July 18, 2012
By: Adriana Suarez, Executive Director of Invest in Bogotá.
The third edition of the Bogota Audiovisual Market -BAM- was recently held; this event is the most influential of its kind in the country, bringing together local audiovisual producers with over 50 representatives from this industry, coming from close to 20 countries which included the United States, France, Chile, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Spain and Rusia.
After several years of extensive work, Proimágenes en Movimiento and the Bogota Chamber of Commerce brought to Bogota five top executives from Hollywood's most important production companies such as Universal Pictures, Participant Media, Harbinger Pictures, Parallel Media and Gold Circle Films, who had the chance to visit locations and sites, see the existing audiovisual infrastructure and meet the local companies providing services to this industry.
The producers in the city were able to showcase their most recent movies to the representatives of top-level festivals such as the Tribeca, created by Robert de Niro-
Today, Bogota is an important hub of audiovisual services, no just on account of its trained human resources, but also due to its competitive costs, and the size of the stakeholders servicing this industry from within the city.
With the recent approval of the law to foster domestic and international audiovisual productions, which was driven by the national government, Bogota purports to be at the forefront of this industry in Latin America.
Between 2011 and 2010, the city has graduated over 4.600 people in academic studies related to this industry, such as cinema and television direction and production; technical programs in audio-visual and multi-media production; technical programs in cinema, television, camera and photography, and audiovisual communications.
Furthermore, Bogota currently holds over 17.000 graduates in fields related to design and multi-media. Bogota is now facing the challenge of training bilingual personnel to tend to highly specialized fields in the audiovisual industry.
Figures estimated by Invest in Bogota, the agency for the promotion of investments in the capital city, show that 92% of all related services in Colombia are rendered from its capital city, while 2.2% are provided from Medellín, and 0.4% from Cali. It is worth noting that the digital animation industry is mainly based in Bogota; the city holds 77% of all companies in Colombia that specialize in this sub-sector; Medellín holds 13%, Cali 5% and Manizales, 2%.
The same phenomenon can be experienced in the videogame industry, where 55% of companies in Colombia are located in Bogotá, while 22% are in Medellín, 10% in Cali, and 5% in Bucaramanga.
Events such as the BAM, or the recent appointment of Bogota as UNESCO's Creative Music City, consolidate it as a city for creative industries, spawning new opportunities into the future for an economy that is increasingly more internationally competitive, and which is urgently demanding the creation of new development niches in high added-value sectors, that will allow for a consolidation of its recognition as a city in Latin America where profitable business can be carried out.