Colombia, destination for shooting of foreign films

Find out why world-class stars such as Juliette Binoche, Antonio Banderas and Elijah Wood have chosen Colombia as a destination for shooting their movies.

The Colombian cinema industry occupies a privileged place in the region, not only for holding events such as the Cartagena Film Festival, which has had among its special guests figures like Clive Owen, Gael García Bernal and Alejandro González Iñárritu but also because thanks to Law 1556 of 2012 increasingly more foreign directors have chosen Colombia as the setting for the recording of their movies.

The rise in recording movies in the country is such that it is estimated that in 2014 this industry left about 34 million dollars in the country.

But what motivates foreign producers to choose Colombia as the ideal location for their shootings?

Firstly, Law 1556 of 2012 provides for a number of incentives for those directors and foreign producers who choose to film your movies in the country:

The possibility of the staff involved in the shooting entering Colombia without the need of work visas.

If the foreign producers contracted the services of Colombian companies during the filming, they will receive a reimbursement equal to 40% of the value of the expenditure incurred.

Foreign producers will receive a reimbursement of 20% of the value of the expenditure in food, transport and hotels.

In addition to these benefits, there are other reasons why Colombia is an attractive destination for filming movies. According to Silvia Echeverri, director of the Colombian Film Commission (CFC, Comisión Fílmica Colombiana), in an interview with Portfolio, one of the factors that attracts foreign directors is the beauty of the Colombian landscapes.

“The cinematically unexplored locations in Colombia, from large cities to mountains or beaches have become a magnet for producers,” she says.

The Colombian talent has also played a leading role in the shooting of foreign films. “In all productions they have been very pleased with the commitment of the teams. In cases like The 33, some Colombians were taken to work in the second part of that production in Chile, and are currently shooting two movies,” Echeverri says.

Among the films have been shot in Colombia since 2013 we can mention “The 33”, starring Antonio Banderas and French actor Juliette Binoche; “The Boy”, starring Elijah Wood and David Morse; and “Blunt Force Trauma” with Mickey Rourke and Freida Pinto, known for her role in Slumdog Millionaire.

The visit of these world class stars does not only consolidate the country as a destination for shooting of major Hollywood productions, but also demonstrates why in film and culture, the answer is Colombia.

If you want to find out more about the film industry in Colombia, please see these articles:

Colombia: land of a thousand rhythms

Five enchanting Colombian heritage towns

Experience Medellin, the new hub of innovation


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