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how! i n Co lom bi a Pro d uctio n guide

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president’s office of the republic of colombia Juan Manuel Santos Calderón President of the Republic of Colombia Juan Meza Zuleta General Secretary Cristina Plazas Michelsen Private Secretary

ministry of commerce, industry and tourism Sergio Díaz Granados Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism 2

Tatyana Orozco de la Cruz Vice Minister of Tourism Ana María Monica Vargas Vice Minister of Tourism Professional

ministry of culture Mariana Garcés Córdoba Minister of Culture

proimágenes colombia Claudia Triana de Vargas Director Yolanda Aponte Melo Administrative and Finance Director Andrés Bayona Gómez Projects Director Andrea Afanador Llach FDC Programs Director

proimágenes colombiafilm commission Silvia Echeverri Botero Film Commissioner Lina María Sánchez Castro Assistant Manager Maritza Daza Buitrago Administrative Coordinator Lucía González García Filming and Information Coordinator

María Claudia López Sorzano Vice Minister of Culture

colombia film promotion committee - cpfc

Enzo Rafael Ariza Ayala General Secretary

Mariana Garcés Córdoba Minister of Culture

Adelfa Martínez Bonilla Film Office Director

Tatyana Orozco de la Cruz Deputy of Ministry of Commerce, Indusrty and Tourism

Adriana González Haessig Film Office Advisor

Ricardo Vallejo Moreno Exports Vice President of Proexport Colombia

proexport colombia María Claudia Lacouture Pinedo President Ricardo Vallejo Moreno Exports Vice President Juan Esteban Medina Londoño Services Macro-Sector Management Eduardo Rivera Rincón Senior Trade Specialist

Mauricio Reina Echeverri Delegate of the President of the Republic of Colombia Salvatore Basile Ferrara Delegate of the President of the Republic of Colombia Paula Jaramillo del Corral Producers Representative - CNACC Adelfa Martínez Bonilla Film Office Director

Lina María Sánchez Castro Investigation and Editorial Coordination Alberto Quiroga Texts Gonzalo Castellanos Valenzuela Juan Carlos Tavera Castillo Legal and Technical Texts Sally Station Translation Lip Ltda. Concept and Design Impresol Ediciones Printing Silvia Echeverri Claudia Triana Copy Editors ISBN: 978-958-99109-6-2 Printed in Colombia 2013

Content hel lo!

how ?

Something good is happening in our country ..... 5

Visas ......................................................................... 37 Permits Authorizations ......................................... 37 Customs .................................................................. 38 Hiring Personnel .................................................... 38 Taxes ........................................................................ 39 Insurance ................................................................ 39 Entering the Country with Foreign Currency ...40

wow ! Law 1556 – Cash Rebate 40% - 20% ........................ 7 Aggregate Value Tax (IVA) Rebate ....................... 7

w hy? Colombia’s Audiovisual Sector .............................. 9 Infrastructure for Audiovisual Production ......... 9

here! Testimonials ........................................................... 12 Recent International Feature Films ..................... 13 Telemovies ............................................................... 13 TV Series ................................................................. 13 Co-Productions ..................................................... 14

w here? General Information ............................................. 16 Colombia´s General Infrastructure ..................... 19 Bogotá: The Nation’s Capital ............................... 21 Caribbean Region ................................................. 22 Central Andean Region ........................................ 24 Cauca Valley Region .............................................. 26 Eastern Region ........................................................ 27 Amazon Region ..................................................... 28 Special Locations ................................................... 30 Land of Mega-Diversity ........................................ 32 Colombia’s National Parks ................................... 34

help! Film Commission Services ................................... 42 Staff ......................................................................... 42 Contact ................................................................... 42 Photographs ........................................................... 42

w ho?




hello! Behind the scenes, “La Sirga”

Something good is happening in our country Imagine a movie depicting a tropical city, with colonial houses and soldiers in dark glasses and bushy mustaches patrolling the streets with machine guns. Helicopters swoop down almost to ground level, frightening the population, and explosions, bombs and gunfire are ongoing. The city has been semi-destroyed by war. Meanwhile, in a local bar with ceiling fans and lazy flamenco guitar music, two impassioned Americans dance to the sensual rhythm in the midst of bewitchingly contagious danger. The closing credits reveal the name of this hot, sensual and dangerous city: “Bogota, Colombia”. Naturally, the only thing real about that scene is the fact that the two North Americans, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, did indeed fall in love in real life; the rest was filmed on a street in the United States, with a hearty dose of the stereotypical romance and danger that most people still identify with Latin America. Imagine an airport in a Caribbean city. Tourists arrive and the first thing they see as they step outside is a peasant in a poncho and hat playing the marimba outside a chaotic market filled with chickens, vegetables and baskets. Our heroes escape from their pursuers in a quaint, somewhat ramshackle bus that carries them into the mountainous jungle, where they are shot at by bandits until they roll off a cliff, tumbling onto each other and into a new romance. The credits have already announced the name of this city of marimbas and ponchos surrounded by dangerous mountains. None other than ... “Cartagena, Colombia.” These stories, Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Romancing the Stone - are only two of the most memorable examples of films that supposedly took place in Colombia but were filmed elsewhere, based on the whims and prejudices of writers. Others, however, have actually been shot here in Colombia, including several blockbusters that went on to make film history. Remember Quemada with Marlon Brando, shot in Cartagena? How about The Adventurers, the late-60s blockbuster filmed in Cartagena, Manizales and Villa de Leyva? Many more movies have also been filmed here, like The Mission, Cobra Verde, L’homme de Chevet and big-budget productions based works by our own Gabo, including Chronicle of a Death Foretold and Love in the Time of Cholera. Today we celebrate a breakthrough, a new event that will turn national and international productions like these into more than fleeting anecdotes occurring every five to seven years, to become the everyday occurrences of our cinematic reality. Law 1556 of 2012 encourages the use of our national territory, with its diversity of landscapes and climates, its cities, jungles and beaches, for filmmaking, so that Colombia can take its place among international competitors. Thanks to this policy, we are part of the exclusive list of countries -- no more than twenty exist throughout the world -- with a system of incentives designed to attract film producers. In fact, we are the first South American nation to have a law the likes of which are rivaled in the region only by Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Without a doubt, something good is happening in our country! And do you know what it is? Creative Colombians and the Colombian government are determined to think big and fly high, to show everyone what we know we are capable of! We have the talent and a wonderful country and are now bent on changing our history. And so I invite you to spread the word that Colombian legislation now promotes film production and that we hope everyone will join us on our journey. I am very proud as President to have sanctioned this law, which now promises to launch us as the new destination for movie studios around the world. Sooner or later everyone is bound to realize that Bogotá does not march to the rhythm of machine guns or ceiling fans. And we’ll tell anyone interested in Colombia that the marimba isn’t heard much in Cartagena - although it is wonderfully present in the Colombian Pacific --, and that the country also swings to the sound of the vallenato accordion, the Andean tiple, Shakira’s harmonica and Juanes’ electric guitar. As a government, we will strive to bring in more investment so that more of our actors, actresses and audiovisual crews are hired, and more of the country’s locations and tourist services are put to use. We know that art, and filmmaking in particular, is the work of Quixotes; Quixotes who chase their dreams despite harsh realities. Today, I say to all the filmmakers, artists and technicians in our film industry, that their dreams are possible and not mere windmills. Today, Don Quixote is looking good in new armor, riding a healthy and well fed Rocinante, and that he has come to spread the news throughout the world:

The answer is Colombia! Juan Manuel Santos P re s i de nt

of the

R e p u b li c


C olom b i a



wow! Behind the scenes, “The Hook”

Law 1556 Cash rebate 40% - 20% Colombia offers a cash rebate or cash reimbursement for films partially or totally produced in Colombia (feature films, TV movies, documentaries and animation included). 40% for “film services” (services related to audio-visual production or post-production including artistic and technical services) and 20% for “film logistical services” (those that are provided for hotel, food, and transportation) of the amount spent. The cash rebate applies to services provided by Colombian entities or persons that are domiciled and residing in the country. It will be paid with resources of the Colombia Film Fund (FFC for its Spanish acronym), a financing instrument or account created in 2012 with funds from the General National Budget.

B as i c re q ui rements

• The project in question shall entail expenditures in film services or logistical services, of no less than 1,800 minimum wages, calculated in local currency (UD589,500 at an average rate of 1,800 minimum monthly legal wages). • The project shall be submitted by its producer and approved by the Colombia Film Promotion Committee (CPFC for its Spanish acronym). • The producer that submits the project shall be a legal person; that is to say, a company or entity with legal authority to operate. • The project shall entail total or partial filming in Colombia. As for animated work, this item refers to carrying out production work in the country. • The producer shall sign a contract stipulating the obligations, conditions, and requirements for the reimbursement to be given and the amount thereof. • Film services for non-national projects shall be contracted through one or several Colombian film service companies (previously registered at the Film Office of the Ministry of Culture). • The funds for use in services shall be administered by a trust established in Colombia, through an administration trust or standalone trust. • Lastly, in order for the reimbursement to be disbursed, there must be approval by an auditing company established in Colombia, which shall also be engaged by the producer. This certifying role shall be performed by the auditing firm and sent to the administrating entity, based on a given list of auditing companies.

