Overview of Colombia’s Animation Industry: A Whole New Sector to Explore

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Content publication date

April 26, 2023
Colombia is a model for Latin America’s animation industry and is rapidly growing, which can be attractive for certain type of American investors.

Colombia has it all: the key public and private players for the development of the industry, who promote its potential and the benefits of connections with the sector and who can bring in any business partner; and the technological landscape, competitive costs, and young, skilled creative talent with an emphasis on great storytelling and content. This is why the South American country shows an animation industry that continues to flourish.

One of the main competitive advantages of Colombia is the skilled workforce. As a matter of fact, the country has over 9,000 professionals working in the sector in areas as diverse as graphic design and multimedia, visual arts, film and television production, and musical arts, among others.

In addition to this, with film incentives for projects wholly or mainly developed in Colombia and the promotion of cinematographic activity, declared by law 1556 of 2013, the industry has the potential to promote the national territory as an element of cultural heritage for the filming of audiovisuals and through these, the tourist activity, and the promotion of the country's image as well.

There is the Colombian Film Commission FFC, which grants a 40% cash bonus on audiovisual services expenses and 20% of logistic services expenses in the country for local and foreign audiovisual projects in formats such as cinematographic works, series, music videos, and animation productions. There is also the transferable tax credit, which consists of a transferable tax credit of 35% of audiovisual and logistic services expenses.

The benefit of costs regarding production services, of about $60,000 to USD 75,000 per episode, makes the country a key player in the animation field. The sector is growing between 3% and 6% annually by producing more than 750 minutes of animated content. The cost of production per movie oscillates between USD 20M and USD 200M, of which approximately 20% of the price goes to special effects, yet the design tools are more affordable for everyone.

In Colombia, there are two relevant animation associations: GEMA, the association of Colombian animation companies, which works to strengthen and make visible the animation industry in the country; and ASIFA (International Animated Film Association), and other key organizations such as Proimágenes, a non-profit civil corporation created under Law 397 of 1997 (General Law of Culture). Proimágenes strives to promote international audiovisual production in Colombia through the Colombian Film Commission, a project of the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Tourism.

For instance, Centauro, a Colombian dubbing company founded in 1976, opened several branches: in Sao Paulo for Portuguese dubbing, in Mexico City for Spanish, and in Miami for English. They have worked with major TV platforms and networks on projects such as 13 Reasons Why, Cobra Kai and RuPaul for Netflix, Scream and Santa Clarita Diet for BTI Studios, and The Fosters and American Housewife for ABC. In addition, the company is supporting minorities by hiring talent with disabilities so that the community can enjoy the films and live the experience while making the entertainment industry inclusive.

2022 closed with 1.4M in business reported by approximately ten animation studios. A few of the most renowned are Team Toon, which is working on the Canadian animated series Turtle Twins; Bombillo Amarillo, working with Señal Colombia in a new series, Flashlight, and has previously worked with Polish Netflix show Kayko and Kokosh, and Hierro Animation Studio with the recent output The Other Shape. ProColombia supports these industry companies through an open call to participate in various events. The leading event in the industry is Kidscreen, where the business expectations for 2023 were around 3 million USD, with the realization of approximately 60 business meetings with the six companies which participated.

“There is a bright future for the animation industry in Colombia. The country has potential, with connections in the industry, the technological landscape, the competitive costs, and the creative talent with great storytelling skills and content production which are all essential factors for American buyers or investors looking for expanding their financing portfolio’s”, concluded Carmen Caballero, President of ProColombia.