Hollywood Lured to Argentina by Cost, Quality and Nightlife

Over 80 films are made in Argentina each year, most local productions, but now more and more Hollywood studios are lured to Argentina based on costs that can be 25% to 60% lower than similar costs in the US and the high quality of film technicians.

Studio execs “want to know what is going on in Argentina, and how they can make films here,” says Ana Aizenberg, head of the Buenos Aires Film Commission, in a recent Variety article.

Argentina has more than 100 years of film history and in the 30s and 40s was the Hollywood of Latin America. Buenos Aires has many studios and sound stages, and the latest technology.  Argentina has the largest concentration of studios in Latin America, and regularly produces content for export, such as “Wipe-Out” for over 30 countries and “Desperate Housewives” and “High School Musical” for the Latin American Markets.

Argentina also offers a wide variety of landscapes, from grasslands, to desserts to beaches, and a variety of faces: most Argentines are of European descent, and new waves of immigration from China, Japan, Senegal and Russia have made the streets even more diverse.

Technicians are famed for their resourcefulness, honed after many cycles of economic crisis. They are used to resolving problems quickly with little budget, and treat film as an art form.

In the past few years, large budget Hollywood films such as Chris Nahon’s “Blood: The Last Vampire,” James Huth’s “Lucky Luke” and Roland Joffe’s “There Be Dragons” have been filmed in Argentina (with Buenos Aires often filling in for Europe).

An example of possible cost savings can be found with the co-production between Argentina’s Pampa Films and Spain’s Filmax of the “El raton Perez” (The Hair Tooth Fairy) franchise.

The first cost e1.7 million ($2.2 million US Dollars) to make in Argentina, less than half the $5 million to $6.3 million it would have cost in Europe, says Pampa’s Juan Pablo Buscarini, who also directed the family pic.

The model is best for adventure and family movies, he said in a recent variety article. “All of the family films that have gone to New Zealand could have been done in Argentina.”

The cost savings are more notable the higher the quality: a low-budget for Hollywood can be turned into a high-budget film in Argentina.

The other draw are the charming cafes, good restaurants and pulsating night life. Where else can you get a great steak for 10 bucks and enjoy a fine bottle of wine for 15, and flirt with some of the most beautiful people on earth?

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