E asy a p p l i c a t i on

• Request to the Colombia Film Promotion Committee - CFPC through the submission of the project to Proimágenes Colombia (Administrating entity). • Proof of the existence and legal representation of the production company. • Synthetic description of the project and of the budget, which is separated into the categories that would contain the service expenditures in the country.

• Demonstration of the financing of the project, through any of the following: 1. A completion bond. 2. A certification from a major distributor or broadcast channel that advances funds. 3. An escrow account. 4. Certificate from a bank or finance organization regarding allotment of a finance model for expenditure in Colombia. • An allocation, as insurance, in the amount of 40 minimum monthly legal wages- COP $23,580,000 as of 2013 (around USD $13,000), an amount which shall be returned to the producer at the end of the contract that is signed if its project is accepted and complies with the requirements mentioned above.

Pro ject app ro val

Submitted projects that meet the above requirements shall be evaluated by CPFC to determine whether they comply with the purposes of Law No. 1556 as to promotion of the national territory as an audiovisual setting and as a provider of services in this growing industry. Considering the fact that Colombian film Fund -FFC has limited resources (around USD $12.5 Million for 2013), at the moment of the respective meeting, a decision is reached as to which of the total submissions shall receive reimbursement and in what amount.

Aggregate value tax (iva) rebate

International audiovisual productions may obtain IVA tax reimbursement for services purchased in Colombia since the Colombian Tax Statute (Article 481, Paragraph E) declares all export services exempt from this tax; this includes services provided in the country under a written contract and used exclusively outside the country by companies or persons with no business or activities in Colombia, as per requirements listed in the regulation. To access the aforementioned benefits registration in the National Goods and Services Exporters is required. To be eligible for this exemption, a written declaration of export service contracts must be filed with the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism before monies are refunded and the corresponding record must be kept by the exporter as proof of the transaction. This statement must contain the following certified information: • The contracted service must be used entirely and exclusively outside Colombia. • The amount of the contract or amount to be reinstated. (In Colombian pesos - COP) • Declaration that the contracting company has no business or activities in Colombia. • That the service is exempt according to Article 481 of the Tax Statute. • That no withholding tax applies for any income from exports as per Article 366-1 of the Tax Statute.




Behind the scenes, “The Hook”

Colombia’s Audiovisual Sector Tele v i s i o n

Audiovisual production in Colombia is booming. The Colombian television industry successfully exports shows –especially soap operas– to over eighty countries around the world including “Betty la Fea” (“Ugly Betty”), one of the biggest hits on international channels, to a number of continents and is now a constant source of programming for the Latin US market. Several international companies, including Fox International and NBC-Telemundo, are currently producing projects in Colombia. Both have their own sound stages in Bogotá where they produce internationally-broadcast series.

Ad v e r t i s i n g

The country´s advertising industry has taken solid root over the past few decades and in past years several Colombian production houses specializing in production of spots on Colombian locations have begun to produce for international clients whose spots air in many different countries. The world´s largest advertising agencies including McCann Erickson, Leo Burnett, J. Walter Thomson and others have operated in Colombia for over thirty years. More than thirty local agencies produce for national and international clients. Approximately twenty production and preproduction advertising companies operate in Colombia - some of them specializing in production for international brands and agencies.

Fi lm

In 2012, the Colombian film industry achieved a record-breaking figures in audience attendance, premieres of Colombian films and opening of new cinemas. 23 of 213 films screened in cinemas were Colombian productions. The attendance of Colombian films has tripled since 2004: the number of admissions rose over 38 million, an increase of 12.9%, and the box office increased for 11% (compared to 2011). Colombia has also witnessed a growth in number of cinemas. In 2012, the total number of screens rose to 698, including 189 digital screens. Colombia has had great international visibility in 2012. 22 long feature films, 11 documentaries and 15 short films traveled to different festivals around the world. These films participated in more than a hundred first-line events and obtained around 30 awards. There are currently close to 30 productions in development, production or post-production stages and many of them are being co-produced with other countries. Andi Baiz’s “The Hidden Face”, for example, co-produced with Fox International Productions has been a big box-office success in Spain and Colombia.

The promotion of Colombia as a film location has already shown results. In 2012, several international films, television and advertising projects were produced in the country including the USA films “Left to Die” and “Gallows Hills”. Two state agencies promote filmmaking in Colombia: the Colombian Ministry of Culture’s Film Office, and Proimágenes Colombia.

An imatio n

There are approximately 40 animation companies in Colombia, all with international recognition, and several large foreign producers such as Nelvana and Pipeline Studios have set up training and refresher courses that generate high-quality competitive content in keeping with the highest creative and production standards. This was proven by the international release “Fat, Bald, Short Man” by Carlos Osorio at the Free Spirit Competition of the Varsovia Film Festival 2011.

Infrastructure for Audiovisual Production Cre ws

There are many independent and freelance workers in Colombia employed as department heads, technicians and production personnel, many with extensive experience in international co-productions. The country boasts many talented individuals experienced in television production and co-productions. Colombian film crews are known for their enormous commitment, hard work and resourcefulness. There are no audiovisual unions at this time, or fixed rates for services or labor. There are a number of Colombian associations working to ensure the wellbeing and development of the audiovisual industry. Department heads on several films have begun to garner international attention, such as Diego Jimenez, whose camerawork on the film “Todos tus muertos” was awarded the World Cinema Cinematography Award at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.


Colombian talent is highly prized throughout the world and has met with enormous success on the international market. Some of the best known actors include Catalina Sandino, who starred in “Twilight Saga: Eclipse”, “Che” and “Love in the Time of Cholera”; Sofía Vergara, known for her work in the television series “Modern Family” and “Men in Trees”; Paola Turbay, whose credits include “Royal Pains”, “Cane” and “Love in the Time of Cholera”; and


Manolo Cardona, who appeared in “Beverly Hills Chihuaha”. Each of them has charmed US audiences with their talent and charisma. Juana Acosta, star of “Carlos” and “Hospital Central”, and Angie Cepeda, outstanding in “Los Protegidos”, “Fuera de Lugar” and “Love in the Time of Cholera” have earned solid recognition in Spanish-speaking markets. Television series like “Ugly Betty” and “Café”, written by screenwriter Fernando Gaitan, have achieved great success in countries around the world. And Hollywood has bid for the rights to remake several recent Colombian films.

S p e c i a l Ef f e c ts

Eq u ip ment Ren tal

Most sound stages are located in the city of Bogotá. The largest of these covers 16,000 square feet (1,487 square meters). Other companies have studios ranging from 3,500 square feet (325 square meters) to 10,000 square feet (929 square meters). There are warehouses throughout the country available for productions that require large spaces.

Several equipment rental houses provide high-end technology gear in Colombia. Qualified technicians are trained continuously in operation and support of newly acquired equipment. Many technicians speak fluent English. • Digital camera: Alexa Studio, Plus 4:3, M, Plus and EV, Phantom Flex and Gold, Sony F-65, F-3, F-23, F-900, F-950, F-700, EX-3, Canon 500, 300, 5D, 7D PL/EF. • Data Recorders: Codex, Gemini RAW, Cinedeck, AJA Ki Pro & Mini. • DIT carts: On-set color correction, effects and compositing, syncing, download, trans-coding, backup and same day dailies on Ipads. Metadata feeding options into original material. Reference monitors, LTO, CalDigit, Mac Pro, PC, etc. • Film camera: Arricam Lite, 435 X-Treme & ES 3 & 4 Perf, 416 & SRIII, Moviecam Compact, Aaton. • Optics: Complete factory sets of Hawk V-Lite, Cooke 5/i, S4/i, Master, Ultra & Digi primes, Macros, Swing & Shift, Innovision, Optimo & Alura zooms, etc. • Lighting: Full line of Arri, Kinoflo, Dedolight, K-5600, SoftSun, Lightning Strikes, Litepanel, accessories, silent generators & power distribution. • Camera Grip: Milo and Modula motion control, stabilized and standard 3 axis wireless and wired remote heads, Technocranes, Fisher, Panther and Egripment dollies & jibs, Tyler helicopter mounts, camera-cars and tow dollies, ATVs, motorcycles, bicycles. • Transportation, 3-5-10-ton grip-trucks; camera trucks and vans; 4-wheel vehicles; motor homes and trailers.

Pos t- Pro d u c t i on

Ad ministrative Ser vices

Several companies in Colombia focus exclusively on physical special effects and have extensive audiovisual production experience. These companies can produce the most commonly requested special effects such as body shots, suspensions and fire and rain. They also have experience in designing unconventional effects to meet specific production needs. Arms collectors with accredited experience in television, films and advertising spots can provide audiovisual productions with technical, theoretical and practical knowledge in the handling and use of arms.


There are several stunt companies in Colombia. They have experience in the field of stunt work and have developed 100% of the action scenes filmed for the national industry in recent years while adhering to international safety protocol.

S o un d S t a g e s 10

voice casting and sound design for film, documentaries, spots, television and web content. Independent sound designers, sound editors, re-recording mixers and music composers. • Production Sound: Digital recording in 2 or 4 channels, Sennheizer booms, wireless monitoring systems and everything needed for any film or HD shoot. Multi-channel digital equipment, boom microphones, lavalier, plant, on-set monitoring and digital delivery.

