprimetime with Ríchard Izarra
“We have a new stimulus for international production companies that have already reached out to the most important studios. It is a 35% discount on what they invest in the country or spend in the country on artistic and logistical services. This new incentive is called CINA, Audiovisual Investment Certificate. From August 2020 to August 2021, we have 28 projects that have come to film in Colombia, especially series, but we hope that soon also movies, and in the same way video games, video clips, advertising, because it is open to all these options”, she added.
“Hollywood films have been holding back in Colombia, but also national premieres are having difficulties in this second semester to have spaces on the screens of commercial circuits. There are about 1,200 movie screens in the country; some have disappeared, but there are still more than 1,100 open at the moment. The space for national cinema, the independent cinema, has to be strengthened in alternative circuits. There will be a rebellion and a change of views because movie theaters must be combined with other alternative online screens that were strengthened during the pandemic at a global level”.
“I am filled with enthusiasm due to recent news about how in the Bogotá Audiovisual Market, among the ten feature film projects that we accompanied with appointments with the 90 international guests, six were directed by women. There is a very interesting group of female filmmakers who are already working on their first projects. I think that next year we are going to start seeing the firsts and seconds films by Colombian filmmakers. This was unusual. They were usually in production positions. Women are always very good producers, I think this has to do with the training they get at home: they are the producers of their children, their husband, their home…”
Another important piece of information that Claudia revealed was that all those working in audiovisual were busy and that some even have been hired from other countries: “We have been professionalizing our crews. There are people who are in high demand because they have worked with these international players by making larger films than the average million and a half dollars of our local films. I think it is an opportunity for all these professionals who have been getting stronger in these years. They're all busy now, not just as the head of the department, but also the gaffers, the assistants, the entire makeup team, everyone. This is wonderful because once they get to know them, they hire them for other productions that are not necessarily made in Colombia.”
She also spoke of the willingness of several cities to compete and to professionalize technicians and talent: “The awareness of regional and local governments has also been awakened to make their regions competitive. They are supporting very much regional shorts, regional feature films, and professionals to bring projects to their regions. The film commission has just been created in Cali; the film commission of Bogotá is very active, also the one of Medellín. The different economic development bureaus and secretariats of the regions seek to attract filming, and of course, one of the hooks is to have professionals in the region who lower the cost of transportation, which are generally brought from Bogotá, the capital."
UPS AND DOWNS
Ríchard commented that from everything she reported, the country seemed to have returned to normality, including regarding the recent social protests. “Our normality has many ups and downs. There has been a youth demonstration, a very strong social demonstration, but fortunately, it is being mitigated with large national dialogues motivated by the government. Schools are beginning to open their classrooms; government officials already have the obligation to return to their offices. Little by little we are learning to walk again. A high percentage of the population has already been vaccinated, including those under 25 years of age in different parts of Colombia. We are going at a significant pace.”
In his presentation to the program, Ríchard introduced her like this: “Today I have the honor of being with a professional who has been called, and with good reason, the engine of the development of Colombian cinema. She has more than 35 years dedicated to this noble work. In 1998, she founded a joint venture between the government and private companies to finance and promote Colombian cinema worldwide. That entity is Proimagens. She also created the national film archive, Fundación Patrimonio Cine Colombiano
, which turned 35 years old on July 28. She is the great Claudia Triana.”
Claudia noted that they were preparing for the change of government next year. “We hope that just as we have achieved that during these last 20 years the national government has had a determined political will to bet on the creative and cultural industries, it will continue in that direction. The continuance in time, and the construction of that fabric of all the incentives, is what allows the ground to be plowed in a much faster way to reap the benefits. This is what has happened to this national cinema and audiovisuals new generation.”
View interview here