San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rican films win funding

Three Costa Rican films have won funding from Ibermedia, a project that aims to bring funding to television and cinematic productions in Spain, Portugal and Latin America, according to the Culture Ministry.

“Costa Rica is very proud of its audiovisual industry,” said culture minister María Elena Carballo. “I feel that we have a confluence of helping factors … creative and talented people, the support of the government and experienced people in the field.”

These films, entitled “Las Niñas” (“The Girls”), “Las Cincuenta Vueltas” (“The Fifty Turns”) and “Del Amor y Otros Demonios” (“Of Love and Other Demons”), are the first three winners from Costa Rica, who entered the program this year.

“Our culture is good business,” Carballo said. “This sector is earning money. This sector is competitive. We are creating a new way for creative people to work with their government.”

They join 16 other member countries but join Panama as the only Central American nations involved in the program.

“Las Niñas,” about the Nicaraguan revolution through the eyes of one family, and “Las Cincuenta Vueltas,” about 50 years of Cuban communism, won $15,000 each for project development.

“Del Amor y Otros Demonios,” a film version of the Gabriel García Márquez novel done with help from Colombia, won $180,000 in the co-production category.

“In each story, there is an important part of our soul and identity,” said Mercedes Ramírez, director of the ministry´s Center for Cinematic Production. “We want these projects to have an impact on the economy as well, because we are talking about cultural products.”

Costa Rica hopes to expand its efforts in film, and also to serve as a model of success for Central American countries that have not yet entered into the Ibermedia program.

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