“Uruguay’s vision and strategy can build the audiovisual of the future.”

Film producer Daniel Dreifuss and Argentine journalist Juan Manuel Domínguez participated in the José Ignacio Film Festival and praised the country’s position in the industry.
Publication date: 29/01/2024

Uruguay has positioned itself as an outstanding film production center in Latin America, according to renowned film producer Daniel Dreifuss and influential Argentine film programmer, artistic director, and journalist Juan Manuel Domínguez during the latest edition of the José Ignacio International Film Festival (JIIFF).

Both audiovisual personalities, invited by Uruguay XXI and Marca País, highlighted the country’s unique qualities in cinema.

With a career that includes acclaimed films such as “No” and “All Quiet on the Western Front,” Dreifuss shared his admiration for the beauty and modernity of Uruguay, especially Montevideo, which he described as “a vibrant, safe, and joyful city that maintains its identity while modernizing.”

Dreifuss highlighted the quality of life in Uruguay and mentioned the country’s security, stability, and natural environment as essential factors for filmmaking. The producer also emphasized Hollywood’s growing interest in Latin American stories and the importance of authenticity in filmmaking.

Recognized for his influence on international cinema, Dreifuss shared his optimistic view on the future of filmmaking in Uruguay and highlighted the country’s openness to new opportunities and international collaborations. “It’s a good time; there is a window open for new possibilities or productions,” he commented.

His enthusiasm was reinforced by the recent memorandum of collaboration signed during JIIFF between the British Film Institute (BFI) and the Uruguayan Film and Audiovisual Agency (ACAU), a move he said broadens the possibilities for Uruguayan projects to reach an international audience and encourages co-productions.

Dreifuss’ perspective on Uruguay’s audiovisual industry is remarkably upbeat. He highlighted a clear strategy and concerted effort to build a prosperous and modern future for Uruguayan cinema. He highlighted the country’s willingness and strategic vision to build commercial and artistic relationships with other markets. “There is a will, a look, and a strategy to build the current, modern audiovisual and the future of Uruguay, to build commercial and artistic relations with other countries, neighboring or not,” he said.

This strategic approach and collaboration between public and private management are, according to Dreifuss, fundamental to achieving success in the film industry and reflect Uruguay’s commitment to growth and innovation in the audiovisual field.

Dreifuss stressed that the era of streamers has allowed higher-budget films in local languages to reach international audiences, challenging the old norm that productions had to be in English to be successful globally. The producer also emphasized Hollywood’s growing interest in Latin American stories and the importance of authenticity in filmmaking.

About The Snow Society, the recently Oscar-nominated Spanish film, which included Uruguayan locations and production and recreates the true story of the plane that crashed in the Andes in 1972 with a Uruguayan rugby team on board, Dreifuss stressed the importance of telling authentic stories in their original language. He noted that this project, being set in Spanish and focusing on a profoundly Uruguayan story has the potential to resonate not only in Spanish-speaking countries but also globally.

His perspective on Uruguayan cinema reflects a forward-looking, modern society with a high quality of life, anticipating a new generation of filmmakers who can capture this vision.

On the other hand, Juan Manuel Domínguez praised Uruguay’s work in supporting the film industry. He highlighted the job done with the BFI and how Uruguay has become “a beacon” and “a port of arrival” for film in Latin America.

He also highlighted Uruguay’s ability to host international events such as the JIIFF, where interaction and the development of film projects are encouraged. “Accessing producers, programmers from other countries, seeing the institutional links that are generated, having a completely atypical exhibition, in the best sense, that is relaxed and can concentrate all its efforts on the Working JIIFF [...] but at the same time can have 1,500 people on the beach enjoying a film, is a unique opportunity,” he said.

Domínguez remarked on the technical quality and authorial vision in Uruguay’s original productions and noted that the country offers a welcoming and optimal environment for film production.

“Uruguay is in an excellent moment in many aspects; I think it has an extensive infrastructure and that, at the same time, without being a giant country, it has an excellent, professional structure, which allows it to respond to any need that any industrial field of entertainment may have,” he said. His testimony also underlined that this infrastructure allows the country to respond to any need in the entertainment industry.

Dreifuss and Dominguez’s words resonate as a recognition of Uruguay’s growth and potential as a leading destination for regional film production. With its unique blend of modernity, authenticity, and quality of life, Uruguay positions itself as an attractive hub for filmmakers and producers worldwide, opening up new possibilities and reinforcing its identity in the global film landscape.

Uruguay has become "a lighthouse" and "a port of arrival" for Latin American cinema (Juan Manuel Domínguez).