Colombian broadcaster Caracol TV, which celebrates its 60th anni this year, is ramping up film production and international production services in the light of new film incentives from the government.
“Caracol TV has the infrastructure to sustain film production; we operate 12 sound stages,” said managing director of production Felipe Boshell who leads Caracol Productions, which has produced a glut of telenovelas, reality series, mini-series and game shows over the years.
“We want to operate on two fronts: Produce low-budget mainstream Colombian films with local producers, and provide production services to foreign films and TV movies shooting in Colombia, and in some cases come in as co-producers,” said Boshell. “The first project of this type is a co-production between Caracol, Marvista and Snap of TV Movie, “The Abduction of Jocelyn Parker,” that takes place in Colombia and is going to be produced in March 2015,” said co-production director Alejandro Toro, who reports to Boshell.
While another division, Caracol Cine, run by Alejandro Bernal, takes minor stakes in films entirely produced by third parties, Caracol Productions co-develops and finances 100% of these low-budget films, which have average budgets of $400,000.
Indie distributor Elba McAllister of Cineplex Colombia will handle Latin America theatrical and DVD rights to two out of six local pics that Caracol Prods. has already financed: Juan Camilo Pinzon’s family comedy “Carta al Niño Dios,” which she’s now selling at Ventana Sur, and musical “Una Historia Vallenata” by Roberto Florez, both from Dago Prods. “Carta al Nino Dios” bowed in theaters November 17.
Other low-budget productions produced by Caracol, mostly in post, are Dynamo’s “La Rectora” by Mateo Stivelberg and Salomon Simhon’s police thriller “Maranon,” and Laberinto’s historical thriller “Antes del Fuego” by Laura Mora and Jaime Escallon comedy “El Pechichon.”
Colombia offers 40% cash rebates for filmmaking services and 20% for logistical expenses (lodgings, catering, transportation) to international film and TV movies spending at least $600,000 in the country.
Meanwhile, the city of Medellin announced at the AFM that it would offer additional cash rebates of up to 15%, which can be applied aside from the national cash rebates. Bogota, Cali and Cartagena are poised to offer similar incentives in 2015.