Digital post-production studios have been operating in Colombia for many years. In 2012, a multinational laboratory with headquarters in Chile, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina started opened its doors in Bogotá. • Digital/VFX Composing: Software: Flame, Flint, Smoke, After Effects, Mocha, Nule. • 3D Animation: Stereoscopic post-production. • Final Cut: Units equipped with 4:4:4 technology used in HD SR format. • Screening room and 4K color correction: Assimilate Scratch and Tangent Theatrical Mastering modules for 4K color correction. Side by side screening with a Sony 4K digital projector. Specially designed software for data composing from SD to 4K. • Tape Room: Duplication and conversion of all SD/HD, HD SR formats. • Master conforming: Delivery to all formats and distribution under international protocols. • Telecine: Spirit DataCine with 2K Da Vinci color corrector in SD, HD and SR formats. 16mm and 35mm, film to tape and tape to tape transfers. • Lab facilities: 16mm and 35mm processing and printing. Kodak Image Care accredited lab. Digital record. • Scanning and recording: ARRI LASER. Laser technology recorder, worldwide standard to print to 35mm for digital intermediate processes. • Sound: Dolby 5.1 accredited sound mixing facilities. Audio postproduction, dialogue editing, ADR and Foley facilities, dubbing, sound special effects,

National and multinational companies in Colombia can be consulted for all tax, legal and exchange questions. They also provide film insurance for all audiovisual productions inside Colombia. Information regarding companies and crew is available in the Colombian Film Commission’s service directory:


here! Behind the scenes, “All your Dead Ones”

Testimonials “It’s a great time for Colombia to take advantage of all its talent; it has the technique and skill needed to make films. The soaps, screenplays and films can be adapted to dramas, comedies, action films, and horror films… all kinds of genres. It’s a good moment for the country and Latinos in general.” John Leguizamo, Colombo-American star of El paseo 2 at the time of the film’s Colombian release. 12

“I’m glad to have had the opportunity to film in Colombia. While we were researching which country to film in, the production company in Bogota was the most responsive, responding with a comprehensive budget in very little time. But most importantly because we chose to film in Colombia we were able to make a high quality movie on a very challenging budget. The best things about shooting in Bogota were the crew and the locations. Our crew was professional, hardworking and creative. Not once did I question the level of quality or their commitment. Our film took place in Ecuador, Miami and Washington D.C. and I was very surprised by the width and depth of the

selection of locations that met all our needs from US Congress to Miami design offices to a women’s prison in Quito, we were able to find each one as well as solid back-ups. And I look forward to filming there again soon”. Danielle von Zerneck, Executive Producer on Left to Die, on her experiences shooting in Colombia.

“I found this trip to be very relevant. We are always looking for new locations and Colombia proved to be an outstanding place to bring a movie. I very much look forward to bringing a film to Colombia soon and feel that I now have the knowledge to do so effectively”. Tai Duncan, of Paul Schiff Productions

“I’ve been looking for an excuse to live in Colombia ever since we produced “The Sand and the Rain”. For me, Colombia is a dream location and a relatively unexplored one. Now that security issues are no longer a major issue, it’s ripe for discovery and cinematic exploitation”. Peter Webber, “Girl With a Pearl Earring” Producer.

Over the years, many international cinema, television and advertising productions have been filmed in Colombia.

Locations: Bogotá. Cast: Rachel Leigh Cook, Barbara Hershey, Emily Foxler.

A few of them are listed here to give you an idea of the variety of productions made in this country:

A la Rech erche d e L’E l Do rad o ( Lo o k in g fo r E l Do rad o ) ( 2012 )

Recent International Feature Films Gal l o ws Hi l l (2 0 1 3)

Director: Victor García Production Company: Launchpad productions, A bigger Boat, Bowery Hills Entertainment, USA; Ennova Films, Colombia. Line Production: Faldita Films. Locations: Bogotá and surroundings. Cast: Peter Facinelli, Sophia Myles, Nathalia Ramos, Carolina Guerra.

Op e ra t i o n E ( 2 0 1 2 )

Director: Miguel Courtois Paternina. Production Company: Tormenta Films, Zircocine, Spain; Ajoz Films, France. Production services company: La Ventana Films. Locations: Villavicencio, Colombia. Cast: Luís Tosar, Martina García, Lucho Velasco, Sigifredo Vega.

T h e Ne x t T h ree D a ys (2 0 1 0 )

Director: Paul Haggis. Production Company: Lionsgate, Fidelité Films, HWY61. Production services company for the portion shot in Colombia: Shoot Colombia. Locations: Pittsburgh, USA; Cartagena and SantaMarta, Colombia. Cast: Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Neeson.

Telemovies Lef t to D i e (20 1 2 )

Director: Leon Ichaso Production Company: Sandbar Pictures, Blazer Company Productions, Sony Pictures Television, USA; Production Services in Colombia: Dynamo.

Director: Cristophe de Vallambras. Production Company: Bo Travail, France. Locations: Cartagena, Tumaco, Pasto, Ipiales, San Agustin, Neiva, Cali, Pereira, Manizales, Armenia, Medellín, Guatavita, Bogotá, Zipaquirá, San Gil, Barichara, Cocuy, Santa Marta, Tayrona, Guajira y el Tatacoa Desert.

Bu r n No tice: The fal l o f Sam A xe (2 01 1 )

Director: Jeffrey Donovan. Production Company: Production Services in Colombia: Foxtelecolombia. Locations: Bogotá and surroundings. Cast: Kiel Anne Sanchez, Ron Reaco Monta Lee, José Pedro Balmaceda.

The Ocean Hear t ( E l Co razó n d el Océan o ) ( 2011 )

Director: Pablo Barrera and Guillermo Fernandez Groizard. Production Company: Globo Media, Antena 3 Films, Spain; Production services in Colombia: Dynamo. Locations: Bogotá, Colombia; Cádiz, Spain. Cast: Hugo Silva, Clara Lago, Alvaro Cervante.

Tv Series

Co ver t Affairs -ep iso d e ( 2013 ) (U S ),

Director: Stephen Kay. Production company: NBC Universal, Services in Colombia: RTI Productions, Locations: Medellin, Cast: Piper Perabo, Christopher Gorham, Frank Hill.

Lynch ( 2012) ( Latin America)

Production Company: Foxtelecolombia, Moviecity. Cast: Natalia Oreiro, Jorge Perugorría, Alejandro Calva.

Q’ Viva the Chosen ( 2012) ( US L a t i n Market an d Latin America) Production Company: Univision. Locations: Cartagena, Medellin, Cali. Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Mark Anthony.

É chapp ées Bel les( 2011) ( Fran ce )

Production Company: Bo Travail. Locations: Pasto, Ipiales, Las Lajas, Coffe Zone, North Coast, Sierra Nevad, Guatavita, etc.

Ush u ai a Natu re Co lo mb ie ( 2011 ) ( Fran ce)

Production Company: TF1 Production. Locations: Sierra Nevada and Lost City close to Santa Marta, Colombia. Cast: Nicolas Hulot


CoProductions Co m i ng S o o n

Soon, some feature-length co-productions will premiere in Colombia. If you’d like more information about them, visit:

Al i a s Ma r i a

Director: Jose Luis Rugeles; Production Company: Rhayuela Cine, Colombia; Axxon Films, Francia; Sudestada Cine, Argentina.

Far a wa y f ro m the Worl d

Director: Gerardo Herrero; Production Company: Ennovva Films, RCN Cine, Colombia; Tornasol Films, Spain. Location: Cartagena; Cast: Jorge Enrique Abello, Luis Fernando Hoyos, Carlos Torres, Ana Bolena Meza.

S arg e a n t Ma ta c ho 14

Director: William González.; Production Company: ENIC Producciones, Hangar Films, Colombia; Alpha Acosta, Mexico; Location: Cauca Valley region, Colombia; Cast: Marlón Moreno, Francisco Cucalón, María Rojo, Alberto Estrella, Ramiro Meneses.

T h e Ho o k

Director: Sandra Higuita; Production Company: Independencia Realizaciones, RCN Cine, Ennova, Colombia; Never Land, Spain; Location: Medellín, Capurgana, Colombia; Cast: Miller Quintero, Daniel Estrada, Carlos Bardem, Nacho Vidal.

Ro a ( 2013 )

Director: Andi Baiz; Production Company: Dynamo, RCN films & Ennova, Colombia; Patagonic Film Group, Argentina; Location: Bogota; Cast: Mauricio Puentes, Catalina Sandino, Santiago Rodríguez.

Ro yal Bu i ld ing ( 2013 )

Director: Ivan Wild; Production Company: Ciudad Lunar Producciones, RCN films & Ennova, Colombia; Ciné Sud Promotion, France; Produrama Nortesur, Venezuela; Location: Barranquilla, Colombia; Cast: Jorge Perugorría, Katherine Vélez, Laura García, Adel David Vásquez

Seño ritas ( 2013 )

Director: Lina Rodríguez; Production Company: Rayon Vert, Canada, Colombia; Cast: María Serrano, Clara Monrroy, Angela Katherine Laverde, Sebastián Cuevas.

Sin Oto ño , Sin Primavera ( 201 3 )

Director: Iván Mora Manzano; Production Company: Antorcha Films, Colombia; Corporación la República Invisible, Ecuador; Caberu Productions, France.

Fat, Bald Sho r t Man ( 2012)

Director: Carlos Osuna; Production Company: Malta Cine, Colombia; Ciné Sud Promotion, France; Location: Bogota, Colombia; Cast: Alvaro Bayona, Fernando Arévalo, Ernesto Benjumea, Sandra Reyes, Marcela Mar.

