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Netflix Ramps Up Colombian Production

In a move that signals good news for Colombia and Latin America’s entertainment community, Netflix has announced six new original Colombian shows that are primed to bow this year and next.

These are comprised of the second installment of crime anthology “Historia de un Crimen,” two new local stand-up comedy specials with Liss Pereira and Ricardo Quevedo; “Wild District” starring Juan Pablo Raba; young adult fantasy “Always a Witch”; and crime thriller “Green Frontier” produced by Dynamo and Ciro Guerra.

The streaming giant has more than 70 shows being filmed across Latin America in its bid to ramp up local original content and grow its regional subscriber base. Netflix currently has a worldwide subscriber base of 130 million.

“Netflix is humbled and proud to give a voice to local talent and creators, helping them to not only reach Colombian viewers, but also to connect people all around the world to their unique stories,” said Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix.

“By expanding our content across genres, we’re diversifying our offering and giving more choices to members via an ever-evolving platform that transcends borders. We’re excited to continue investing and exploring in the country,” he added.

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The growing presence of Netflix, Amazon Prime and other OTTs in the region has given more work to crews, actors, producers and production services in the region.

The growing demand from streaming giants has given rise to new companies and spurred others, such as Endemol Shine, which previously produced mainly non-scripted content, to venture into the premium scripted content space.

Apple has hired former Sony Pictures Int’l TV exec Angelica Guerra, a Colombian, to run its Latin American programming arm, and is said to have at least two Hispanic projects in the pipeline.

Per Netflix, since launching in Colombia in 2011, the OTT has worked with notable local creators – whether through licensing deals, co-productions or originals – and filmed various local and international shows across the country. Over 35,000 locals have been hired as cast, crew and extras in these local productions over the years.

These titles include upcoming bio-series “Nicky Jam: El Ganador,” J.C. Chandor’s newest film tentatively titled “Triple Frontier” plus season 2 of the Mexican original series “Ingobernable,” among others. Netflix’s top show, “Narcos” shot in Colombia for three seasons before moving the fourth season to Mexico. “Narcos: Mexico” is set to bow Nov. 16.

Netflix productions have increased fivefold since Latin American originals were first released in the region in 2015.

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