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Los 33 currently shooting in Colombia and Chile

Antonio Banderas in The Skin in Live inFilming is currently underway on the real-life story of the 33 Chilean miners who remained trapped underground for 69 days following the collapse of a shaft back in 2010.

Principal photography started in December at the Colombian salt mines outside Bogotá, with the production travelling to Chile later this month to film the exteriors.

Entitled simply Los 33 (The 33), the nickname given to the miners by the press, the film will be the first international feature to qualify for Colombia’s recently approved tax incentive.

Since 2013, the country has offered a cash rebate for productions partially or totally made in Colombia. The two-tiered system provides 40% for film services, which includes those related to audio-visual production or post-production, artistic and technical services. Another 20% is available to film logistical services, such as transport, accommodation and food.

Antonio Banderas plays Mario Sepúlveda in the film, the miner nicknamed Super Mario when he took on the role as leader and managed to keep the group calm in their time of despair. Also starring are Martin Sheen, Juliette Binoche and James Brolin.

Mexican Patricia Riggen (Under the Same Moon, Girl In Progress) directs with Mike Medavoy, Robert Katz and Edward McGurn (Black Swan, 2010) producing. The film was written by José Rivera, who was nominated for an Oscar with The Motorcycle Diaries in 2004.

The film, described as a story about the triumph of faith, perseverance, solidarity and the human spirit over adversity, is scheduled to be released in theatres in 2014.

The makers’ choice of Colombia signified such economic possibilities for the future of the country as a destination for filming that upon their arrival, the cast and crew were welcomed by the country’s president Juan Manuel Santos at his official Bogotá residence.


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