Fisherman ( 2012)

Director: Sebastian Cordero; Production Company: Contento Films, Colombia; Cine Kilotoa, Ecuador; Location: Ecuador; Cast: Andres Crespo, Maria C. Sanchez.

La Playa ( 2012)

Director: Juan Andrés Arango; Production Company: Septima Films, Burning Blue, Hangar Films, RCN films & Ennova, Colombia; Bananeira Filmes, Brazil; Ciné Sud Promotion, France; Location: Bogota and Doradal, Colombia; Cast: Luis Carlos Guevara, Jamés Solis, Andrés Murillo.

So fi a an d th e Stu bb o r n ( 2012)

The Play

Director: Andres Burgos; Production company: Faldita Films, Colombia; Medianetworks, Peru; Location: Bogota Surroundings and North Coast Cast: Carmen Maura, Gustavo Angarita, Constanza Duque.

T h e s e a l o f confes s i on

Director: Alfonso Acosta; Production Company: Cabecitanegra Producciones, Colombia; Rizoma Films, Argentina; Location: Bogota and surroundings, Colombia; Cast: Alan Daicz, Fiona Horsey, Ricardo Mejía Abad, Maruya Forero, Santiago y Billy Heinz, Victoria Hernández.

Director: María Gamboa; Production Company: Dia Fragma Fábrica de Películas, Colombia; Ciné Sud Promotion, France; Location: Barrancabermeja, Santander, Colombia; Cast: Carlos Humberto Hernández, Felipe Botero, Samuel Lascano, Myriam Gutiérrez. Director: Henry Rivero; Production Company: RCN Cine, Ennovva, Drive Pictures, Colombia; Factor RH Producciones, Venezuela; Location: Caracas, Venezuela; Bogotá, Colombia; Cast: Marlon Moreno, Juan Pablo Raba, Jorge Cao, Carlos Camacho.


An i n a (201 3)

Director: Alfredo Soderguit; Production Company: Antorcha Films, Colombia; Palermo Animación, Raindofs Cine, Uruguay.

Desh o ra (201 3)

Director: Bárbara Sarasola-Day; Production Company: Antorcha Films, Colombia; Pucara Cine, Argentina; Faction Film, Norway; Cast: Luis Ziembrowsky, María Ucedo, Alejandro Buitrago.

Th e Crack ( 2012)

Th e Hid d en Face ( 2012)

Director: Andi Baiz; Production Company: Dynamo, RCN films & Ennova, Colombia; Fox Sanford Panitch International Productions, USA; Avalon, Cactus Flower; Spain; Location: Bogota, Colombia; Barcelona, Spain. Cast: Quim Gutiérrez, Clara Lago, Martina García.

Th e To wero p e ( 2012)

Director: William Vega; Production Company: Contravía Films, Burning Blue, RCN films & Ennova, Colombia; Tiburon filmes, Mexico; Cine Sud Promotion, France; Location: Nariño, Colombia; Cast: Joghis Seydin, Julio Cesar Roble, David Guacas, Floralba Achicanoy, Heraldo Romero.

Po rfirio ( 2012)

Director: Alejandro Landes; Production Company: Porfirio Films, RCN films & Ennova, Colombia; Control Z, Uruguay; Carmelita, Spain; Location: Florencia, Caquetá, Colombia; Cast: Porfirio Ramirez, Harrilson Ramirez, Jazbleidy Sanchez.


where? Behind the scenes, “Chocó”

General information

Cari bean sea

San Andrés

Co lo mb i a’s G eo grap hic Lo cati on


Barranqui l la Car tagena Venezuela


Medel lín General information

Pacific ocean

Bogotá Cal i

Official Name

Republic of Colombia


Bogotá, 7 million inhabitants $261.89

gdp (pppus$ Thousands of Millions) (2012)

gdp growth (2012)

45.2 million inhabitants (77% urban, 23% rural) 4.7%

Inflation (2012)


Exports ( US$ Millions) (2012)

$ 60.208

Population (2012)

Brazi l Equador

Imports (US$ Millions) (2012)


Foreign Direct Investment (US$ Millions) (2012)

$ 16.684

Literacy Rate



Colombian peso (COP)

Minimum wage/month (2013)

$330 USD

Perú Source: President’s Office of Colombia, Banco de la República (Central Bank) and Proexport.

F l i g ht Ti mes f rom B ogot á to O t h er Impor ta nt Ci ti es Aro u n d t h e Worl d a nd Ti me Zone

Paris 10:30 hrs.

Toronto 6 hrs. Ne w York 5:30 hrs.

Los Angeles 8 hrs.

Madrid 10 hrs.

Mi ami 3 hrs. México City 4:30 hrs.

B o go t á 17

Sao Paulo 5:45 hrs. Santi ago 5 hrs.

Buenos Aires 6:10 hrs.

Comp a r i s o n

State of Cal ifor ni a USA

Colombi a


423,971 km 2 (163,6 96 s p. m.)

1,141, 7 4 8 k m 2 (440,8 31 s p. m . )

6 7 5, 4 1 7 k m 2 ( 26 0 , 7 80 s p. m . )

C l i m ate 18

Because it´s a tropical country, the four seasons don´t exist but any climate can be found at any time, depending on the region, whether you´re looking for extremely cold mountain weather or the steamy temperatures found in river valleys and along ocean coastlines.

S ea son s

There are two basic seasons during the year: winter, or the rainy season, and summer. But many cities and regions - depending on their altitude - enjoy climates similar to those of spring and autumn in other parts of the world.

Da y l i g ht

Located in the tropics along the Equator, days in Colombia are almost the same length all year round: dawn breaks around 6:00 a.m. and the sun sets around 6:00 p.m.

Lang uage

Spanish, along with sixty-eigth other tongues spoken by around eighty indigenous groups. English is taught in most schools.

Pr i nc ipa l Cit ies

Bogotá, the capital, Medellín, Cartagena, Santa Marta, Barranquilla, Cali, Manizales, Pereira, Armenia, Bucaramanga, Tunja, Leticia.

G over n ment

Latin America´s oldest democracy with three branches: executive, legislative and judicial. The President of the Republic, as well as senators and congressmen, are elected by popular vote every four years.

Popu l at ion

Colombia is the third most populated country in Latin America after Brazil and Mexico. 77% of its 45.2 million inhabitants live in cities and 23% live in rural areas.

R ace

Colombia is multi-ethnic and a large portion of its population is mestizo. Light-skinned Colombians predominate in certain regions and Afro-Colombians in others. There are more than eighty indigenous groups spread throughout the territory. Immigrant groups are concentrated in certain regions along the Caribbean coast.

E conomy

Colombia has enjoyed considerable economic development in the past few decades and is one of the few Latin American economies to maintain a balance and continue to grow in the midst of recent world crises affecting many countries. Colombia´s industrial and agro-industrial production and services are extremely diverse and the country´s economy is Latin America´s fourth largest after Brazil, Mexico and Argentina.

Hol id a y s

Colombia celebrates a number of holidays when schools and offices close. The law requires that those who work holidays receive special remuneration.

P ubl ic Hol id a y s 2 013

1 January 7 January 25 March 28 March 29 March

1 May 13 May 3 June 10 June 1 July

20 July 7 August 19 August 14 October 4 November

11 November 25 December

Colombia’s General Infrastructure A i r Tr a vel

The country is directly linked to major North American and European cities with daily flights to New York, Miami, Mexico City, Madrid, Paris, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, and Panama, and many others. Principal airlines including American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Iberia, Lufthansa and Air France fly directly to Bogotá, some of them to Cartagena, Barranquilla and Medellín. Avianca-Taca, Colombia’s major airline also handles international flights to Miami, New York, Los Angeles, among others. A number of private companies specialize in helicopter and small plane services throughout the country.

Tr a n sp or t

The entire country is linked through a system of highways and roads, except extremely remote regions such as the Amazon jungle and certain parts of the Chocó and great plains regions. A number of companies provide overland transportation for passengers (buses, micro-buses, etc.) to nearly every corner of the country. Major cities have bus terminals that centralize passenger services. Taxis are available in all major cities, serving the immediate urban perimeter and the different regions. There is no rail service except for freight, and only in certain regions.

Ban king

The Colombian peso is the country´s sole currency. Major cities have currency exchanges where international currency can be bought and sold. These currency exchanges fix purchase and sales prices of foreign currency based on market tendencies, which may be higher or lower than the official exchange rate. Branch banking and ATM machines are available in all Colombian cities and many small towns and municipalities. Banks generally operate between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.; certain offices in large cities offer extended office hours from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. All major international credit cards (Visa, Master Card, American Express, etc.) are accepted in Colombia when purchasing goods and services. However, this service is often unavailable in provincial businesses far from major cities where you may have to pay in cash.

Hotel s a nd Accom mo d at ion s

Tourist and hotel services in Colombia are booming. In the last four years, Colombia has shown a growth in tourism, with approximately 1.6 million travelers arriving in 2011. At the close of November 2012, the country had a growth of 6.7% in entry of travelers compared to the same

period the year before. These numbers are the result of a policy geared towards placing a higher emphasis on tourism offerings and increasing resources for the promotion of the country. Several international hotel chains such as Hilton, Sheraton, Marriot, Ibis and Holiday Inn operate in Colombia along with first-class national chains. Hotels range from 3-stars with prices for single rooms starting at USD $40, to 5-star hotels priced at up to USD $300 per night (these rates vary depending on the season and the city). Colombia is a favorite destination for international tourism, international corporate conventions and backpackers alike.

