Bogota Buzzes With Projects, Shoot Talks
BOGOTA – More than anything else, the 4th Bogota Audiovisual Market underscored the rapid re-positioning of Colombia’s burgeoning film industry.
Late last decade, Colombian movies were a mostly local affair with occasional festival hit breakouts. By mid-2013, at least the high-end of Colombia’s movie production sector is an emerging international film force looking to the U.S. for next phase growth.
This, moreover, is two-way traffic. As top production houses – RCN Cine, 64A Films, Rhayuela, 11:11 - drive into English-language fare, a clutch of U.S.-based directors, producers and screenwriters are reaching out to Colombia to shoot films there.
Kicking in this Jan, new Colombian Law 1556 rebates – reaching up to 40% of production and Colombian labor expenditures and 20% of spend on accommodation, catering and transport – look set to attract U.S. and Canadian shoots lensing in Colombia.
One of Colombia’s very biggest TV producers, RTI Producciones, used BAM to announce that, while continuing TV production – its telenovela/series production deals with Televisa runs through 2019 – it would be moving into making feature films.
“One way will be rendering services on movie shoots coming to Colombia,” said Pedro Davila, at RTI, which shot nearly 20 days on two “The Colbert Affairs” episodes.
It was Colombian movies, however, that made much of the news at BAM.
Late-life redemption tale “Practically Dead,” the latest film from Ruben Mendoza (“The Stoplight Society”), won BAM Screenings’ Cinecolor Colombia Prize, worth $15,000 in production services. Maria Gamboa’s “Mateo” received a special mention – a double whammy for Colombian producer Dia-Fragma, which produced both.
The biggest deal sealed at BAM was a five-horror-pic production pact closed between Jason Gurvitz’s L.A. based Green Dog Films and Diego Ramirez and Carlos Moreno’s 64A Films in Colombia (Variety, July 12, 2013).
Potential co-prod partners were also circling Rhayuela Cine’s English-language debut social issue horror movie “Devil’s Breath,” also unveiled at BAM (Variety, June 10, 2013), and one of its most talked-up projects.
Eager to seek markets abroad as ever more Colombian films – 23 in 2012 – compete for domestic auds in a mid-sized if fast-growing Latin-American domestic market, Colombia’s drive into English-language fare and productions with the U.S. have become a cavalcade.
Deals cut multiple ways, however.
Joel H. Wyman (“Dead Man Down,” “Fringe,” “The Mexican”) has written the remake of “El Paramo,” said Steven Grisales at Rhayuela, which produced the Wild Bunch-sold original. Scott LaStaiti is currently packaging the above-the-line elements. The remake is scheduled to go into production at the end of 2013, he added.
IM Global’s Octane has initiated sales on Peter Facinelli-starrer “Gallows Hill,” an English-language chiller shot near Bogota, helmed by Spaniard Victor Garcia, produced by Peter Bloch at A Bigger Boat, David Higgins at Launchpad and Andrea Chung and exec produced by RCN Cine’s E-NNOVVA Films, RCN Cine’s Julian Giraldo said during BAM.
Results encourage RCN Cine to produce more English-language genre, Giraldo added.
Based out of Miami shingle CineStation Ent. rather than in Colombia, Colombian helmer Felipe Echeverria, along with producing partner Maggie Drayton, tapped Simon Beltran at Colombia’s Proyeccion Films to co-produce its first feature psychological thriller “El empantanado” (The Muddy, pictured), selected for the 2012 IFP Narrative Film Labs. English-language, though starring Diego Cadavid as a Colombian post-kidnap victim, it screened as a work-in-progress at BAM.