Celebrating 25 Years of strengthening the Colombian audiovisual sector

Pantalla Colombia No.: 122
abril 16 - mayo 31 / 2023

Proimágenes Colombia has reached a significant milestone, celebrating a quarter of a century as the central hub of the Colombian audiovisual ecosystem and a leading force in international promotion.

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Established on April 23, 1998, as a non-profit organization with mixed participation, the Fondo Mixto de Promoción Cinematográfica - Proimágenes Colombia has focused on strengthening the Colombian audiovisual sector. Its unique ability to bring together public and private efforts in designing and implementing evolving public policies and support mechanisms, has been its greatest asset. By involving the entire value chain, Proimágenes Colombia empowers the audiovisual sector to drive cultural and economic development across the country.

Over the course of these 25 years, Proimágenes Colombia has become the best ally of the Colombian audiovisual industry. It serves as a welcoming space for all stakeholders, providing support, guidance, and training to the sector. Through constant adaptation and the creation of diverse activities, Proimágenes Colombia strives for better outcomes and a broader reach, both within different regions of the country and on the international stage.

Their dedicated efforts have led to enacting two laws that have revolutionized audiovisual production in Colombia. The "Film Law" (Law 814) promotes national-level project development, while the "Colombia Filming Law" (Law 1556) incentivizes filming within the country by offering tax benefits. This legislation, originally focused on cinematographic works, is now expanding to encompass other audiovisual formats, further establishing Colombia as a prime destination for production.

Proimágenes is the foundation for the Colombia Film Commission, the pioneering initiative to support the internationalization of Colombian cinema. Like film commissions worldwide, it promotes sector development by promoting the incentives to attract productions to Colombian territory. It assists with permits, customs processes, and valuable information on infrastructure, personnel, and costs. Today, its primary focus lies in leveraging the incentives of Law 1556 (FFC and CINA).

The Promotion Department of Proimágenes Colombia plays a vital role in complementing this work. It implements a strategic approach to enhance the visibility of content, talent, companies, and incentives. It aims to strengthen existing relationships and forge new connections with national and international agents for promotional purposes. Proimágenes Colombia actively participates in various international festivals and markets throughout the year, supporting Colombian films and accompanying talented individuals. These efforts extend support to talents in these spaces and involve managing invitations and guiding international guests, including sales agents, festival programmers, and interested entrepreneurs seeking insights into the Colombian ecosystem. The department also directs national co-production meetings and networking events like the Bogota Audiovisual Market - BAM and Encuentros. Additionally, it designs catalogs to showcase productions and talents at different markets, such as Refresh, the catalog for Colombian short films.

In its 25-year journey, Proimágenes Colombia, led by director general Claudia Triana de Vargas, received the prestigious Civil Order of Merit José Acevedo y Gómez, with the rank of Grand Cross, from the esteemed City Council of Bogota. This honor acknowledges the organization's remarkable efforts in promoting culture through audiovisuals and elevating Bogota's position on the global film stage. Councilman Nelson Cubides, the driving force behind this recognition, stated, "Proimágenes has nurtured a film culture that has strengthened our country and city. Today, we witness a robust audiovisual sector that profoundly impacts society through art. Over the past three years, this corporation has played a pivotal role in Colombia's premier audiovisual market, fostering visibility for industry professionals, facilitating knowledge exchange on sector trends, fostering networking opportunities, and facilitating business ventures."

The Civil Order of Merit José Acevedo y Gómez, awarded in various degrees, including Silver Cross, Gold Cross, and Grand Cross, honors citizens who have made distinguished contributions to the city and possess recognized importance. Since Proimágenes Colombia's inception in 1998, Claudia Triana has been at the helm, leading a dedicated team of professionals who have played a pivotal role in the conceptual, philosophical, and technical development of policies and mechanisms that have garnered international acclaim for the Colombian audiovisual industry.

Proimágenes Colombia received this recognition following its 25th-anniversary commemoration at the Bogotá International Book Fair (FILBo). The event showcased the launch of the book Cinematografía en Colombia, tras las huellas de una industria (Cinematography in Colombia, in the footsteps of an industry) by Gonzalo Castellanos V., published in collaboration with Ícono Editorial and featuring a prologue written by director Laura Mora (Los reyes del mundo). This comprehensive publication explores the significance of film and audiovisuals as a social phenomenon, a tool for coexistence, and an alternative to the long-standing national conflict. It also delves into the economic aspects, policies, outcomes, the evolving landscape of the "global screen," and the potential for Colombia to emerge as a major hub for audiovisual production.

The achievements and progress of Proimágenes Colombia are a testament to the invaluable support from its board of directors, which includes partners such as the Ministry of Culture, including its Direction of Audiovisual, Film, and Interactive Media (previously known as the Direction of Cinematography), the Ministry of Information Technology and Communications, the Ministry of Education, the Direction of National Taxes and Customs - DIAN, the National University of Colombia, Cine Colombia, the Colombian Association of Film Distributors, the Colombian Film Heritage Foundation, as well as representatives from the country's production and filmmaking sectors.

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