Punta del Este Film Studios, a „mini Hollywood“ Real Estate Investment in Punta del Este
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Punta del Este continues to receive large investments for important projects. It has its logic: in Uruguay, there are very few cases of coronavirus and so it becomes an ideal place for new investments worth millions.
The new developments in the city include a free zone for the audiovisual industry, a top hospital, new luxury buildings, primary and secondary schools of international level, and very soon, a new university. More and more is Punta del Este becoming the perfect place to invest and develop big projects. A safe bet in a city that maintains its values of always, that respects nature, and has the great advantage of not being subjected to the world-wide plague of the Covid-19.
The news of the approval of a free zone for the audiovisual industry in Punta del Este is one of the great novelties of this year.
This initiative has as a great promoter Nicolás Aznárez, founding partner and manager of his Punta del Este Film Studios.
According to the director and producer, the project to be built in the area of La Barra, in the Fasano Hotel complex, was born about 10 years ago and was presented 8 years ago to the Ministry of Economy. But it was only now that it could be realized.
The investment, of Brazilian capital, will be of about 25 million dollars -in the first stage- until reaching a total of 150 million.
Aznárez worked for several years in Quentin Tarantino’s studio in Los Angeles. Since 2001 he was part of the development of the Latino division of the firm A Band Apart, the mythical company of Tarantino and Lawrence Bender.
In addition, in 2004, he founded El Camino Films, the first Uruguayan production company specialized in film production services. That is why, in the beginning, the idea of Punta del Este Studios was to focus only on cinema and cable television, but „with the new platforms the work has increased exponentially“, he assures and adds: „We are working on the final stages to make this dream, this madness, of transforming Punta del Este into a great audiovisual production center, come true“.
Even though the beginning of the works was planned for August, the Covid-19 pandemic modified the agenda, and only in October will the infrastructure work begin.
The first phase of the project will be a year of work. During that time, about 3 thousand square meters of soundproof film studios will be built on 6 of the 30 hectares of the free zone.
Among the planned constructions are the facades of the main street of a city, a residential neighborhood – where there will be habitable houses and others only for scenery -, about 4,500 square meters of backlots and film sets, green spaces, restaurants, production offices, and service offices, a special effects workshop, costume workshops and carpentry workshops to assemble scenery.
„Punta del Este Studios will be prepared for any type of audiovisual production, for television programs with indoor production and all the necessary development to add new technologies. It will be a unique place“, assured the producer.
What we must take into account is that being a free zone, the development, production, and storage costs will be the lowest in the region. The same goes for content distribution prices, advertising, video games, virtual reality, augmented reality, transmission, and technological and digital support. Everything related to the sector will have a lower cost.
„Punta del Este is, in itself, a natural set. The city and its surroundings have a unique luminosity, which fascinates any audiovisual producer. In addition, there are locations such as the casino, the airport, and all the natural spaces that, as they are, are already film sets,“ said Aznárez.
That is why the law includes, specifically, a section where it is confirmed that the productions will be able to leave the free zone and film in external locations. „In fact, it is stipulated that 25 percent of the annual turnover that the client has can be outside the free zone,“ the producer explained.
In this way, the free zone and investments through, Punta del Este will become a new set of filming where the natural beauty of the area will have the camera at your disposal. A star is born.