For one whole week, we will show 60 films from around the world that have been exhibited and/or awarded at the most prestigious film festivals, such as Cannes, Toronto, Sundance and San Sebastian. The directors of these films will also be present to show their movie in person to the audience and to participate in a follow-up question and answer session to encourage dialogue and understanding between cultures. Panama will undoubtedly be at the center of attention once again.
We will roll out everything that show business can offer: national premieres, red carpets, galas, special events and parties. Renowned film directors, international movie stars and celebrities will be in attendance, and more than 30 international journalists, along with over 60 local journalists, will give this event extensive national and global coverage. In total, more than 100 guests will gather in our city in April 2013 to share and enjoy what Panama has to offer in terms of culture, tourism and human quality.
The International Film Festival will be held in two major venues: the historic National Theater, located in Old Town, and the modern movie theaters of some of the major chains that are based in Panama City. The Cinema Route will be launched in 2013, which includes the Anita Villalaz Theatre and the Canal Museum auditorium as movie theaters.
While regular functions will be held in an environment defined by the highest standards of technology and modernity, the red carpet functions will be enveloped in the aura emanated by the historical and traditional National Theater.
Built in the neo-classical style that prevailed in that era, as were many government buildings, with its interior painted by the great Roberto Lewis, the halls of the grand National Theater have been tread by the likes of the artists Alicia Alonso and Margot Fonteyn and the Panamanian musicians the Ingrans and Alfredo de Saint Malo, making it an icon of the cream of Panamanian culture.
International Film Festival Panama
Once again this year Panama has the great opportunity to celebrate such an important occasion as the International Film Festival (IFF) Panama. The opportunity to be a part of this experience in 2013 is open to not only the organizers, but also for those filmgoers who eagerly await this event.
IFF 2012 was very successful, as many were able to enjoy the special packages, with movie functions categorized into Latin American Panorama, Director Debuts, Films from the Isthmus, International Panorama, Showcase of Films by Alex de la Iglesia, among others.
The audience could enjoy watching around 50 movies, all in a week-long marathon.
During those seven days, there were screenings of such titles as The Student, The Colors of the Mountain, Bonsai, Juan of the Dead, While You Sleep, A Useful Life, Chance, The Fists of a Nation, LUV, Superclásico, Oxford Crimes, Girlfight, Snowflake and many more.
This year the film industry will contribute 60 movies from around the world that have been screened and awarded in the most prestigious film festivals, such as Cannes, Toronto, Sundance and San Sebastian.
What can I look forward to enjoying at the International Film Festival?
As the date draws near, you can sense the excitement in the streets, with the teenagers chatting about the upcoming shows, and the whole city seems ready to receive the best of world cinema. People are deliberating on which movie to watch among all the options listed on the program, or trying to figure out a schedule that will allow them to see the most movies possible in one day. A celebratory mood is palpable.
You may already be a movie buff, but this is a completely different experience, as the actors and directors themselves will be inside the theaters and walking around the city. In 2012, you could be standing in line to enter the movie theater, when a director or an actor walks right past you. So another moviegoer gets their attention and they pause to answer the question or smile for a photo. That's what the International Film Festival of Panama is like.
One thing our festival has in common with those held in the rest of the world is that the movies shown in film festivals are ones you would rarely see on the silver screen in any other moment. The selection criteria may vary, but they will always be unique films, and the opportunity to connect with the film director after the screening during the question and answer session is also unique. For the film directors, this is also an invaluable moment, as they receive many opinions and comments from fans or people in the industry, and it is very significant for them to be in touch with the views of the audience.
Additional opportunities to participate during the film festival are at the panels and talks, where the directors, producers, photographers and actors discuss and share with the audience issues and current cases in each of their fields of expertise. The selection of topics for discussion in these panels is just as rigorous as the selection of films to be shown. As a whole, they address a range of topics that are relevant not only to the film industry, but also to the general public that is interested in learning more about what happens behind the screen.
Once that personal connection is forged with a film festival, it is never broken. Over the years, you will closely follow the films, directors, subjects of the talks, and why not, even the parties and glamor that always accompany the film industry.
The Film Festival is an exciting experience! For one whole week you will have the one-time opportunity to see 60 movie from around the world.
Just like how you can see 4, 5 or 6 bands live in concert in one day at a music festival, the idea is that during this week you can also watch several movies each day, in order to have a more complete experience. For this reason, we have prepared a special package of tickets that will be announced soon.
The festival program will be available in March on the IFF website. There you will be able to read up on the movies and directors, watch trailers of the movies and, above all, purchase tickets to attend the functions.
What happens at a film festival?
A film festival is an event where films from around the world are screened in the same week. The film directors will be present in Panama to share their experience with us. They will come to introduce their film, and after the showing they will stay around to interchange opinions and impressions during a question and answer session. This year nearly 60 international guests will be accompanying us to enjoy the movies together.
How do I know which one to watch? I don't know any director or actor!
Don't worry, the films we're bringing have had the most success worldwide, have been awarded at international festivals and have been acclaimed by critics, so we're sure that there will be many movies that you will like.
Here are some ways that you can choose among the movies:
- By director: If the director has made any other movies that you like, that serves as a good indication of the director's style in general.
- By country: If you know you like films from a certain country.
- By genre: If you prefer movies in a particular genre, for example drama or comedy. The films will also be cataloged by their subject, such as sports, women or the environment.
- By schedule: If you can only catch the 5 pm function every day, then that is your movie.
- Or just be brave and choose at random; this is a good way to explore different films.
How do I know if I will like the movie?
We have movies for everyone. Among the 60 movie options, surely we have something that will suit your tastes. You can always ask us for recommendations through our social networks, and the festival team will help you choose what to watch based on your preferences.
The most important thing to remember is that if you watch something you didn't like that much, it's okay! There will most likely be another film in the program that you will just love. Watching a movie is a unique experience, where for an hour and a half you can enter the stories of other lives.
Where will the festival be held?
The CINEPOLIS Multiplaza complex will screen the 60 films that IFF Panama 2013 is bringing from April 11 to 17. In addition to projecting the regular functions, this will be the venue for the panels and talks that are part of the IFF Panama program, dedicated to the members of the film industry and those film lovers interested in knowing more about topics inherent to film production and the details of what goes on behind scenes.
The film route in Old Town
As part of a concept to incorporate the films with other cultural and recreational activities in the Old Town of Panama, IFF Panama 2013 has scheduled a circuit of screenings in three sites here, in addition to the free outdoor movies that will be projected at the Fifth Centennial Park on the Coastal Strip. With this initiative, IFF Panama intends for this historical and tourist area to be as taken by the cinephile spirit as Panama City will be for a week, and hopes that the hotels, restaurants and bars in the area will benefit from the activity.
Will there be parking?
Yes, there will be parking spots available.
When I can purchase tickets?
We will be announcing these dates once the Festival approaches. Stay tuned and in touch!
Do I have to buy tickets in advance?
Our biggest recommendation is to not wait until the last minute. Tickets at film festivals tend to sell out quickly. Each movie will be shown a maximum of 2 times and the theaters don't have that many seats, so it is better to make sure you have a ticket than to wait too long and be left out!
What is the rush line?
The rush line is for those who didn't manage to purchase a ticket because they were already sold out. They can wait in this last-minute line until 10 minutes before the movie starts, when the theater staff will count how many seats are unoccupied. If there is sufficient space available, then those in the rush line have first dibs to buy their ticket and see the film. We recommend that you arrive early to the movie theater, because if you don't get there until less than 10 minutes before the function begins, you will have no right to enter....since first served are those who are waiting in the rush line!