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Medellin, Colombia starts cash rebate programme

Known as the City of Eternal Spring for its year-round warm climate, Medellin, Colombia, is now attempting to lure filmmakers with an increase in cash rebates of up to 15%.

The payments can be applied for separately from the national cash rebates, currently on offer to international films spending at least £384,000 in the country. As it stands, Medellin is the only city in Colombia that offers cash rebates on top of the national incentives for filmmakers.

The country currently offers a 40% rebate for filmmaking services and 20% for logistical expenses such as accommodation, catering and transportation.

Last year, Medellin Film Commissioner Francisco Pulgarin announced the launch of the city’s film commission, FilmMed, at AFM. He highlighted that producers must spend at least $200,000 in Medellin to have access to the rebates. A few international productions have already shot in the city since the launch of FilmMed, including SpectreVision’s The Boy and Netflix’s first Spanish-language production, Narcos.

Medellin, Colombia’s second-largest city was voted the most innovative city in the world in 2013 by the Urban Land Institute. It boasts a renowned mass transportation system as well as geographical and architectural diversity.

 In the past Medellin had not proved the most appealing location for filmmakers with its reputation for violent crime and its well-publicized association with drug kingpin, Pablo Escobar. However, the institute swiftly countered this by showing that the homicide rate had plunged nearly 80% in the past 20 years.

Medellin will also soon be home to a $170m audio-visual facility, with six soundstages, two office buildings, a hotel and a 5,381-square-foot motion capture studio among its list of state-of-the-art amenities. The complex will inherit almost 50 acres of land and be a mere 15 minutes outside the city.

Several companies from the U.S, U.K and Colombia are in talks with the city to invest in the project. The undertaking of the monumental complex will aid in the preparations of a new initiative to train more people in the audio-visual sector.



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