Rest au r a nts

Restaurants throughout the country, particularly in major cities such as Bogotá, Cartagena, Cali and Medellin, are currently enjoying gastronomical success, offering all kinds of national and international cuisine. Anthony Bourdain, the traveling chef of the Travel and Living channel, defines Colombian cooking: “A visit to Colombia is one of those surprising experiences that can change the course of your life (...) Food in Colombia is amazing and full of incredible flavors”.

Tele com mu n ic at ion s

The country, and its regions, cities and villages in general, feature complete telecommunications services including corporate satellite communications, Internet services for all needs, mobile phones, radiotelephones, internal local, regional, national and international telephone circuits. The scope and variety of the country´s radio network make it unique in the world. There is also an extensive network of television services: two private channels, two public channels, one mixed channel, several regional channels, local channels in certain cities, pay-per-view and university channels and local channels providing social information, education and entertainment.

Tele phones/mobi le phones

Several companies offer mobile phone services with national and international coverage: Claro, Movistar and Tigo. Avantel (radiotelephone and mobile) service is also available.

I nter net

Several companies provide a variety of subscription Internet services (cable, wireless, etc). Some cities such as Bucaramanga enjoy free citywide Internet service. In smaller cities and villages Internet services are available in Internet cafes. Communications and telecommunications services are available throughout the country, except for certain distant places. Broadband and Wi-Fi Internet services are available in larger cities; most connections in smaller towns are dial-up.

E le c t r ic it y

The national energy grid distributes electricity to most of the country. Colombia exports electricity to other countries such as Venezuela, Ecuador and certain parts of Central America. Voltage is 110-120 v/60 Hz, as in the United States.

Hea lt h

A network of hospitals around the country provides general and emergency health services to millions of people. Major cities boast internationally prestigious clinics and there is great demand from foreign clients for medical services related to heart conditions (University of Antioquia Hospital in Medellín); optometry and ophthalmology (Barraquer Clinic Bogotá); orthodontia; and plastic surgery in cities such as Bogotá, Medellín and Cali. Municipal, departmental and university hospitals and clinics provide good general and emergency care. There are health centers in most of small villages.





B og ot á : T he Nat ion’s Capit a l • Bogotá, the nation’s capital, is home to over 7 million people and is 2,600 meters (8,530 feet) above sea level. The imposing Eastern Andean range rising up behind it gives the city a unique character. • Most of the country’s audiovisual activity is concentrated in Bogotá because of the city’s technical infrastructure for all kinds of productions (recording studios, sound stages, equipment rental companies, the main private television channels, and international advertising agencies). • Bogotá is a city of great contrasts with traditional and colonial neighborhoods such as the Candelaria where one gets a real feel for how the city was in the 19th century, as well as large areas featuring modern architecture, industrial zones, many large parks, English-style neighborhoods (a la Bogotá), and rural suburbs with large homes and beautiful gardens.

• There are several of the world’s largest and most spectacular paramos (Andean moors) close to Bogotá, including the Chingaza and Las Cruces paramos. Nearby wetlands are host to a great variety of birds (Colombia is a world leader in number of bird species); lagoons and lakes; rivers and streams; the Magdalena River valley (the country’s most important river) with its many river towns only two hours from the capital by car; as well as town and villages in cool and temperate climates, each with its own unique charms. • Two hours from Bogotá by highway lay the vast hot-weather lands of the Magdalena River valley and cities such as Girardot, Melgar and El Nilo that enjoy a well-developed tourist infrastructure. Towns such as Honda along the Magdalena River have preserved 19th-century buildings and structures. This city was once the final destination for those traveling from Cartagena to Bogotá by river boat. • Temperate zones close to Bogotá also feature old coffee plantations with cobblestone footpaths and beautiful homes; vast fields of fruit trees; and gorgeous recreational estates with magnificent gardens surrounded by the exuberant flora and fauna typical of Colombia’s temperate zone.

Ca r ibbea n Reg ion


• The Caribbean region is located in northern Colombia along the Caribbean coast, between the Morrosquillo Gulf and Riohacha in the Guajira province. It includes the San Andrés and Providence archipelago. • This region has four main cities plus a variety of medium-size cities and countless small towns and picturesque villages along the shores of oceans or streams, rivers or swamps, or tucked away in forests or desert zones such as the Guajira. • The Colombian Caribbean features three large coral reefs; close to Providence is one of the largest coral formations in the Caribbean. • It has several archipelagos and many beautiful islands including the Rosario Islands near Cartagena, the San Andrés and Providence archipelago off the coast of Central America and just a 2-hour flight from Bogotá, Isla Fuerte and the San Bernardo Islands in the Gulf of Morrosquillo. • Towering some 5,770 meters (18,930 feet) above the Caribbean coast is the great Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the world’s highest coastal mountain. At the foot of the mountain lays the Tayrona National Park. Crystalclear creeks and rivers tumble down from the high mountains into canyons and valleys of astounding natural beauty. The Sierra is populated by several indigenous communities. • The Salamanca Island Park Drive runs along the Caribbean coast. Its mangrove swamps provide refuge for an incredible variety of migratory sea birds and its lagoons and swamps are rich with animals, fish and vegetation. • Cartagena and Barranquilla are international ports. Cartagena welcomes international cruise ship tours operated by companies like Royal Caribbean International, Aida Cruises and Avia Caribbean. The city also boasts a booming trade among private yachts from around the world.

M a i n Cit ies

Catagena de Indias, Barranquilla, San Andrés y Providencia, and Santa Marta.




Cent r a l A ndea n Reg ion • This region includes Colombia’s three coffee growing departments (Caldas, Risaralda and Quindío) and the southern part of the department of Antioquia, extending from the Central Andean range to the foothills of the Western Andean range. • Colombia’s Central Andean region is extremely mountainous and includes two of the high Andean ranges (the central and eastern) with snowy peaks rising more than 5,000 meters (16,000 feet) above sea level (Nevado del Ruiz and Nevado del Tolima); extensive sections of temperate climate with average temperatures of 18-22º C (64-68º F); and rolling valleys along the great Magdalena and Cauca Rivers running the length of the country from north to south. • The Central Region’s temperate zone is one of the country’s most beautiful with exuberant vegetation and a wealth of flowers, bamboo groves, towering trees such as the ceiba and pisingo, and coffee plantations throughout, where the world’s most “suave” coffee is grown. • There are many coffee-growing villages with characteristic town squares, enormous churches rising above the other buildings, and numerous cafes, bars,

restaurants, ice cream shops, and traditional-style administrative centers. • Many of these small towns seem frozen in time and have preserved their late 19th-century and early 20th-century architecture including long cobblestone streets and spacious two-story homes built from guadua (bamboo) and bahareque (rustic stucco) featuring wide outdoor porches and interior patios typically decorated with flowers of all kinds and colors. • The coffee-growing culture is alive throughout the region: mule trains carrying sacks of coffee to collection centers and characteristic ladder buses and jeeps crammed with people and products are still seen on roads. • The region features majestic mountains, peaks, ridges, canyons and hollows; big rivers, streams, and waterfalls of astounding beauty; lakes and lagoons; snowy peaks, paramos (Andean moors) and gorgeous landscape in cool, temperate and hot climates. Colombia’s Andean region is anything but flat! • Small production and postproduction houses operate in Medellín and trained personnel with experience in recent large productions are available.

M a i n c it ies

Armenia, Manizales, Medellin, Pereira, and Ibagué.

Cauca Va l le y Reg ion • The Cauca Valley is one of the country’s most beautiful, extensive and fertile regions. This region cuts across the Cauca Valley from the southwest to the northeast. The region’s exuberant vegetation, enormous old trees (ceibas, caobos, chiminangos, etc.), bushes and flowers make it an earthly paradise resembling the rolling plains of Africa. • Near Cali stand the famous –huge stone mountains towering over 3,000 meters (9,800 feet). Countless rivers and streams tumble down from the upper valley through abundant vegetation, providing a home to endless species of birds and small animals.


• There are large farms throughout the region, some of them with beautiful restored colonial homes with stunning gardens and spacious stone courtyards. • Since the 1960s, Cali has had an active filmmaking community out of which many talented fiction, documentary and television directors have emerged as well as successful theater and audiovisual producers. The Unversidad del Valle has an excellent film department.

