Colombia offers very attractive benefits for audiovisual productions, such as its diverse locations, its qualified human talent, its competitive costs and growing institutional and state support; These benefits and —mainly— the incentive system offered by the country have positioned it on the sector’s global map.
The Filming Law or the Colombian Filming Law (Law 1556 of 2012) was created to promote the country as an ideal setting for the filming of cinematographic works and to move forward the achievements of the Film Law of 2003, which had already been generating growth and strengthening the film industry in Colombia.
Within the framework of the Filming Law, the Colombia Film Fund (FFC) was created —with resources from the General Budget of the Nation—, with which foreign productions are granted a consideration of up to 40% of expenses on cinematographic services and 20% of expenses on film logistics services (catering, transport and hotels) provided by Colombian suppliers.
In 2020, the inclusion of two new articles to the Law achieved significant changes for the audiovisual industry, including extending the law to other formats and genres and incorporating an incentive mechanism for foreign production companies that produce and/or post-produce in Colombia. This is how the CINA incentive was created.
Benefits of the CINA incentive for audiovisual producers
If a producer invests in Colombia at least 1,800 minimum wages for an audiovisual project and invests it in audiovisual logistics services and audiovisual services, he can access an Audiovisual Investment Certificate —CINA—, a negotiable stock value that is issued in the name of the foreign producer responsible for the project, and can be negotiated with natural or legal persons declaring income tax in Colombia, for a nominal value of 35% of the expenses incurred in the country in the items mentioned above. The income obtained by the foreign producer with the Certificate does not constitute tax income for the foreigner in Colombia, and is not subject to withholding at the source in the country.
Economic impact in Colombia due to the incentives for audiovisual production
According to the report Audiovisual Incentives of the Law 1556 of 2012, prepared by Proimágenes, during the period 2012-2022, 44 audiovisual projects were approved to be beneficiaries of the Colombia Film Fund (FFC). Such projects invested $270,438 million in the country and obtained an economic compensation of $73,710 million, which is equivalent to 27.2% of the investments.
Said Proimágenes report also indicates that since August 2020 (date of the implementation of the CINA mechanism), the Colombia Film Promotion Committee has annually set a maximum quota to cover it, as follows: in 2020, $91,404 million; 2021, $200 billion, and 2022, $280 billion. Since its implementation, the country has attracted investments in the audiovisual sector for 1.3 billion pesos and has approved 58 CINA projects for 379,559 million pesos, which corresponds to 29.5% of the investments.
Employment generation, due to the incentives for audiovisual activity
Data from the study Evaluating the Effects of the Law for the Promotion of the Cinematographic Activity in Colombia, Law 1556 of 2012, prepared by Econometrics (2019), indicate that for the period 2013-2018, the beneficiaries of the FFC hired mostly Colombian technical and artistic personnel (between 80% and 90%). Econometrics found that, for every job generated in film services, an average of 2.83 jobs were created in other sectors, for a total of more than 58,000 indirect jobs in the construction, manufacturing, financial and transportation sectors, among others. Likewise, Proimágenes projects an increase in direct employment generated by audiovisual productions since the creation of the CINA incentive, with an estimate of 35,200 people hired since 2013.
Impact on the tourism sector
The audiovisual productions benefiting from the incentives for the sector have been filmed in more than eighty municipalities and tourist destinations. They have paid for more than 67,000 hotel nights and more than 6,300 air tickets processed with national agencies. Although Bogota and Cundinamarca are the hub of audiovisual production in Colombia, Magdalena, Bolívar and Antioquia also stand out.
Results in figures
The FFC and CINA incentives for the audiovisual sector have achieved:
- Investments for 1.5 billion pesos
- 102 approved audiovisual projects
- 64 projects in execution (7, to receive compensation from the FFC; 57, to receive CINA certificate)
- 15 cinematographic works (4, approved to receive FFC; 11, for CINA).
- 45 series (3, approved to receive FFC; 42, for CINA)
- 4 post-production projects (CINA).