Carmen Julia García, Erika Chávez • Head of the Office for Image and Nation Branding Strategy, and manager of the Peruvian Directorate of Audiovisual, Sound Production and New Media
“Our public funds facilitate shoots and film-related training”
- The two representatives of Peru, the guest country at MAFIZ, visited Málaga to strengthen ties with Europe and invite foreign crews to film in its diverse array of locations
On the terrace of the AC Málaga Palacio hotel, we met up with Carmen Julia García, head of the Office for Image and Nation Branding Strategy, and Erika Chávez, manager of the Peruvian Directorate of Audiovisual, Sound Production and New Media (DAFO). They told us more about their home country, which was guest of honour at MAFIZ, the industry area of the 26th Málaga Film Festival.
Cineuropa: What kinds of activities have you been up to here in Málaga?
Erika Chávez: The festival opened up all of its sidebars to us, such as the WarmiLab, a new lab for women from the Andean regions, allowing us to bring four female directors over from Peru – and this will continue at future editions. We also had Focus Perú, featuring some of our films from the last few years: for example, Un mundo para Julius, directed by Lima native Rossanna Díaz Costa and based on the book by Alfredo Bryce Echenique, which was made as a co-production with Spain and Argentina; El corazón de la luna, a foray into the fantastical genre by Aldo Salvini; and Diógenes by Leonardo Barbuy, which scooped two prizes in the Zonazine section at Málaga: the Silver Biznaga for Best Ibero-American Film and the Award for Best Director [see the news]. We had meetings with lots of filmmakers, and we brought our culture to Europe, making contacts at festivals such as Locarno. The Málaga Film Festival has been an important platform for us.
How is the Peruvian film industry faring?
EC: Up until 2019, we had around 36 films being premiered every year, which is a considerable figure in South America, although the pandemic affected us, as it did everyone, and in 2022, we premiered 22 movies. This year, it should be around 30. We produce so many thanks to the public funds that permit shoots and training to take place: this annual incentive plan really bolsters film in our country.
And are you interested in forging production alliances with Europe?
EC: We have begun several conversations here: Spain is an important market because we are linked by a language and a culture. We have those incentives for co-productions, which enables us to forge alliances with other countries, also thanks to the Ibermedia programme. And we have Film in Perú, a body headed up by the Ministry of Tourism, which Carmen can talk to us about.
Because you’re here at MAFIZ to promote Peru as a shooting location, correct?
Carmen Julia García: Yes, we have come in an attempt to help our country become a hub for co-productions that may take place in its different regions. For years now, many important titles have been filmed there, such as Fitzcarraldo (1982) by Werner Herzog; Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, which is coming out in June; and season 3 of the series La reina del Sur. It’s a way to promote our country and increase its visibility, so that film tourism can also increase.
Herzog’s legendary Amazon shoot… Did that help the country to prepare itself for hosting other shoots?
CJG: Indeed, it was an exchange of experiences and knowledge. Every time a foreign production arrives, Peru ends up being much stronger in terms of its industry and is ready to host any production, offering first-rate services in the audiovisual sector.
If a European producer wishes to film in Peru, what should he or she do?
CJG: The gateway is PromPerú (Commission for the Promotion of Peru for Exports and Tourism), which provides all of the necessary information, but also, there’s the Film in Perú team, who furnish the requisite data to guide the production companies that wish to film there, and facilitate access to the permits that are needed on the local or provincial level. For instance, to gain access to the Amazon, you need permits, and you can thus film documentaries, as also happens at Machu Picchu. Likewise, we are looking into potential tax incentives that would make shoots in our country even more competitive: they will be launched this year already.
And what can Peru offer in terms of nature, landscapes, light and climate that other regions cannot provide?
CJG: It’s very diverse, with a long coastline, oases, dunes, deserts and jungle – a huge range of biodiversity. Another highlight is the Andes mountain range. A film whose action unfolds on another planet could easily be filmed in Arequipa, which, with its rock formations, could stand in for Mars, for example. And our seasons aren’t as clear cut as they are in Europe, as we have a much milder climate all year round as well as this wonderful light.
(Translated from Spanish)
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