M a i n Cit y Cali


Ea ster n Reg ion • The region covers a large portion of the eastern Andean range between the Magdalena River valley and the Eastern Plains and includes the 1,200-kilometer (745 miles) long Cundinamarca- Boyacá savannah at 2,600 meters (8,530 feet) above sea level, starting from the capital Bogotá and over most of the Boyacá department. • The Cundinamarca-Boyacá savannah is green and fertile and features valleys and gorges of astounding beauty with tiny villages hidden in the mountain slopes. Much of this land is reserved for cattle ranching, flower plantations, vegetable crops and slightly higher up, potato farms. • The Sierra Nevada del Cocuy, 5,250 meters (17,200 feet) above sea level, has 18 snowy peaks, 14 seasonally snowy peaks and several glaciers that form over 300 high-altitude lakes, some of them over 3,900 meters (13,000 feet) above sea level. It’s the ideal place for high mountain climbers and eco-tourism. • This region has numerous paramos (Andean moors) of extraordinary beauty. Colombia has more paramos than any other country in the world. They are rightfully known as “water factories” because of their spongy vegetation comprised mainly of lichen and moss that condense water in

the atmosphere and hold it before letting it run slowly down the mountain slopes, creating streams and creeks that form the country’s major rivers. Paramos in the region include the Sumapaz Páramo (the world’s largest), and the Pisba, Chingaza and Choachí paramos. • Beautiful colonial architecture with cobblestone streets, large town squares and churches, gorgeous homes and historic monuments seemingly lost in time can be seen throughout the region. Villa de Leyva and Barichara are two such towns. • There are also many lagoons, lakes and tranquil savannah rivers as well as the rushing waters of rivers such as the Orinoco running out of the mountains and into the Magdalena River basin. • The entire region is full of birds and home to an immense variety of flora including an incredible diversity of orchids (Colombia has more orchid species than any other country), soaring palm trees, ferns, bushes, and uniquely beautiful flowers and trees. • There are hotels and hostels throughout the region, and in some towns such as Barichara and Villa de Leyva old homes and farms are rented to tourists interested in their history and the surrounding environment.

M a i n c it ies

Barichara, Bucaramanga, Tunja and Villa de Leyva


A m a z on Reg ion • This enormous tropical jungle plain rich in water, rivers, lagoons and swamps is located southern Colombia, along the borders of Brazil and Peru. • Leticia, the capital of the Colombian Amazon, has 25 thousand inhabitants and is located on the banks of the great Amazon River, a 2-hour flight from Bogotá, the nation’s capital. It is the region’s only large city and many of its inhabitants are originally from other Colombian inland regions or, more commonly, indigenous people from the surrounding Huitoto, Yagua, Tucano, Ticuna, Camá and Inga tribes. Leticia is close to the neighboring city of Tabatinga on the Brazilian border and the Peruvian border as well. • It is difficult to access much of the Amazon Region because of the thick jungle and a lack of adequate roads or footpaths, but near Leticia there are a number of beautiful sites rich in natural beauty such as the Amacayacu National Park whose name means “river of hammocks” in the Quechua language. This park is 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Leticia. • The entire region is a huge nature reserve with abundant flora and fauna found nowhere else in the world and there are several national parks such as Amacayacu, the Cahuinari and La Paya and places of interest such as the Isla de los Micos (Monkey Island). • In the Amacayacu National Park alone there are over 150 species of mammals such as the pink dolphin (unique to the Amazon and Orinoquia

Rivers), the danta, jaguars, manatees, and otters. There are also all kinds of reptiles, snakes, spiders, ants, batrachians and insects. There are also amazing fish such as the piracuru and pirañas in the Amazon River and in the swamps and marshes and infinite streams that wind through the jungle vegetation. • The Amazon River as it rolls past Leticia is so vast that it is often difficult to see the other shore. The river landscapes –islands, countless tributaries and ancient riverbeds– make up a huge fresh water ocean surrounded by the immense Amazon jungle. • Monkey Island, Amacayacu National Park, Leticia Botanic Gardens and Zoo, the Amazon Ethnographic Museum of Man, Santander and Orellana Parks, Yabarí River, and Lake Tarapoto are all worth visiting for their exuberant beauty and the splendor of their vegetation and landscapes. • There are no large international hotels in the city but specialized environmental and eco-tourism accommodations are available. • Most transportation in the region takes place on rivers. There are companies in Leticia that rent vessels for transporting cargo and passengers. • Yellow fever vaccination is required at least ten days before traveling. • Average temperature: 30 °C (86 °F)

M a i n Cit y Leticia



Special Locations The Colombian Film Commission recommends another region, two cities and a national monument with a special charm and beauty worth considering, although far from the beaten track and more difficult to access.

Chocó • Colombia’s only province with both Caribbean and Pacific shores. These coastlines are dramatically different: the bright, transparent waters of the Caribbean coast, close to Panama, are a national tourist destination and the Pacific shores are located in jungle areas and have strong tides and a long coastline. There are hotels along both coasts but they must be accessed by air. • The Bay of Utría along the Pacific coast is a refuge for the Yubarta whales that swim up from the south every year to give birth. • The Chocó province is an immense, exotically beautiful rainforest – one of the rainiest places in the world. It is a mega-diverse region rich in native flora and fauna. There are no highways and most of the region’s transportation takes place on the swift rivers. • Most of the inhabitants of the Chocó province are of African descent and cohabit with numerous indigenous communities in the region such as the Catía and Embera peoples.

Main city Quibdo

Po pa yá n • Is the capital of Cauca province, located at the southwest of the country. Its historical center is considered one of the most beautiful and well preserved colonial cities of Colombia, and Latin America. It is also known as the white city, due to the color of its buildings and architecture. • Nearby is Puracé National Natural Park, a geothermal wonderland of hot springs, waterfalls, and an inactive volcano from which the park derives its name. The nearest large city is Cali, in the neighboring department of Valle del Cauca, to the north of Cauca. • The UNESCO declared the processions held during Easter Week as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Patrimony of Humanity.

Mo m pox • One of the most important colonial cities during the 17th century due to its strategic location along the Magdalena River and its proximity to Cartagena. All commerce in Colombia passed through Mompox and it was an obligatory stop along the route from the country’s interior to the Caribbean. The city’s classic and religious Sevillian architecture survives this glorious era and makes Mompox one of Colombia’s most beautiful and best-preserved cities. • The charm of the city’s churches, parks, monuments, its cemetery, avenues, tiny streets, alleys and centennial houses make it seem as if time in Mompox has stopped. Dino Rossi filmed Chronicle of a Death Foretold, based on the novel by Colombian Nobel winner Gabriel García Márquez, in this city. • It is famous for its gorgeous filigree work. Many artists and artisans create exquisitely elegant gold and silver pieces. • It can be reached by taking a boat up the Magdalena River or by plane. We do not recommend traveling overland. • There are hotels and guesthouses in Mompox. Colombia’s liberator Simon Bolivar stayed in one of the city’s large homes, now a comfortable hotel.

La s La ja s • The Las Lajas sanctuary is a Catholic basilica that has attracted tourists and the devout since the 17th century due to its beautiful architecture and the Guaitara River Canyon in the Nariño Department where it is located, one of the most breathtaking settings in southern Colombia, only a few kilometers from the border with Ecuador. • The location can be easily accessed on the highway from Pasto, the capital of Nariño. • The surrounding area is full of mountains and valleys dotted with crops that lend a special color to the entire region. • There are comfortable guesthouses and hotels for tourists near Las Lajas.


Land of MegaDiversity 32

Colombia is one of five megadiverse countries in the world because of its enormous natural wealth and many and varied ecosystems incorporating snowy peaks, humid tropical jungles, paramos (Andean moors), expansive valleys, two oceans, deserts, countless rivers, lakes and lagoons, and thousands of plant and animal species of astounding beauty. All of Colombia’s regions exemplify the incredible ecological, environmental, racial, architectural and cultural variety that characterizes the country and, for the most part, cities, villages, agricultural zones, countryside and forests are easily visited. Each of these regions features cold, cool and hot climates and in only 2-3 hours you can travel from high mountains over 3,000 meters (9,800 feet) above sea level to warm weather regions at sea level, except in the Amazon region where the entire territory is one huge tropical jungle. • The Andes split into three ranges in Colombia and in less than two hours one can travel through cold weather on snowy peaks towering more than 5,000 meters (16,000 feet) above sea level, to hot temperatures at sea level. • Colombia is one of the world´s richest countries in water with five major hydrographic basins flowing into the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Oceans as well as the Amazon, Orinoco or Catatumbo Rivers. • Caribbean and Pacific coastlines total over 3,000 kilometers (1,350 miles). • The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is the only coastal peak in the world rising more than 5,000 meters (16,000 feet) above sea level. • Colombia is the richest nation in the world in bird, reptile and arachnid species and boasts the greatest diversity of orchids. • Colombia is famous around the world for its coffee, flowers, gorgeous emeralds and talented people.


Old Providence


Isla de Salamanca Cienaga Grande de Sta. Marta Corales del Rosario El mono Hernández


Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta

Los Colorados

Colombia has fifty-four nature reserves grouped into a National Nature Reserve System, more than 11% of the national territory. These parks are of incalculable ecological and environmental importance to the country and to all of humanity; each of them holds enormous natural wealth, countless varieties of plants and animals -many of them endemic- and absolutely amazing landscapes.

Las Orquídeas Serranía de los Yariguies Cocuy

Guanentá Alto y Río Fonce Selva Florencia 34

Tamatá Los Nevados

Colombia’s National Parks


Iguaque Chingaza

Las Hermosas Farallones de Cali Nevado del Huila

Cahuinari Río Puré





Behind the scenes, “Apatía”


Foreigners require a visa to enter and remain in Colombia. However, temporary visitors from certain countries may enter and remain in the country for up to 180 days with just their passport, a return ticket and authorization from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs-Migración Colombia.

