What Are the Real Possibilities of Bringing the Story of the Amazonian Children to the Screen?

Following the discovery, after 40 days, of the four missing children in the Amazon, several film studios are vying for the exclusive rights to the story. What are the chances that the story of the Amazon children will be made into a film?.

Soldiers in the operation to rescue children in the jungles of Guaviare, Colombia

Photo: TW-FAC

LatinAmerican Post | Julián Gómez Gómez

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Leer en español: Las verdaderas posibilidades de llevar la historia de los niños en el Amazonas a lo audiovisual

On June 22, the first episode of “The Miracle Children of the Amazon” premiered. What appears to be a documentary series is an investigation by TMZ with the production of Fox on the event of the four lost children in the jungle of Guaviare (Colombia) after a plane crash. This production is already broadcast in the United States on the Hulu streaming platform.

The above is, for the moment, the first major production about the event that kept Colombia in suspense for 40 days. Although they do not have the rights to create something more intimate, this series is made up of interviews with rescuers, government officials, some relatives, and reports that were published in the Colombian press.

This is just the beginning of a career in which the big studios are in to keep the best story in recent Colombian history. Many seek to acquire the rights to have access to the children's first-hand account and broadcast exclusively. However, there are some obstacles to achieve it.

What Studies Have Interest in History?

According to a publication by Juan Diego Quesada in El País America, there are at least 13 large studios interested in seeking the rights to tell the story. With clear intentions are Warner Bros and some rumors about Netflix and NatGeo. In itself, the named studies have the advantage that their streaming content operates in Latin America, where they would be widely accepted. With Warner Bros there is HBO Max and the NatGeo content goes through Disney + in the region.

However, from the national government, there is also an intention to carry out some audiovisual production on the story. It was Gustavo Petro himself who published a photo on his social networks with Simon Chinn, an Oscar-winning documentarian. The filmmaker hinted that there would be a collaboration between his production company Lightbox and RTVC, the government production company in charge of the media system.

For now, we only talk about documentaries, whether in feature films, miniseries, or series. In the field of adaptations, not much has been said about it yet. Surely it would be a big challenge for the production due to the location of setting, a virgin jungle and the interpretation by minors. Broadly speaking, this could be somewhat expensive, depending on the fidelity with which you want to tell this story.

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Difficulties in Acquiring Rights

Although the intention is clear among various studios, it is not so easy to access the rights to create the story. In the first place, because those involved are minors and the fact of belonging to an indigenous community also has an impact.

With the first hurdle facing the studios is that it is unclear who will get custody of the four children after the mother's death in the accident. There have been disagreements between the father of the two minor children and the maternal grandparents of the four. Later, it will be the ICBF (Colombian Institute of Family Welfare) who decides such custody. Therefore, the studies are still not very clear with whom they should speak to acquire the rights to the stories or participation of the three girls and the boy.

As for the second obstacle, the desire to make visible the intention of making a documentary went a little wrong for the president of Colombia. The National Organization of Indigenous Peoples of the Colombian Amazon (OPIAC) rejected Petro's announcement for making such a decision unilaterally without taking into account the opinion of the indigenous peoples who participated in the search.

Why Do Studios Find it Profitable to Make History Documentaries?

In addition to the spectacularly generated by the fact that adults die in a plane crash, 4 children survive, and that they wander through the jungle for more than a month, there are various incentives. Since 2012, with Law 1556, several foreign studios have set their sights on Colombia due to the tax exemptions and compensation they receive when making productions in the country.

It was with the Netflix series "Narcos" that the window opened, and since then there have been almost a hundred foreign productions that have developed in the country in different ways. The fact of winning the rights to the story is a win-win for them because they can release a product that can be very commercial at a lower cost given the facilities they receive.

Probably, none of the studies that have a real interest is left with the desire to show something about it. However, the advantage will be the one who can have access to the story of the girls and the boy, who would tell the most important details of the event.

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