The Unified Permit for Audiovisual Filming (PUFA), designed and implemented by the Bogota Film Commission, has been launched in Bogota. The permit consolidates decisions made by Bogota government agencies that grant permits for the use of public spaces in the city for filming or production. The PUFA will unify processes for permit approval, follow-up, and oversight, will eliminate physical filing of documents, and will reduce processing times to five days.
“We’re working to establish clear ground rules in order to promote the city as a film destination. This is a tool that will be useful for the film, television, and advertising industries,” said Ricardo Cantor, advisor with the Bogota Film Commission. Cantor also noted that the PUFA was achieved through a 14-month consultation process involving eight Bogota government agencies that grant permits for filming in Bogota, 20 local government offices, and representatives from the audiovisual industry who will now be using this tool.
“We are proud to have created spaces for discussion and reached agreements within the city government; to have successfully raised awareness on the importance of filming not only for its economic impact, but also for the knowledge transfers it entails; and to have contributed to keeping the city competitive with others in the region,” added Cantor.
The PUFA can be applied for through the website suma.dadep.gov.co. Three days after the application is submitted, the applicant is notified of the approval or non-approval of the permit. If approved, on the fourth day applicants must pay the fee and sign the contract. Finally, on the fifth day, when the PUFA is delivered, the insurance policy must be submitted and approved.
The Film Commission conducts oversight of the PUFA through locations monitors, who will visit filming locations not only to verify how public spaces are being used, but also to support producers during filming. The PUFA document must be placed in visible locations during filming and recording. City authorities will be notified daily of filming in the city, and the filming schedule is available on the Bogota Film Commission’s website, www.filmingbogota.gov.co.
“The PUFA will also track important indicators, such as how many commercials are produced in the city, how many movies and television productions. For example, it will show the local districts in Bogota where the most productions are filmed,” said Cantor. In addition, Cantor makes it clear that the PUFA is just one of the areas that the Bogota Film Commission is working on: “We’re promoting the city as a filming location. We have produced a directory with more than 300 locations; we work on training and skill-building in the audiovisual industry, with actions like our bilingual program with the Sena training institute; and we’re working on a directory of audiovisual and logistical services with more than 1,000 companies.”
The Film Commission, created by decree 340 of 2014, is a program led by the Bogota Cinemateca, which in turn is managed by the Audivisual Arts department of Idartes, and is chaired by the Bogota Department of Culture, Recreation and Sports.