Colombia has an incredible variety of undiscovered locations including vibrant cities, colonial towns, Amerindian ruins, beaches, mountains, rainforest, waterfalls, rivers, desert, and agricultural lands. Agricultural film locations of interest include cattle ranches and plantations of coffee, cut flowers, bananas, rice, tobacco, corn, sugarcane, and cocoa. Colombia’s equatorial location means most crops are in season all year round.
Cost & Rebates
40% cash rebate of pre-production, production and post-production expenses for resident labor and vendor services, 20% rebate for “film logistical services” (hotel, food, and transportation), plus 41.23% transferable tax credit on qualifying spend by foreign investor or foreign co-producer. Production company must be at least 20% Colombian-owned. The director and one (1) principal actor (or one (1) principal actor and 2 department heads) must be Colombian. Project cap (for tax credit): US$600,000. Minimum spend: US$600,000
When To Shoot
Colombia has a tropical climate with long sunlight hours throughout the year. Mountains and coastal areas tend to have cooler temperatures. The Amazon region stays hot and wet all year round. Bogota has spring-like conditions with warm days and crisp nights. Given its elevation, Bogota can get chilly, particularly in the evening. In general, the best periods to film for dry weather are December to March or July / August.
Colourful carnivals of interest to filmmakers and photographers include:
• Carnaval del Diablo held in Riosucio in January every 2 years.
• Carnaval de Negros y Blancos celebrated in Pasto in early January.
• Barranquilla Carnival in February / March.
Crews travelling on western passports, staying for less than 90 days can enter visa-free to film in Colombia. It is however recommended to present customs and immigration a letter of introduction from the Film Commission when entering Colombia. Long-form projects may require visas.
Cast, Crew & Equipment
Colombia has a small but good pool of local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Colombian crews are experienced, hard working and resourceful. Crews are non-union. They’re flexible with overtime and turn around times. Heads of department all speak fluent English. Colombia has three experienced stunt companies. Talent is non-union. Day rates and buyouts are negotiated on a personal basis. Colombia is a multicultural country consisting predominately of Mestizo, Caucasian, Afro-Colombian and Amerindian looks such as the Wayuu people. The Pacific region is mainly Afro-Colombian. Some Middle Eastern and Chinese looks are also possible to find although their small numbers mean you would struggle to find lead roles. All the standard camera, grip and lighting equipment is available locally in Colombia including Alexa, Phantom Flex, Technocrane, car kits and a range of drones. If you are planning on bringing your own professional gear, first you need permission to film from the Ministry of Culture. There are no customs duties providing the gear is exported. Allow extra time when flying back with gear to clear equipment out of the country. Equipment may remain in Colombia for up to 6 months.