Co u r tesy Visa s

For foreign nationals considered technical or artistic crew, actors or actresses participating in the making of films or other audiovisual productions to be produced or shot on Colombian territory; as well as foreign staff participation in co-productions with Colombia, the written request for a Courtesy Visa must be made by the Ministry of Culture or the Ministry of Culture’s Film Office or by any governmental agency taking their place. The period of the courtesy visas are 90-day to 1-year visas. The petitioner must present the same information needed to submit the National Film Office Resolution Allowing for Filming on National Territory. With this information fulfilled, the Ministry of Culture issues the authorization and requests the courtesy visas to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Once approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the petitioner will receive a communication and a file number in order to set an appointment at the Colombian consulate.

Te mpora r y Visito rs

Foreign nationals from any of the countries not requiring a tourist visa entering for short periods of time as crew members or artistic personnel involved in an audiovisual project previously authorized by the Colombian Ministry of Culture (National film office resolution allowing for filming on national territory), may enter as Temporary Visitors. They must present a copy of this authorization to Migración Colombia along with a letter of invitation from the company producing or organizing the project in which they plan to participate.

Wo rk

Persons contracted by local companies to perform specialized activities, technicians, journalists, members of artistic groups, legal representatives, and others. To find out the Countries not requiring a tourist visa to visit Colombia go to:

O bl i ga to r y Regist r y

Those granted a visa valid for more than 3 months must register with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs-MIGRACION COLOMBIA within fifteen (15) days of entering the country, or from the date on which the visa was granted if it was processed inside the country. Once a visa is registered, MIGRACION COLOMBIA will issue the visitor a Cédula de Extranjería (foreigner’s identification card), which will serve as an ID card while in Colombia. This card must be carried at all times while in the country and can be used to sign contracts, open bank accounts, and other activities. Link to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

Permits Authorizations

International audiovisual productions require authorization from the Ministry of Culture’s Film Office before filming in Colombia. Audiovisual productions of any kind must secure a series of national and local permits, depending on the project’s chosen location. The following are some examples of permits required:

Na t i o n a l Fi l m O ffi ce Res o l ut i o n A l l o w i n g fo r Fi lm i n g o n Na t i o n a l Te r rito r y

To request authorization to film foreign works on national territory the petitioner must present the following documents to the Ministry of Culture’s Film Office (in Spanish): Written request addressed to the Ministry of Culture’s Film Office (Dirección de Cinematografía del Ministerio de Cultura) signed by the producer. • Synopsis of the project. • Summary of the producer(s)’ biography. • Data fact sheet for the work in question. • List of persons entering the country for the purpose of filming, listing their identification documents and the functions they will fulfill during filming of the work. • Information regarding Colombian artistic and technical personnel scheduled to intervene in filming, when applicable. Estimate of financial resources to be invested in filming on Colombian territory. • Places and dates foreseen for shooting. The authorization to film does not replace or constitute permits or authorizations required by other competent authorities regarding immigration, visas, incoming funds or investments, and others. The authorization, or if applicable, the denial of it, shall be issued within the maximum term of fifteen (15) days from receipt of the request. In the event of receipt of an application without the necessary requirements, the correspondent will be informed within a maximum term of ten (10) days from submission. (Articles 36, 37 and 38, Resolution 1708 of 2009)

L o c a l Pe r m i t s

These must be obtained from authorities in the city or municipality where taping or filming takes place. Some of these cities have their own regulations that must be respected. We recommend producers and directors contact the Colombian Film Commission to find out about these regulations.


Na ti ona l Pa rk Permit s

To film, tape or take photographs in nationally protected areas, a request must be filled with the head office of the Special Administrative Unit of the National Natural Park System. According to the project a fee must be paid.

Pe rmi t to Imp o r t An im a l s , Vegeta ble s o r Agric u l t ura l Produ c ts

Any person or company wishing to bring animals, animal species products, or biological veterinary products into the country for an audiovisual production must obtain an Andean Zoosanitary Import Document (Documento Zoosanitario Andino de Importación in Spanish) from the Colombian Agricultural Institute (Instituto Colombiano Agropecuario). Certain products are exempt from this requirement. Consult the Colombian Agricultural Institute’s import/ export guide for animals, vegetables and agricultural products.

Customs 38

In Colombia, merchandise coming from outside the country is subject to customs obligations upon entry. Obligations include presentation of an import declaration, payment of customs tariffs and any applicable sanctions as well as the obligation to obtain and preserve documentation supporting the transaction and presentation of these documents should customs authorities so require. Colombian legislation recognizes several forms of import transactions resulting in free exploitation of the merchandise in question. To facilitate film and audiovisual work in Colombia, legislation has established the following preferential treatment in customs houses: • With authorization to make a foreign film from the Ministry of Culture, necessary film equipment and materials may be imported for periods of 6 months, renewable for an additional 6 months. See page 37. • Consumable goods such as film, lights or batteries can be imported with the same obligation to reexport them. • This type of temporary import generates no customs duties (tariffs, taxes or other duties) as long as property is re-exported to its country of origin before the allotted authorization expires. In all cases, transportation, storage and cargo expenses must be paid. • With authorization from the Ministry of Culture, no guarantee is required for temporary imports. Likewise, non-residents arriving to the country (maximum 6 months, renewable) to participate in cinematographic productions may bring in articles for personal or professional use without payment of customs duties; as long as they are declared at the time they are brought in and re-exported. Film may be temporarily imported (prints and developing established in Tax Memo 3706), with no duties, taxes or customs tariffs with all the incentives of the “short-term temporary import” regulations for a period of 6 months, renewable one time only. In this manner, for example, films for exhibition at festivals or temporary events can be imported, as well as all those coming into the country to be re-exported to their country of origin, including foreign films. All professional materials and equipment for film production and blank film or film printed with image and sound are qualified as “special delivery” by cus-

toms. Although other “special delivery” cases are subject to a guarantee, this is not true for film authorized by the Ministry of Culture. Import and export processes must be carried out by a customs agent (there are some 100 authorized agencies), except when merchandise is valued at less than $1,000 USD. The National Tax and Customs Office (DIAN) is responsible for authorizing airports and ports for imports and exports.

Hiring Personnel

There are several contract models in Colombia that can be used to hire artists, technicians and authors and, generally speaking, logistical services required in production projects. These are a few of the most common:

C i v i l / Co m m e rc i a l Co nt ra c t

These are independent contracts not seeking to establish any labor relationship between the contractor (producer) and the contractee. For this reason the contract must not refer to any of the common elements found in labor contracts such as subordination and dependence, although the necessary mechanisms of coordination between the parties must be stated. This type of contract is free and is signed once an agreement is reached regarding obligations, amount and type of payment. A written document is recommended but is not usually obligatory. Parties are free to fix the domicile for legal purposes: Colombia or the producer’s country of origin. This type of contract can be used to hire persons considered authors of the work (screenwriter, director, animation designers or composers of original music) when it is necessary to define the rights each of these authors grants to the producer of the film work (public communication rights for formats, territories, adaptations, reproductions, etc.) and which rights, when applicable, are reserved, since assignment of rights is presumed in Colombia; all type of agreements to the contrary are accepted. This type of contract is also used to hire artistic services (actors, directors of photography, art directors, set designers, editors, etc.) and technical services provided by individuals or legal entities, as well as a wide range of logistical services (transportation, locations, rooms outside of hotels). It is also important to a production that the contract states the amount of remuneration for each product and whether said remuneration is definitive or if part of it is subject to commercial exploitation of the work, which depends entirely on the parties since there is no obligatory royalty system in Colombia. It is convenient, and in certain cases obligatory (depending on national copyright legislation contained in Law 23 of 1982) for the contents of contracts with authors of the work to be filmed, with actors and phonographic producers or composers of music to be synched to the film, to be recognized and notarized at a nominal cost (about 3 US dollars per contract) and with very little delay. It is also important to a production that the contract state that personnel hired are to assume their own responsibilities with the national health care, pension and professional risk systems, regardless of whether the production company contracts additional accident or life insurance coverage.

A ss oc i a te d Wo rk Co o p e ra tiv e Cont ra c t s

Generally speaking, associated work cooperatives are organized to attend to the needs of the economic and cultural sectors, among others. They are comprised of 10 or more individuals who pool their individual jobs in a cooperative but establish no labor relationship with the coop itself. Cooperatives sign contracts with third parties to produce goods or provide services in exchange for a global payment. Film productions contract the cooperative which then assigns several of its associates (technicians, actors, artists) to provide services required by the production. The producer must require proof that coop associates are indeed part of the coop. Otherwise, the employee is considered the producer’s subordinate, and the producer is responsible for all labor obligations.

La bor Co nt ra c t s

These contracts cover all forms of labor governed by Colombia’s Substantive Labor Code. This model is not often used for film productions requiring work for limited periods compared with other fields.


Below are some of the aspects of Colombian tax legislation designed to help producers to better plan their work and correctly calculate budgets and expenses. The following information is only a guide and we recommend you consult with professionals before starting any audiovisual production in Colombia, since application of taxes and duties will depend on each production’s unique characteristics.

A ggrega te Va l u e Ta x ( I VA )

The VAT tax is added to the cost of goods and services purchased in Colombia. There are three major tax groups: 0%, 5% and 16%. Services such as restaurants carry an 8% VAT tax. There is no VAT tax on goods temporarily imported for a limited duration such as equipment and other elements used in film production and shooting activities. Foreign exchange or currency sales are VAT-excluded operations. Starting in 2014, no VAT will be charged for imported goods subject to express shipments totally less than two hundred dollars (USD 200). Rental of property other than housing (such as locations) is subject to a 10% tax. Special sales tax regulations apply to certain parts of the country such as the Amazon department and the archipelago of San Andres and Providence and Santa Catalina.

