Colombia as one of Latin America epicenters of the film industry, year after year, has consolidated alternatives to create and produce higher quality content. Laws, funds and incentives have allowed over 30 national audiovisual works to be produced annually in recent decades and more than 6 international production services provided. (Great advance, since 20 years ago, according to figures from the Ministry of Culture, there were not even 10 Colombian films produced in the same period).

The world scenario is increasingly diverse, thanks to the globalization of content that came with the world economic crisis at the beginning of the 21st century. This circumstance allowed the industry to boost the work between producers: co-productions, co-financing and co-creations are now key in filmmaking.

In 2003, Colombia passed Film Law 814, which generated the rebirth of the national film industry, giving way to the creation and export of works such as Embrace of the Serpent, Dog eats Dog, Colombia Wild Magic and The Shadow of your Smile. Simultaneously, The Cinematographic Development Fund (FDC) was created, two sources of financing that promote the sustainable development of the national industry. It is important to know how they work, to use them for the benefit of a project. 

The FDC benefits cinematographic works and new media. It acts under the modality of calls for stimuli (Automatic and By Contest)); Any Colombian producer, production house, writer or director who meets the requirements can access. The Cinema Law works with the approval of a Resolution of Recognition as a National Cinematographic Project before the Ministry of Culture, which grants benefits on donations or investments to productions, issuing CIC’s (Investment Certificates or Cinematographic Donation) that function as titles to the bearer for tax deductions. Only with these certificates is the deduction effective.

Now, although Law 814 benefits the entire value chain of the national industry, it does not include other areas of cinematographic work that have been generated with globalization and the economic and cultural exchange that it has brought, so it was necessary for the country to take an important leap to encourage foreign investment with the creation of Filming Law 1556 of 2012.

This new law promotes the territory as a destination for external audiovisual filming (projects in which the final result is not intended for display on national screens), in order to increase the visibility of the country, its good name and national tourism. In turn, generating dialogues between producers that strengthen the industry and contribute to collective development. 

The law 1556, although in its interior it benefits local and foreign projects, it is a viable and broad law for cinematographic works, series, music videos, video games and advertising of international origin that are increasingly attractive thanks to its two incentives, among which you need to choose from the moment you apply to it:

  • Cash rebate (Refund of 40% of the expenses in audiovisual services and 20% of the expenses of logistics services in the country) which is subject to the  balance approved by the Colombian Proimágenes and Fílm Commission stock exchange.
  • The CINAS (Certificates of tax discounts for 35% of the expenses in audiovisual and logistics services in the country) negotiable in the market.

Incentives that make it one of the most attractive and competitive laws in the world.

Choosing a Colombian producer to provide the service for the law 1556 and bringing this project to the country is a great opportunity for foreign producers and investors, since besides having different locations, different climates (without seasons), skilled production, accessible labor and well-established biosafety protocols represent significant budget savings and contribute to the creation of a more dynamic and global industry.

Large companies such as Netflix, Amazon, Paramount, Universal Studios and HBO are still betting on Colombia with such important projects (Narcos, American Made, Jack Ryan, Green Frontier, Jungle, Wild District, Gemini Man, Thousand Fangs, Loving Pablo.) Which have been filmed in the streets of the country with Hollywood talent, and today that continue to reap the benefits.

To conclude, my call is to inform yourself, understand and continue promoting projects with these two laws independently, always choosing the one that best suits the nature of the work: Law 814 that stands out with its benefits for national productions and the 1556 for international production services. We also hope that with the policies established in the National Development Plan, progress will continue to be made to strengthen this labor field.

Let’s make the national production a sustainable and profitable industry.

If you have questions or observations, send me your comments and request free advice through my email  or any of our contact channels on the web.

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