Already offering some of the most robust, and popular, cash rebates for foreign movie shoots, Colombia has just upped its game, expanding the incentives to take in series and music videos and introducing tax breaks for international shoots.

Colombia’s government has also confirmed that its cash rebates, issued by the Colombian Film Fund (FFC), will run until 2032.

The new tax break scheme, based around a Certificado de Inversion Audiovisual (CINA), is a transferable tax credit that can be purchased by international producers shooting in Colombia.

The producers can then sell the credits on to tax-paying individuals or companies in Colombia that are eligible to deduct 35% of income tax due via investment in the producers’ movies or shows.

This certificate can also be sold on the local stock exchange, noted Claudia Triana, head of the promotional entity Proimagenes that administers the incentives. The tax credit can be employed in the production and post-production of films, series, music videos, video games, advertising spots, web series and animation.

Foreign producers now have the option to tap CINA or, via the Colombian Film Fund, a 40% cash rebate on pre-production, production and post-production expenses for resident labor and vendor services and a 20% cash rebate for film logistical services (hotel, food, and transportation), established in 2013.

Opening up its incentives to include series and other audiovisual projects is a logical step for Colombia given the growing proliferation of streaming platforms that are set to drive the global film and TV economy during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond. According to Proimagenes, 39 international films have shot on location in Colombia since the introduction of the FFC incentive eight years ago, a dramatic upsurge from the 14 productions that shot in the country through the 50 years prior to 2013.

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MILE 22 Courtesy of STXfilms/Proimagenes Colombia

Colombian producers can also source the FFC cash rebate incentives, which has led to a leap in national production output from 17 local theatrical releases in 2013 to 48 in 2019. A considerable number of these titles have gone on to participate in and win in major film festivals worldwide.

Colombia’s has seen the Cannes Festival include this year in its official selection the Colombian title “El Olvido Que Seremos” (“Forgotten We’ll Be”), a Caracol TV-Dago Garcia production directed by Oscar-winning Spanish director Fernando Trueba and starring Javier Camara (“The Young Pope,” “Talk to Her”). Based on Hector Abad Faciolince’s cult novel, “El Olvido…,” traces the life of the author’s father, Hector Abad Gomez, a prominent doctor and human rights activist in ‘70s Medellin.

Projects applying for Colombia’s shoot incentives must spend a minimum of approximately $475,000 in the country. In the case of series, advertising music videos or web series, the total minimum spend can be distributed among multiple projects or episodes.

Said Flavia Santoro, president of ProColombia: “The Colombian audiovisual industry is a vehicle for attracting foreign direct investment, promoting tourism in the country and now, more than ever, has become an important export hub of productions, feature films, documentaries and talent to the American, Asian and European markets.”

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Jungle HECTOR ALVAREZ A/Proimagenes Colombia