Audiovisual production in Colombia is booming. The Colombian television industry successfully exports programs – especially soap operas – to a number of continents and is now a constant source of programming for the Latin US market. 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. Film is undergoing a promising awakening; many Colombian feature films and documentaries compete annually at film festivals throughout the Americas and Europe.
All this activity is supported by courses of study at universities, several of which, such as advertising programs, have been around for decades. Film studies have become particularly popular at traditional universities and new schools and academic centers around the country. Young people are particularly interested, constantly producing short films, videos, and video-art on all kinds of formats including one-minute films and music videos.
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 704, 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 Hill”.
Three state agencies promote filmmaking in Colombia: the Colombian Ministry of Culture’s Film Office, Proimágenes Colombia and the National Council for Film Arts and Culture (CNACC).