Caracol TV, one of Colombia’s two private free-to-air broadcasters, has set up a film division and tapped exec producer Diana Bustamante to head it.
The new unit looks set to be called Cine Caracol.
“We are fortunate that our local audience appreciates and demands more Colombian cinema,” said Bustamante. “Colombian films are also gaining more recognition abroad.”
In the past years, Caracol has mainly backed the theatrical releases of Dago Garcia’s telepics, which are packed with telenovela stars.
Most recently, it provided marketing support to Colombia’s 2008 foreign-language Oscar entry, Andi Baiz’s “Satanas,” which has won several awards on the Latino festival circuit, including the Colombian Film Catalina de Oro Award at the Cartagena Film & TV Festival in early March.
Meanwhile, rival RCN TV’s RCN Cine has backed a slew of local pics including the 2006 blockbuster “Sonar no cuesta nada” (A Ton of Luck) and recent box office hit “Paraiso Travel.”
RCN’s film unit plans to back an average of six to seven films a year.
In 2006, RCN-backed pics snagged a combined 12.8% share of the local box office, according to RCN Cine topper Alejandro Arango.