At last week’s L.A. Screenings INCAA, Argentina’s National Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual Arts, announced a new $2.6 million annual initiative intended to foster growth in international TV and digital platform co-productions.
According to an INCAA release, the initiative is aimed at luring producers, broadcasters and platforms to work along with Argentine co-producers on projects either totally or partially produced within the country’s borders.
Selected projects will be eligible to receive funding up to 50% of their production spend in Argentina, with a cap of $248,000. To qualify, a project must spend a minimum of $260,000 in Argentina.
The ceiling is quite low for international production rebates, the 50% rebate rate very high. Additionally, any qualifying project must dedicate a minimum of 30% of its total Argentina budget to salaries or social charges which go to technical and artistic crew members who live in the country. As far as conditions go, that’s not asking much when one considers the technical ability and infrastructure present in the Argentine audio visual industry.
The country’s domestic prowess in producing TV and VOD content with international reach is among the best in all of Latin America, highlighted by series such as HBO’s “The Hypnotist” and “The Bronze Garden,” TBS’s “Psiconautas,” and Disney’s “Soy Luna” and “Violeta.”
Another goal of the initiative is to grow the industry outside of the country’s capital city. Any project that is produced, at least partially, outside of the Buenos Aires metropolitan area will receive special and preferential consideration during the awarding process.
Each applicant will be required to submit their total proposed budget, how much of it will be spent in Argentina, and in which regions it will be invested.
The jury for the selection process will use a formula consisting of: Budget amount to be executed in Argentina, federal investment amount, and the differential multiplier to the federal investment. Or, as INCAA put it more simply in their statement: “The greater the investment, the greater the possibility of accessing the development fund.”
Should the result of the formula end in a tie, the jury will then make a qualitative choice based on the scope and characteristics of the projects.
The open call for submissions will run from Sept 5 to Oct 31.
John Hopewell contributed to this article