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Colombia unveils cash rebate details

International producers can qualify for 40% rebate of film service expenditures.

Colombia is now offering international producers a cash rebate to attract major productions to shoot in the country.

The cash rebate is worth 40% on all film service expenditures, and a 20% cash rebate of expenses for hotels, food and transportation.

For more than a decade, the Colombia Film Fund has supported local productions and co-productions. Now the country is seeking inward investment with law 1556, passed in July 2012, with its guidelines and regulations just revealed in 2013. Details can be found online at locationcolombia.com.

The initiative is supported by the Ministry of Culture, Proimagenes Colombia and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism.

A Colombian film service company must be used and productions must spend at least $500,000 in the country. The government has earmarked about $14m for the fund’s first year.

An expert committee, the Colombia Film Promotion Committee (CFPC), will approve projects and there is no cap set for the amount that can go into a single production.

“The money is put in a fiduciary trust and a production company in Colombia has to spend it,” noted Silvia Echeverri [pictured], Colombia’s Film Commissioner who works under the umbrella of ProimagenesColombia.

“There’s been a lot of interest, people are telling us that Colombia can be the next production hub,” she told Screen this week at the Cartagena International Film Festival.

The main targets for the incentive will be US independent producers and studios – especially as Colombia is only three hours’ flying time from Miami. The Film Commission held a seminar in Los Angeles for producers in November (Jason Resnick serves as the country’s consultant in the US) and will host a similar event for New York producers this summer. Colombia will also be touting the new incentive in Cannes.

The country boasts a healthy TV industry and a growing local film business. Colombia doesn’t yet have film soundstages, but Echeverri hopes that private investment would kickstart such facilities. Bogota, the main hub of the country’s A/V acitivties, already has a film lab and various post-production facilities.

The country offers diverse locations from mountains and beaches to modern and colonial cities.

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