Bogotá Audiovisual Market (BAM) rolls out the red carpet next month – July 9 to 13 – on a creative industry that has given Colombia a slate of international awards, and recognition at prestigious festivals during the last decade. From San Sebastián to Berlin, Toronto and Cannes, Colombian films are characterized by epic stories, magnificent locations and stunning visuals.

Organized by the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce (CCB), the country’s film promotion entity Proimagenes, and with the support of the Film Development Fund (FDC), BAM is the most important event for industry professionals. The function showcases completed projects, those in post-production, scripts and festivals, alongside service companies specializing in rental equipment, location scouting and catering.

In its ninth edition, BAM will focus on business opportunities in two different venues. BAM’s workshops and main meeting point will take place in the CCB’s Chapinero hub (Calle 67 No.8- 32). There, international guests are invited to explore and forge business partnerships with accredited directors, producers, editors and cinematographers.

The Gimnasio Moderno (Calle 74 No. 9-24) will serve as the festival’s main venue for BAM Talks, where lectures by filmmakers will offer guests industry insight. Also taking place on the school’s grounds, one of the city’s most emblematic landmarks, is the BAM Forum, a space dedicated to the promotion of brands that cater to the creative cluster. Participants can network and mingle under the Big Top where a lounge offers snacks, refreshments during the day and an after work Happy Hour.

Participants will be able to attend BAM Brunches early in the morning, where a panel of international experts will share their experiences on film making. Each brunch includes a networking session, which focuses on one aspect of the film industry, and offers participants the possibility to hear first-hand from experts where the industry is heading, tips on how to pitch a project, and trends in movie making.

All screenings take place at the Multiplex Cine Colombia theatre (Calle 72 No.10-34) and the BAM Shuttle will move participants from one location to the next in a matter of minutes.

BAM is one of many high-profile cultural events in which Spain is participating this year through its FOCO Cultura España Colombia program, and chosen for the ninth edition as the official guest of honor. Through the Embassy of Spain in Colombia, Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts of Spain (ICAA) and Spanish Cultural Action agency, this ambitious proposal aims to bring the two nations closer by encouraging cultural exchanges. Within the framework of FOCO Cultura España Colombia, this year BAM will host an important delegation of Spanish audiovisual professionals ready to explore the Colombian market in order to strengthen cooperation in the field of audiovisual industries.

Bogotá Audiovisual Market has positioned itself as one of the most important audiovisual hubs in Latin America, and this year’s international guests will give talks on a wide range of topics, such as how to market independent projects, strategies to get features included in festivals, and how to develop web projects.

Among the industry experts invited to BAM are Paula Vaccaro, a British-Italian producer, who founded the London production company Pinball. Vaccaro will talk about the company’s international features and share a wealth of industry experience. Vaccaro has worked in the U.S., Latin America and Europe with world renown directors Sally Potter, Emir Kusturica, Oliver Stone and Jim Jarmusch.

Roch Lener, chairman and CEO of the Paris-based animation and live action programming company Millimages, will talk about what it takes to produce 500 hours of children’s content. International publicist Barbara Van Lombeek will discuss marketing strategies, and how to have projects recognised at international festivals.

Argentina’s Paula Zupnik, content advisor for Latin America of SnapMedia, is one of the jurors of BAM Screenings. This category is focused on entrepreneurs who have feature films in post-production, or are about to show their latest work, without the exposure of a premiere. “This edition of BAM presents high quality films, not only in their technical quality, but scripts that narrate interesting and beautiful stories, showing an authentic Colombia,” explains Zupnik.

In BAM screenings, 13 films will be projected for sales agents and festival organizers interested in sharing a new crop of national cinema with audiences. Other jurors participating in the private screenings are Spain’s Enrique González Kuhn, CEO of Caramel Films, and Cuba’s Alberto Ramos, director of New Latin American Film Festival of Habana.

Two industry insiders, Matthieu Darras (France), artistic director of Torino Film Lab, and Aaron Katz (USA), director of acquisitions at Oscilloscope Laboratories, have plenty of experience with digital ecosystems, and will discuss with the public how these are changing the moviemaking landscape.

Mónica de Greiff, executive president of Bogotá Chamber of Commerce reaffirms BAM’s commitment to offering a venue to showcase the best of the cultural and content industries of the city – region. “By offering a comprehensive networking and business platform for entrepreneurs, BAM continues to grow as one of the most important in Latin America.”

A driving force behind this edition is to promote Bogotá as a leading generator of Spanish-language productions. This year’s event expects to exceed revenues of US$35 million in global distribution sales with respect to 2017.

While big budget productions get critiqued by experts, BAM also directs its attention toward younger moviemakers aspiring to get into the industry by developing shorts, animated projects and documentaries. “Bammers” as they are called, are young talents, and anyone who strives to be a creative producer can participate in a specialized training program on the dynamics of the audiovisual marketplace. A video library available on BAM’s digital platform can be easily accessed by accredited participants and potential buyers.

Interesting audiovisual projects also require talented writers, and to help stories reach an audience, there’s BAM Stories. This category has chosen 12 fiction screenplays, winners of FDC’s (Fondo para el Desarrollo Cinematográfico) 2016-2017 selection. These scripts will also be discussed among experts giving, in return, valuable feedback.

BAM is the most anticipated industry event for the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce. As the last nine years have shown, when experienced professionals choose Bogotá as a place to share creativity, they put their faith in a country where so many stories can come to life on the silver screen.

For the complete schedule visit the official website: www.bogotamarket.com and follow the event on social media with hashtag #MODOBAM