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Puerto Rico Film Commission opens call for funding

From left: Alberto Bacó and Demetrio Fernández during a morning news conference.

From left: Alberto Bacó and Demetrio Fernández during a morning news conference.

Looking to boost the island’s film industry, the Puerto Rico Film Commission announced the start of this year’s funding cycle for fiction feature films, which runs from today through Sept. 26.

This year’s funding cycle includes a number of administrative changes directed toward stimulating local, professional quality film projects, said Film Commission Director Demetrio Fernández and Economic Development and Commerce Secretary Alberto Bacó.

They explained that the changes pursue ensuring that public funds are invested in developing and polishing the talent of local screenwriters.

“Our focus is ensuring that Film Fund resources serve to develop a world-class, local film industry. Administrative changes in the Fund include investing in the talent of local filmmakers and promoting a new generation of writers able to take our film industry to other markets,” said Bacó, whose heads the umbrella agency that shelters the Film Commission.

The three-pronged changes call for: conducting separate calls for funding for fiction and documentary films, so that applications may be reviewed by specialized advisory boards; allowing participants to separate the creative process from the production when presenting proposals; and creating a screenwriting lab call for fiction and documentary narrative projects, also to be held separately. To qualify for funding, participants must take part in the labs, the agency said.

“These labs are intended to develop the potential of Puerto Rico’s writers and filmmakers and refine the shortlisted stories through professional work experience,” said Fernández.

The fiction screenwriting lab will take place Oct. 27-31, under the leadership of renowned film producer Bertha Navarro. She is a permanent advisor and coordinator of the Screenwriting Laboratory for film projects in Latin America for the Toscano Foundation, in collaboration with the Sundance Film Institute.

The lab aims to improve and refine the scripts recommended by the advisory board. For more information, visit www.puertoricofilm.com.

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Author Details
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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