Chile is making every effort to compete with Argentina in attracting foreign production spend. In November last year a new commission, FilmChile, was set up with offices in Santiago and New York to assist film-makers. The territory can offer low costs, skilled bilingual production crews, post-production facilities and a fully developed communications infrastructure.

Chile also has a number of respected directors and producers with international contacts and experience. Silvio Caiozzi (Coronation, Cachimba) is optimistic about the future: 'The government funds are providing a total of almost $10m in financing to the film industry, and I've seen a change in the idiosyncrasies of Chileans. We are exhibiting less prejudice against co-productions with Latin American, Spanish and other European companies.'

Major shoots in Paraguay can be hard to set up
The situation in Uruguay and Paraguay, however, is not looking so promising. Although Michael Mann partly shot Miami Vice in Atlantida and Montevideo in Uruguay and Ciudad del Este in Paraguay, getting into Ciudad del Este took almost a year.

'Paraguay has no film tradition, no cinema industry and little production,' says local producer Paz Encina. 'The only major effort made in my country was Guillermo Vera's Cerro Cora, which was supported in 1978 by former dictator Alfredo Stroessner.'

Encina directed this year's Cannes' Un Certain Regard entry Hamaca Paraguaya with the financial support of companies from Argentina, France, Austria and the Netherlands.

Uruguayan industry develops co-production ties
With a population of 3.5 million people, Uruguay is struggling to set up a film industry. But companies such as Fernando Epstein's Control Z Films, which produced Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll's 25 Watts and Whisky; and Laroux Cine, which handled Juan Pittaluga's Cannes 2005 entry Orlando Vargas, have developed strong relationships with other Latin American and European production outfits such as Germany's Pandora Filmproduktion and Gemini Films in France.

'We partnered with Canada's Arts Financial Trust to shoot their first film in Uruguay. 14 Days In Paradise has been done through the recently approved co-production agreement,' explains Laroux's Elena Roux.