“An oligopoly is the brake of Open TV in Colombia” – Julio Alberto Castañeda, creator and writer

Julio Castañeda

Julio Castañeda

Colombian production is no exception to global impacts. Successes like Pasion de Gavilanes or Amor Sincero factual with some degree of fiction that recreates the history of Colombian singer Marbelle, with the original idea of María Inés Sánchez (Marbelle’s Manager), and the magic pen of Fabiola Carrillo and her team of screenwriters, under the supervision of Monica Agudelo and Fernando Gaitán, found in the life of this artist, a telenovela story. Or Pablo Escobar el Patron del Mal, are proof of the quality and level achieved. However, other bets have been a real failure. Why is this? Julio Alberto Castañeda , experienced writer and librettist, shares his critical eye about Colombian TV in general.

“Amor en Custodia, Amor Sincero, Pablo Escobar, El Cartel y La Seleccion have been recent successes in Colombia. The success of a content depends on the writer’s job, the degree of identification that can be achieved with the audience and the realization or staging”. Also, amid the rise of narconovelas and opportunity for other stories, said that the latter depend on factors other than the quality: “the opportunities are given according to the degree of closeness and friendship with those who have the power of decision in the channel. They are based on a 10% talent and 90% in friendship relations. It’s a shame that the TV in this country is of “cronyism”, denounced.

Under this premise, opined about the challenges for writers in Colombia: “There are no challenges as long as an oligopoly exists (there are only two channels Caracol and RCN,) the only challenge is looking to sell ideas and stories in the international market.”

Likewise, he explained why it was the failure of some productions: “The failure of Donde esta Elisa, that in other countries was a success, but not in Colombia, is due to a misguided adaptation and terrible dialogue. Tres Caines had to resort to controversial elements to capture the attention of viewers. Desperate Housewives pointed to a very American format with a verb mood management, but not the situation. Valentino el Argentino an insipid story and the last remake of Doña Beija was a commission for the United States Latino audience”, to name a few failures.

In Colombia the public is critical at all levels and that sense the word is conjugated convincing. “The twist that would have to be to win back the audience would be in the elimination of “cronyism” that impede the creative side of the channels. Good ideas get lost because they have much less real readers and much less good writers,” he concluded.

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