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Hollywood producers courting Colombia for Betancourt film

Article published on the 2008-12-25 Latest update 2008-12-29 10:48 TU

Ingrid Betancourt at RFI's studio 136 on 7 July 2008(Photo: C. Abramowitz / RFI)

Ingrid Betancourt at RFI's studio 136 on 7 July 2008
(Photo: C. Abramowitz / RFI)

Hollywood producers are courting the Colombian government for co-operation to film a movie based on Operation Jaque, the surprise manoeuvre carried out by the army that rescued Franco-Colombian politican Ingrid Betancourt and 15 hostages from Farc rebels last July.

Representatives from Sony Pictures, who already have made major advances in producing their film, as well as Warner Brothers have visited the country's defence ministry, Defence Minister Juan Manuel Santos told French wire service AFP.

"The objective is to release a very good movie based on the the real events," said Santos. "We have offered our total cooperation in making such a movie," he added.

Santos added that producers are planning to film around mid-2009 for a film to be released in 2010.

Warner Brothers plans to invest some 71 million euros in their movie, which will be adapted from the book Operation Jaque: the True History by Juan Carlos Torres.

On 2 July, Colombian Preident Alvaro Uribe gave the green light to secret Operation Jaque in order to release ten so-called political hostages from the grips of their captors, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc).

The hostage group was made up of Franco-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt, who had been held since February 2002, Thomas Howes, Marc Gonsalvez and Keith Stansell, three Americans abducted one year later, and 11 Colombian police and military.

The top-secret planning took more than six months to carry out, as commandos had to infiltrate the Farc cell that held the 15 captives.

"The realisation of this movies gives me great personal satisfaction. It is a tribute to the army and to all Colombians," author Juan Carlos Torres told AFP, adding that it will be distributed internationally by either Warner Brothers or Sony, who are both in competition for the project.