Colombia’s Dynamo Initates ‘Rectora,’ ‘Maranon’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Made With Caracol TV, movies attempt to deepen talent base in Colombia

BOGOTA – Positioning itself as a key Colombian player both for producing film and TV for international markets and providing services on international shoots, Bogota-based Dynamo, a founding member of Participant PanAmerica, is moving into production on two contained-budget Spanish-language movies.

A drive to both broaden and deepen Colombia’s local talent pool, Dynamo is teaming to produce the movies with broadcast network Caracol TV, which will air them in Colombia.

The feature debut of music-vid director Mateo Stivelberg, who caught attention with short “Koko,” “La Rectora” (pictured), a college-set drama thriller, is now shooting.

Another young Colombian commercials and music-vid director, Salomon Simhon, whose short “Smile” won best drama at the U.S. Great Star ShortFest, will direct a second feature, working time “Maranon,” that marks a attempt to create four detective characters, which could be the basis for future franchises, Agatha Christie-style, Dynamo CEO Andres Calderon said at the Bogota Audiovisual Market (BAM).

Both Stivelberg and Simhon are first-time feature film directors. Made on contained budgets, the two Spanish-language pics target Colombia, pan-regional Latin American deals and the U.S. Hispanic market, he added.

They form part of a two-tier production strategy at Dynamo, Calderon said.

“There are three different options for films in Colombia: A first, which is great, would be mainstream comedies, targeted at wide audiences, which Dago Garcia is doing a great job on making them; secondly, arthouse movies, of which Colombia makes plenty; then crossover titles such as ‘’The Hidden Face,’ ‘Undertow,’ ‘Que Viva la Musica!’ The challenge of these movies is that the budget is too expensive to recoup in Colombia, but you don’t have the cast to be really attractive for international sales agents, though ‘The Hidden Face’ did very well internationally. But in general you need English-speaking cast,” Calderon said.

“So right now we’re betting on contained budget movies, since it is hard to recoup from Colombia, and also on English-speaking movies at $3 million-$10 million, like ‘Out of the Dark,’ with Julia Stiles.”

Aim is for the films’ behind-the-camera talent to be pretty much new to feature filmmaking.

“I was so happy when I went to the set of ‘La rectora’ because I didn’t know anybody from the crew. They are all young people, have great attitude. It reminded me of when we shot [Dynamo’s first production] ‘Satanas’ eight years ago,” said Calderon.

Pics address head-on a crucial challenge for Colombia’s services industry: the creation of an international-standard local talent base which means producers do not have to crew up outside Colombia when shooting there.

“Colombia has a lot of talent. But it’s going to need more. So we want to create a new-talent incubator. Right now we’re welcoming a couple of foreign shows between film and TV but more production companies will come next year, meaning maybe 20 shoots in all.” Calderon explained.

He added: “Colombia’s industry is growing and now that we’re welcoming big productions in Colombia, we know we’re lacking a wide-enough base of extremely talented people: Technicians, art departments, make-up specialists, across-the-board crews. The only way to solve that is to nurse new talent.”

The need for foreign producers to fly in large crews for lack of high-grade local talent could wipe out the savings gained by Colombia’s relative low costs and 20%-40% rebates on local spend now being offered to international shoots.

More Film

  • Oscar Nominations Reactions Phyllis Nagy

    Screenwriter Phyllis Nagy Runs for Writers Guild Presidency, Citing Agency Stalemate

    Oscar-nominated screenwriter Phyllis Nagy is challenging Writers Guild of America West’s incumbent president David Goodman, citing his handling of the bitter stalemate between the WGA and Hollywood agents. Nagy announced her candidacy online Monday night, a day before the deadline for filing. She made the announcement  in a private online group as part of Writers for [...]

  • Klaudia-Reynicke

    Locarno: Summerside Picks Up ‘Love Me Tender’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Rome-based Summerside Intl. has acquired international sales rights to Klaudia Reynicke’s “Love Me Tender.” The second feature from Peru-born and Switzerland-based filmmaker will receive its world premiere at the Locarno Festival in its Filmmakers of the Present competition, which focuses on first and second features. Summerside Intl. is the world sales agent, excluding and Lichtenstein [...]

  • Elsie Fisher and Bo Burnham2019 Writers

    Writers Guild Announces 2020 Awards Show Date

    The 72nd Annual Writers Guild Awards will take place in coinciding ceremonies in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton and the Edison Ballroom in New York on Feb. 1, the Writers Guild of America announced. The WGA will begin voting in November and will reveal this year’s TV nominees Dec. 5 and film Jan. 6. [...]

  • Tarantino Movies Ranked Illustration

    All of Quentin Tarantino's Movies Ranked

    In the history of cinema, has any director done more to elevate the idea of movies as cool than Quentin Tarantino? Certainly, the idea that films could be made by fans dates back at least to the French New Wave, when a group of die-hard critics stepped behind the camera. A few years later, Spielberg, [...]

  • A Stranger on the Beach

    Anonymous Content Wins Film Rights to Michele Campbell's 'A Stranger on the Beach' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Anonymous Content has won the adaptive rights to the forthcoming Michele Campbell novel “A Stranger on the Beach.” In a competitive situation, Anonymous outbid multiple players for the thriller, which it will adapt for the big screen with in-house producers Alex Goldstone and Rosalie Swedlin. “Stranger” has been likened to sensual thrillers like “Fatal Attraction” [...]

  • Ridley Scott Matt Damon Ben Affleck

    Ridley Scott, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Nicole Holofcener Team on 'The Last Duel'

    Ridley Scott looks to have his next directing job, as he has signed on to direct “The Last Duel” with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck attached to star. Damon and Affleck co-wrote the script with Oscar-nominated Nicole Holofcener. Scott, Damon and Affleck all producing along with Scott’s producing partner Kevin Walsh. Drew Vinton is also [...]

  • Jonathan Taylor Thomas Ed Asner Elliott

    Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Ed Asner, Elliott Gould Seek SAG-AFTRA Board Seats

    Ed Asner, Elliott Gould and Jonathan Taylor Thomas are seeking SAG-AFTRA national board seats as members of presidential candidate Matthew Modine’s progressive Membership First slate. Asner is the former president of the Screen Actors Guild, serving two terms from 1981 to 1985, and winning five Emmys for his role as Lou Grant and two others [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content