Antonio Banderas films true-life miner drama The 33 in Colombia and Chile
Antonio Banderas is filming on location in Colombia and Chile for feature The 33. The film recounts the true-life experiences of a group of Chilean miners who were trapped underground for 69 days in 2010 following an accident, in a story that made headlines around the world.
“To me this is a story about the triumph of the human spirit,” said producer Mike Medavoy: “It is also a story about courage for those who did not give up during the 69-day ordeal, ultimately emerging as heroes. I’ve had long ties to the Chilean people, which is the reason I found this to be a compelling story to bring to the screen.”
“Why Colombia for the mine interiors? The primary reasons are safe shooting locations and access at realistic costs,” said publicist Gregg Brilliant: “We were able to locate two mines that were very safe for our crews to shoot in. Both mines are about one hour outside of Bogota. They are safe and have temperature and air control systems to accommodate our cast and crew (close to 200 people at times).”
The decision was made to film in the mines rather than rely on set builds, partly to reinforce the production's sense of authenticity. Shooting far underground, the team laid a mile of electrical cabling through the mines and safety measures included constantly monitoring the air filtration system.
To me this is a story about the triumph of the human spirit. It is also a story about courage for those who did not give up during the 69-day ordeal, ultimately emerging as heroes.
Mike Medavoy, Producer
Chile’s Atacama Desert has been a popular filming location for years and recently has been used by brands including Bridgestone tyres and beer brand Skol. Jaguar worked with RSA Films for a particularly memorable short film Desire (above), which promoted the Jaguar F-Type with British actor Damian Lewis as a suave courier.
The 33 is the first production to utilise Colombia's new filming incentive, a programme launched in early 2013 that offers a rebate of up to 40%. It has an annual film fund of about USD14 million and a per-production cap of USD600,000. An extra 20% rebate is available for locally-incurred food, transport and accommodation costs.
The story of the trapped miners resonated around the world when first reported, and combined with the new filming incentive Colombia’s international production profile is sure to benefit.
(Jaguar photo: Goodgate Productions)
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