Uruguay has a range of locations to please the eye of any cinematographer, from fields and beaches, to Art deco style buildings, lagoons and light houses.
Translated from the Guarani language meaning "the river of the colourful or painted birds", Uruguay is bordered by Brazil to the north; Argentina across the bank of both the Uruguayan River to the west and the estuary of Río de la Plata to the southwest, and the southern Atlantic Ocean to the southeast.
Besides its capital and production hub Montevideo, other major cities include Colonia and the up-market vacation resort of Punta del Este, dubbed the St. Tropez of Uruguay.
Relatively a small country, Uruguay is home to 3.3 million people, 1.7 million of which live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area.
From experience gathered in meeting the demands of foreign markets, Uruguay has strengthened its efficiency in the audio-visual market and has technical expertise and qualified bilingual professionals as well as easy access to filmmaking equipment.
Uruguay is a popular location for TV commercials, with shoots in the capital, Montevideo, rising almost 50% to 194 between 2010 and 2012.
In early 2013, Jake Scott (son of acclaimed director Ridley), shot a Bacardi campaign in Uruguay, using the country as a double for Cuba in the early 1900s. Locations included Colonia; an old factory in Montevideo; Punta del Este, and Garzon, a little village with unpaved streets. Service production company Jacaranda Films was behind the advert.
In 2011, Hollywood A-lister Hugh Jackman starred in Lipton Ice’s commercial Join the Dance, which was filmed in Montevideo and Punta del Este. Ad agency DDB was behind this commercial, with Stink London and American agency @radical.media co-producing the ad.
Also in 2011, a high octane chase took place on the streets of Uruguay for Xbox 360s Forza Motorsport 4 commercial. Called An Endangered Species, the ad was directed by Nicolai Fuglsigb and produced by MJZ. Agency twofifteenmccann was behind the ad.
In that same year director Gustavo Hermandez shot the feature La Casa Muda (The Silent House), a horror film shot in one take which received some good reviews when it was shown across the country's borders.
Filming permits are required, and can take anything from 24 to 48 hours to obtain. The first point of contact for any filming should be done through the Uruguay Film Commission.
With the advantages of a wide variety and close proximity of locations - from desert to city, mountains to beach scenery - comes an ethnic diversity of a well-educated population.
In Uruguay, you will find more than 500km of coast, and the principal resort towns have a very rich coastline with numerous islands. It’s a country with a historical and a contemporary architecture, comprising styles like Art Nouveau, Art deco, Bauhaus, Renaissance and French Gothic.
As regards to locations featured in productions, Montevideo has been used in films such as Children of Men (2006) and Miami Vice (2006). The latter film, directed by Michael Mann, shot at Carrasco International Airport, the seaside resort Atlántida and Montevideo’s Old City.
As far with production companies go, most of equipment hire facilities are based in the country’s capital, Montevideo. KFTV has a full list of these rental companies.