PROVINCE OF SAN LUIS
San Luis government’s financing of films creates opportunities for projects that highlight the province’s stunning attributes.
CENTRAL ARGENTINE PROVINCE DRAWS IN THE FILM CROWD WITH ATTRACTIVE INCENTIVE PACKAGES
Several years ago the provincial administration of San Luis embarked on a bold and innovative plan to bring Hollywood to Argentina by offering production companies attractive incentive packages. The plan to make the province a prime South American film destination eventually evolved into law and as of January this year San Luis has co-produced or helped to finance 23 feature films, including director Tristan Bauer’s “Enlightened by Fire”, the Argentine film on the Falklands war that won this year’s Goya Prize for the best Spanish-language foreign film.
The wording of the new law, which got the nod from both of the province’s legislative chambers in 2004, states that the objective is to spur the development of tourism, generate employment and strengthen cultural development at both the local and regional levels. And to show that the province is willing to put its money where its mouth is, San Luis also recently opened a US$2.2 million studio.
The provincial government’s financing of film projects gives priority to film productions that highlight the province’s tourist, cultural or historical aspects, and requires that 50% of the crew and 20% of the secondary actors are San Luis residents. The law has been a blessing to up-and-coming production companies that otherwise would never have gotten their projects off the ground.
Although most films are still made in Buenos Aires, local and foreign directors filming in Argentina have long complained about the difficulty of getting studio time in the capital. For them, San Luis provides an attractive alternative, especially considering the province’s stunning natural scenery and welcoming inhabitants.
And the list of international producers interested in filming in San Luis continues to grow. Spain’s Luna Films plans to shoot its feature film “Letters for Jenny” in San Luis as well as in Barcelona and Israel. And according to Variety magazine, Faye Dunaway is considering producing there, as is local TV impresario Marcelo Tinelli.
“These projects really excite us,” says San Luis Governor Alberto Rodriguez Saa. “Because hosting international co-productions has placed San Luis at the head of the global industry and has opened up new possibilities for us in all aspects.”