The historic center of Santa Marta is the initial shooting location for ‘El grito de las mariposas’, the first Spanish-language production of the Disney-Fox channel for Latin America, which begins this Monday and will also be set in Barranquilla, Ciénaga and Cartagena, in the Colombian Caribbean, and Bogotá.
The story revolves around the sisters Minerva, Patria and María Teresa Mirabal. On November 25, 1960, they, opponents of the government in the Dominican Republic, were assassinated by dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo (hence the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women). (Also: Sucre and Córdoba benefit from the Gulf of Morrosquillo pact).
The initial recording is in houses and some special places in downtown Santa Marta, where a team of no less than 100 people are working from the early hours of the morning.
By September the production team, after working in locations in Santa Marta, Tayrona Park and the neighboring municipality of Ciénaga, is expected to arrive in Barranquilla.
The natural setting for the 50s and 60s, in which this story takes place, will be the streets of the El Prado neighborhood.
It will also be shot at the El Prado hotel, whose architecture and beauty will recreate the atmosphere of the Dominican Republic at that time.
Similar to Dominicana
The film will be directed by Argentinean Juan Pablo Buscarni, producer of the film, who said he has been working on the project for five years.
“This area of Colombia has scenarios with great proximity to the Dominican Republic, which allows us to have excellent locations, including Santa Marta and the Sierra Nevada, and there is also a great capacity for audiovisual production,” Buscarini told EL TIEMPO.
We found good preservation in streets and houses, especially in the El Prado neighborhood, as well as hotels, the La Salle school and the La Aduana building, and the cars of the period.
“We found scenarios to represent the time from 1949 to 1961, approximately, of Salcedo, where the Mirabal were born. We found good preservation in streets and houses, especially in the El Prado neighborhood, also hotels, the La Salle school and the La Aduana building, and the cars of the time”, he added.
Filming will take 10 weeks, at a cost of US$4.2 million, with production by the Argentinean and Spanish companies Pampa Films and Gloriamundi, and the Colombian company Vista Producciones, in charge of production in Colombia.
During the filming period, international and national actors will be in the area, including Spanish actors Belén Rueda, Susana Abaitua and Guillermo Toledo, Cubans Luis Alberto García and Héctor Suárez Noas, and Colombians Indhira Serrano, Alejandra Borrero, Carlos Mario Echeverry and Jairo Camargo, among others.
The town of Ciénaga (Magdalena) is once again being considered for major television productions.
Upon hearing the news of the filming, the mayor of Barranquila, Jaime Pumarejo Heins, took the opportunity to announce that his administration is promoting the creation of a free zone of services in which large companies from around the world will be able to install themselves to produce audiovisual productions for the exterior.
“The idea is to generate local incentives in addition to national ones, so that international producers can develop their projects and grow,” said the president.
A showcase for the Caribbean
Buscarini had been in Barranquilla in an event of the Cinemateca del Caribe and there he met Juan Manuel Buelvas, at that time manager of Telecaribe, who showed him the productions that were currently being filmed, among them Esthercita, an ambient series that embodies the life and career of the singer and composer from Barranquilla.
Buelvas became a consultant for the series, and explains that the arrival of this type of productions in the region is the result of years of work and preparation of teams and audiovisual producers, which allows today to have not only the sites, but also the talent and human material.
He recalled that for Netflix the series ‘Brujas’ was produced in Cartagena. “There are already some conditions, which are interesting for producers, who see that the money yields here because of tax exemptions, locations, infrastructure and technical talent, which is not necessary to bring from elsewhere,” says Buelvas.
Currently, Colombia’s Film Law returns 35 percent of the investment to foreign producers.
“The Caribbean had been preparing for years for this to work, and now Disney+ has arrived because the conditions are in place,” Buelvas points out.
El grito de las mariposas’ will be revived by the Star Disney+ series, the first in Spanish, with which this adult entertainment content distribution platform will firmly enter the Latin American market.