Jair Cabrera, José Antonio Padilla, Avelino Rodríguez and Matt Miller

The first Audiovisual Cluster was created for the promotion of the film industry in Mexico
08 de noviembre de 2023

The Audiovisual Cluster of the Valley of Mexico (Clúster Audiovisual del Valle de México-CAVAM, according to its initials in Spanish) was created and encompasses Mexico City, the State of Mexico and Tlaxcala. The new cluster will promote the film and audiovisual industry of these entities through the coordination among authorities, several production studios, service companies, and talent agencies that operate across the production chain. The audiovisual cluster will help design public policies and joint legislation to promote the industry, it will collaborate with local governments to establish best practices and facilitate the exchange of information. This way, Mexico takes an important step in its consolidation as a leader in the Hispanic audiovisual industry. 

The announcement is made in the context of the annual awards of the Association of Independent Commercial Producers in the US, who unprecedentedly decided to celebrate the event in Mexico City on November 2. This decision shows the importance of Mexico City as a global film and audiovisual production center.

Participation in the press conference included Inti Muñoz Santini, sub-secretary of the government of Mexico City; Guillermo Saldaña, film commissioner of Mexico City; Jair Cabrera, advisor for the attraction of foreign investment of the Secretary of Development in Mexico City; Antonio Martínez Velázquez, secretary of culture of Tlaxcala, and Laura González, secretary of economic development of the State of Mexico. Avelino Rodriguez, president of Canacine, and Carlos Monroy, director of the Motion Picture Association (MPA) for Mexico, an association that represents the main Hollywood studios (Disney, Netflix, Paramount, Sony, Warner, Universal) in the country, also attended the event.

Avelino Rodríguez highlighted that “audiovisual production performs an increasingly more important role in the nearshoring phenomenon, attracting more and more foreign investment for production and secondary industries it supports, such as: the manufacturing industry, logistics, tourism, restaurants, and services. This production corridor is a recognition of the contribution that the film industry makes to Mexico's economic growth, and will enable a series of large-scale projects in the three states".

The creation of this cluster recognizes the economic importance of production for these three states. 84% of the Direct Foreign Investment in the audiovisual sector was invested in the Valley of Mexico and reached over US$927 million last year. The main production companies are located in the metropolitan area and, on average, each year 1,100 productions are made in the country's capital. Additionally, there is a regulatory and operational framework that provides certainty to the industry, through which more than 6,900 filming permits have been granted and 10,500 locations have been requested to produce series, films, commercials, and music videos, among others. In Mexico City alone, the industry contributes to 11% of the GDP. It grants direct employment to 800,000 people, not to mention the many indirect jobs that the industry provides in the service, lodging, food, clothing, transportation, and logistics sectors, among others, according to data from the Comisión Fílmica (Filming Commission) of Mexico City.

This announcement was made two weeks after the president of the Republic, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, posted a decree for the promotion of nearshoring, in which the audiovisual industry is acknowledged as strategic and important tax incentives are granted. The decree also proposes additional incentives for the training of employees, and this will stimulate the development of robust and highly qualified work, crucial to maintaining competitiveness and quality in film production.

The cluster will help to cohere the audiovisual sector in the three states and eliminate the various legislative and financing obstacles that currently prevent the functionality of interstate productions. It will appoint a production area that will span more than 124 miles, approximately the distance between Los Angeles and Tijuana, making the heart of the country accessible and suitable for any potential project. This stretch of Mexico encompasses varied architectures and landscapes that facilitate ambitious creative visions, with the markets of Mexico City, the colonial haciendas of Tlaxcala, and the mountainous landscapes of the State of Mexico.

The Filming Commission of Mexico City, Cfilma, which grants the permits and documentation necessary for the shootings will now also be able to support the State of Mexico, which lacks its own commission. Additionally, the Mexico City legislation to promote investments will contribute to facilitating financing in the three states. This cluster will encompass the various economic production units under the same umbrella, providing resources to develop smaller companies and supporting their talent, which will be trained in the industry's best practices.

In the coming months, the first working group will be convened to establish the scope of the Audiovisual Cluster of the Valley of Mexico (CAVAM). Once these objectives are clarified, the chambers that make up the industry in the respective states will provide the industry with a clear organizational structure (including the president and board of directors), together with the official financing sources. After this, the official recognition and integration on behalf of local authorities will allow the cluster, together with the range of young talents of creative arts, to reach its full potential and support the development of the industry.