Friday, February 13, 2009

Guatemala Wants to Lure Moviemakers

With the creation of the Clúster de Cine, the Programa Nacional de Competitividad (National Competitiveness Program) seeks to make Guatemala the "Hollywood" in Central America, and to attract film productions, documentaries and audiovisuals.

According to Cecilia Santamarina, president of the Clúster de Cine, the country has talent, technology, and locations for filming feature films suitable for the global entertainment market.

The cluster brings together all those involved in the film industry and has already made contacts with production companies in the U.S. and Europe.

According to Byron Rabe, a member of the Film Commission of Guatemala, there are 33 production companies with 1,200 technicians specialized in camera, sound, lights, and fixtures. Additionally, there is another list consisting of some 300 people, including writers, producers, directors, musicians and actors.

According to the filmmaker, Guatemala can produce up to 10 films a year and other audiovisual products.

Success in this arena would create an economic boom in the areas of tourism, transport, telecommunications, hotels, restaurants and other consumption, Santamarina said.

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