Colombia's film legislation starting to bear fruit

March 2008 -

Government efforts to stimulate the national film industry are still non-existent in many Latin American countries. Despite the desperate need for such efforts. Three-quarters of all films from Latin America are being produced or co-produced in Brazil or Argentina. To an increasing degree, Latin American films are co-productions made with European countries such as Spain or France, or the United States. What is more, the United States is home to large groups of Latinos who are making films of their own.


For these reasons, the initiative by Colombia's government to stimulate the country's national film industry must be applauded. The CNACC – Consejo Nacional para las Artes y la Cultura en Cinematografica – created a development fund for film that generates funds by contributing to operators, distributors and producers. "Between 2004 and 2007 the Film fund supported a total of 348 Colombian film projects," says Paula Moreno Zapata, Colombia's Minister of Culture and chair of the CNACC.

The national selection round for the Film fund was launched this year from the city of Cali, the provincial capital in the Cauca valley in western Colombia. This region is known for its strong regional identity, also expressed in striking audiovisual productions like films by important Colombian directors, including Carlos Palau and Antonio Dorado.

To stimulate this process of cultural de-centralisation, Moreno Zapata also announced the formation of a National Audiovisual Plan (PAN). With this plan, nearly half a million euros will be contributed to the recently blossomed regional film industries, including in Cali's province. Moreno Zapata: "The PAN will provide the communities in the Cauca Valley the necessary resources, enabling the inhabitants to continue to film and video their own stories."

The national film legislation adopted by the Colombian government four years previously started bearing fruit in 2007: Colombian cinema was selected for the Tous les cinémas du monde programme in the Film Festival of Cannes. This part of the festival invites countries with an official policy to stimulate the national film industry to showcase recent film productions.