In the interview, Rodrigo recalls the moment he was inspired to start his venture, visiting the Cinecitta film studio in Rome as a high school student:
“It was there that it hit me,” he remembers. “I thought, ‘I need to get the gears going to make films in Colombia. I’m going to become a vehicle for this to happen.’ ”
After high school he attended film school in New York, and took jobs in various aspects of filmmaking. Upon returning to Colombia, he found that increased government funding and a new generation of eager filmmakers were set to revitalize the country’s film industry.
“I realized there was an opportunity: to set up a private equity film fund in Colombia, because there was no such thing”, he says.
Along with partners including childhood friend Andi Baiz, Rodrigo found a way to turn films into a viable investment:
Dynamo’s fund is a small part of their investors’ portfolios, but they have positioned themselves as a viable option. They’ve reduced the risk for investors by funding a slate of films, rather than pour investors’ money into one major film production. And, through tax incentive programs, investors get back $40 of every $100 they invest.
“We were coming to [investors] not just with a pitch for a movie, but a business plan for a film in such a way that they could put it against any other investment option they had,” Mr. Guerrero explained.
Today, it remains difficult for Latin American films to gain foreign viewers, but Rodrigo and his partners are determined to find new ways of popularizing their Colombian films at home and abroad:
With film business models and markets constantly undergoing change, he’s embracing the challenge to adapt. Audiences are watching movies more and more via their computers, he notes, while traditional models of distribution for Latin American films are still focused on hitting the theatres. “We are way beyond the big screen,” he said. “I’m more interested in everything else that’s cooking right now, where young people are putting their energy, and where surprises can actually happen.”
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