Na ti ona l Co nsu mer Ta x

This tax was recently created by Act 1607 of 2012 and is charged for services or sales to the end consumer or for the following items imported by the end consumer: • Mobile phone services. • The sale of certain tangible personal property, domestically produced goods or imported goods. • Services related to the sale of food and beverages prepared in restaurants, cafes, supermarkets, ice cream and fruit shops, pastry shops and bakeries,

including contracted food services and the sale of food and alcoholic beverages for consumption in bars, taverns and nightclubs. These goods and services are not subject to VAT.

In co m e Ta x

In Colombia, as a rule, individuals and corporations are subject to income tax rates ranging between 0% and 33% for individuals and 25% for domestic corporations or foreign corporations with a permanent branch or establishment in Colombia, paid upon delivery of an annual income tax statement. Foreign individuals and corporations with no permanent residence, domicile, branch or establishment in Colombia pay income tax only on income earned in Colombia originating in the sale of goods located in Colombia, the exploitation of tangible or intangible goods in Colombia, and the provision of services within the country. Your rate will be 33% of Colombian source income. Legislation provides a mechanism called withholding tax, which consists of collecting income tax in advance. Foreign individuals or corporations with no residence, domicile, branch or permanent establishment in Colombia are not required to charge withholding tax when making payments to third parties. This means foreign non-resident filmmakers making third-party payments in Colombia are not required to charge withholding tax. However, if these payments are made through Colombian individuals or organizations, they would be obliged to apply the withholding tax to both Colombians and foreigners. Revenue earned by artists, technicians and production personnel that do not reside in the country, when there is no contract and no payments generated by their participation in foreign film shall be considered as foreign income, as long as the National Film Office Resolution Allowing for Filming on National Territory has been issued. In such case, income tax in Colombia does not apply.


Approximately 30 insurance companies (supervised and authorized by the Colombian Financial Superintendence) offer general and life insurance covering the different film, television and advertising spot production processes – especially during the filming or taping process. Policies offer general coverage for the following: • Actors and artistic and technical personnel guaranteeing payment of insured amounts due to interruption of filming, illness, accident, or death. • Negatives, rushes, copies, soundtracks, and software. • Defective materials, use of defective materials or equipment. Can cover, among others, development, editing, defective processing, lab work, accidental loss of videotapes or soundtracks, and exposure to light. • Loss or damage to accessories, sets, costumes, and, in general, property of this type as well as property insured during filming. • Loss or damage to equipment and materials such as cameras, camera equipment, sound and lighting equipment, electrical equipment and portable generators, effects equipment, and trailers. • Civil liability for third parties due to damage to property or persons caused by filming. • Losses suffered by producer due to additional expenses related to interruption or suspension.


Entering the Country with Foreign Currency 40

Persons entering or leaving the country may carry up to USD$10,000 or the equivalent in other currencies. This amount, which is personal and nontransferable, is not subject to declaration or taxes. To bring more than USD $10,000 into the country, you must use a transport company or an exchange market intermediary (bank or currency exchange agency, among others), who will declare the corresponding exchanges. These transactions are not subject to taxes but transportation expenses and/or intermediation is. If you bring in assets valued at over USD $10,000 (ex. Traveler’s checks or bonds) they must be declared with the Internal Revenue Office and National Customs (DIAN). The traveler is responsible for filing this declaration, not the airline or other transporter. Non-residents of Colombia can open checking or savings accounts in the country. Entering funds in this way is not considered a foreign investment.

Forei gn In v e st me nt

The following is considered foreign investment • Contribution to company capital through purchase of shares, stock, premiums, convertible bonds or other income representative of company capital. • The purchase of autonomous patrimonial rights as a means of developing a company (ex: investing in Colombian films). • The purchase of real estate, stock in real estate, securitization or through real estate funds. • Investment in branches founded in Colombia by foreign legal entities. • Portfolio investments (foreign capital investment funds in stock, convertible bonds in stock and other assets). • Foreign investment enjoys the following rights • Transfer of net utilities from the investment outside the country –amounts received from disposal of investment in the country or by liquidation of the company or portfolio. • Reinvestment of utilities or capitalization of funds and permission to transfer outside country. • Foreign investment must be registered with the Central Bank, which in some cases may be done by an exchange intermediary (ex: banks).


help! Behind the scenes, “Chocó”

Film Com- Contact mission Services Photographs Phone: [57+1] 2870103 Mobile Phone: [57] 320 345 6635 - 310 320 2878 Address: Calle 35 No. 5 -89 (Barrio La Merced) Bogotá,D.C. – Colombia


• Walk through and inform producers about the cash rebate 40% - 20%. • Inform producers and directors interested in Colombia of the best possibilities and alternatives for their projects in terms of logistics, locations, accommodations, Colombian talent, authorizations, contacts, etc. • Advise producers and directors about Colombian legislation regarding taxes, financing, hiring, customs, permits, visas, coproduction, etc. • Supply contact with the various businesses, producers, institutions and national and regional authorities related to their productions in order to make their work quicker and more effective. • Facilitate the expedition of National film office permit for filming on national territory and the courtesy visas for cast and crew. • Set-up packages of photographs of locations upon request. • Organize pre-scouts and support recce process in Colombia. • Ensure that producers, directors, cast and crew have the best experience shooting in our country.

Staff Silvia Echeverri Film Commissioner

Claudia Triana Proimagenes Colombia Director Lina María Sánchez Film Commission Assistant Director Lucía González Projects Coordinator Maritza Daza Administrative Coordinator


Cover: Behind the Scenes “Operation E”, courtesy of Cristina Zumarraga, Tormenta Films. Photographers: Luis Andrés Ríos (pg. 18, Mompox) Ricardo Restrepo (pg. 21, Bull ring and planetarium) Carlos Lema (pg. 21, Jorge Eliecer Gaitán Theater) Gustavo Ribera Arizael Carnaval (pg. 23, Carnival) William González García (pg. 23, Salt mines Manaure, Guajira) Raúl Amarú Linares Molano (pg. 23, Palenquera Cartagena) Iván Darío Herrera G. (pg. 24, Medellin ) Julio César Herrera (pg. 25, Silletero) Jorge Oswaldo Páez (pg. 26, Road with Chiva) Carlos Eduardo Bohorquez Nassar (pg. 27, Chicamocha cable) Oscar Botero (pg. 28/ pg. 29 – down right, shack/ pg. 33 Crab / pg. 33 Monkey) Daniel Fernando Silva Montealegre (pg. 29, up, Amazon) Oscar Orlando Díaz Jaimes (pg. 29, Dolphin) Andres Fonseca (pg. 30, Chocó) Luís Ponce Muñoz (pg. 31, down Las Lajas) Sergio Jacome Alecina (pg. 32, Flamingos) Aidee Lucía Polo Sarmiento (pg. 33, up left bird) Edgar Alejandro Sánchez (pg. 33,up right bird) Giovanny Pulido (pg. 35., Providence Island) Edna Castañeda (pg. 35, Amazon Jungle) David Páez (pg. 35, Cocuy) Silvia Echeverri (Pg. 36 sugar cane plantation) Cesar David Martínez (Pg.43)

Behind the scenes and S ti l l P hotog raphy:

Pg. 4 Behind the Scenes “La Sirga, courtesy of Contravia Films. Pg. 6 Behind the Scenes “The hook”, courtesy of Independencia Films. Pg. 8 Still Photography “The Hook”, courtesy of Independencia Films. Pg. 11 Behind the scenes “All your dead ones”, courtesy of 64-A Films. Pg. 15 Behind the scenes “Chocó”, courtesy of Antorcha Films. Pg. 36 Behind the Scenes “Apatía”, courtesy of Ojo de Huracan. Pg. 41 Behind the scenes “Chocó”, courtesy of Antorcha Films. Pg. 44 Still Photography “La Sirga”, courtesy of Contravía Films

Institu tional Photograph y : National Natural Parks

Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Proexport Colombia, Vice-presidency of Tourism. Viztaz Foundation Revela Colombia Contest Red Turística de Pueblos Patrimonio (Heritage villages of Colombia tourism network)



who? Behind the scenes, “La Sirga”








Strategic location within the Americas Attractive cost and tax rebates Talented, professional and experienced crew for international productions State of the art equipment, technology and infrastructure Diverse locations

For more information contact Ana Maria Barreto - Commercial Director Tel.: +57 1 4174200 ext 105/ +57 1 4174228 Email: BOGOTA - COLOMBIA







Years of experience in the film industry And now in TV series: “REGRESO A LA GUACA”, "CORREO DE INOCENTES", "BROKEN PROMISES", "MADE IN CARTAGENA", “LA RONCA DE ORO”

SERVICES: • • • • • • • • •

Executive production, general production and line production Location scouting Casting services Shooting permits and authorization Recruitment of technical staff, renting of equipment and other production services anal Script analysis Advisory and counselling for presentation of films in international festivals and contests Legal, tax and accounting advisory for Colombian law Sell of audiovisual content




Production Guide 2013  

New production guide with paramount information for international producers and directors wanting to film in Colombia.

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