Fresh on the silver screen, cost-effective, beautiful and culturally rich… this tiny South American country packs a punch for film producers
Famous for its striking countryside, Uruguay, the second-smallest country in South America, is postcard perfect with untouched beauty and culture. Rated as one of the least-corrupt countries in Latin America, it also prospers in the quality of life the locals follow. The aura of this small nation is spellbinding – from hills to the riverside and colourful houses, Uruguay is exquisite.
The moderate climate and its territory surrounded by numerous water bodies, mountaintops, beaches, fortresses and churches has turned this insignificant country into a destination crowded with tourists all through the year. The early inhabitants being Spanish, French and Portuguese, an assortment of cultures is reflected in the cuisine, home decor and neighbourhood.
Where Montevideo is sophisticated with urban infrastructure, the soft rolling hills of the Uruguayan countryside bring forth French culture. The cobblestone pathways, squares and colourful houses of Colonia del Sacramento will take you back to the 1940s and create a war-like setting.
Other destinations – Punta del Este and Punta del Diablo – are no longer undiscovered gems and are swamped by day-trippers. The former is particularly known for the Casapueblo, a work by artist Carlos PáezVilaró. Ever since outsiders apart from Brazilians and Argentines started exploring this country, it has become a hub of entertainment with plenty to offer. Today, the country is rising in popularity, know-how and hospitality.
To sum up, the ample space, sparse population, yesteryear architecture and most importantly low cost make for the perfect backdrop for audio-visual productions. Also, as the country has not been explored much, it appears fresh on the silver screen.
Located entirely within a temperate zone, Uruguay has a climate that is relatively mild and fairly uniform nationwide. Seasonal variations are pronounced, but extremes in temperature are rare. Uruguay has a largely uniform temperature throughout the year, with summers being tempered by winds off the Atlantic. The heaviest precipitation occurs during the autumn months, although more frequent rainy spells occur in winter.
Why Shoot In Uruguay?
Half the total population resides in the capital Montevideo and its surroundings. So Uruguay is a scantily populated country with a low demographic density (19 inhabitants/sq km). The availability of vast open spaces, even in the cities, is one of the typical features of the country.
International joint productions in which Uruguay participates are considered part of the concept of ‘export services’, being thus bestowed a special treatment, which includes VAT exemption.
National Customs grants temporary admission to Uruguay of those intangible assets aiming at promoting cultural activities – cinematography and audio-visuals among them.
The Uruguayan State Film Institute may undertake proceedings before other state or foreign agencies aiming at collaborating with audio-visual productions to be carried out either in Uruguay or abroad.
Uruguay has solid infrastructure for the movie industry and meets international standards. It has state-of-the-art technology in film and digital cameras, the most complete lighting and grip stock and equipment, dollies, cranes, accessories, generators, specialised transport either for crew or equipment, editing bays, post-production studios, animation, audio and different kinds and sizes of studios, all at highly competitive prices.
Declaration of Interest
The Ministry of Education and Culture may declare of ministerial interest a production and/or a cultural event relating to cinematography and to audio-visual production. Through such proceeding, the sponsorship of the Uruguayan State Film Institute may be granted.
According to José Michael Insulza, OAS Secretary-General, Uruguay is one of the best countries in the region with regard to safety.
Short Distances and Clear Traffic
In any shooting, short distances imply cost and time optimisation. Uruguay not only offers this option but also has good roads and clear traffic.
Swiftness in Management of Locations
The Office of Montevideo Locations manages most public locations within 48 hours.
Proximity to Argentina and Brazil
Proximity to these two big countries enhances existing resources in Uruguay. Buenos Aires is barely 45 minutes from Montevideo by plane and São Paulo is only 2 hours and a half.
Opposite seasons to the Northern Hemisphere allow filmmakers to carry out audio-visual productions in summer during the boreal winter.