How Uruguay Attracts and Incentivizes Feature Film Productions | Interview with Martín Papich

Uruguay is on a mission to strengthen its audiovisual industries and to make the country an attractive destination for international productions. In our interview with film maker Pepi Goncalvez we already heard about the reasons for choosing Uruguay as place to live and work.

Curious about the government's perspective on the topic, during our Uruguay visit we also caught up with Martín Papich, Director of the Uruguayan Film and Audiovisual Institute (ICAU).


Martín, attracting talent has become a key priority for many cities and countries, including for strengthening their competitiveness in the creative industries area. How does Uruguay approach this task?

Uruguay Audiovisual plays a strong role in attractign talent to the country, and can be considered a quantitative leap in the promotion of the audiovisual sector.

Last December, the government launched the Roadmap of the Audiovisual Sector. In an unprecedented event, Uruguay presented a package of measures and tools created to give impetus and encouragement to the Audiovisual sector, valued 4 million US dollars. Within the package of measurements, the creation of the Uruguay Audiovisual Fund stands out. It has two components for the promotion of the industry.

The first is aimed at promoting the arrival of international productions with expenses incurred in Uruguay for an amount equal to or greater than one million US dollars, through a return mechanism of eligible expenses of up to 25 per cent and with a maximum return limit for production of up to 400k US dollars.

The mechanism is foreseen for all types of international audiovisual production filmed totally or partially in the country, with the exception of advertising. This mechanism is complementary to the existing VAT exemption tool (22 per cent) for production services and existing co-productions, with the addition of VAT exemption for national audiovisual productions.

The other planned mechanism focuses on promoting the production phase, with some component in the development phase. It will be implemented through the granting of non-reimbursable support to national projects. These will be equivalent to a percentage of the expenses incurred in certain eligible items in national productions of a certain size. This channel will be implemented within the framework of an annexed line of the Film and Audiovisual Development Fund managed by ICAU.


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Florian Kaefer

Explorer, matchmaker, editor. Founder of The Place Brand Observer, the Sustainability Leaders Project and GreenCityTrips.com.