Cinema has become an important global industry and is generating huge sources of revenue. Exorbitant productions are now being featured in cinemas in all corners of the world. Film productions use global locations to bring together luminaries of the silver screen, and present their achievements various festivals which show the very best of each one of these cinematic visions.
Our country has been used as a location where many scenes in renowned movies have been filmed. We are now transcending the market and becoming a place that brings together the biggest stars, producers and creative minds from the world of cinema by being selected for the location of one of these esteemed festivals, with the official announcement of the Panama International Film Festival (IFF Panama).
This event is scheduled to be held in April of next year. It will receive dozens of stars from the cinema world, and feature premier productions integrated into an atmosphere of celebration which will be shared with our people, throughout the entire national territory.
In an unprecedented effort, the National Government, represented by the Ministers of Commerce and Industries, Roberto Henriquez and Tourism, Solomon Shamah, will provide an important contribution to Panamanian cultural with support for the implementation of the IFF in our country.
As a preamble, the IFF organization has announced that Panama will see a significant presence at one of the World’s most important film festivals: the Toronto International Film Festival. A ceremony is being organized at the Canadian festival that will showcase the most representative Panamanian artists. There will also be a presentation which will reveal Panama’s graces to more than 1,400 international journalists and stars, from every corner of the globe. It will provide an opportunity to showcase and disseminate all of the artistic talent we have today.
Minister Shamah said that this preliminary event, to be held in September, will be an excellent opportunity for Panamanians to draw the attention of the cinema world, and also to demonstrate the many tourist attractions which will undoubtedly draw new visitors to the country.
Minister Henríquez noted that, in addition to the activities and efforts undertaken by Panama to promote local industry to the outside world, an international film market, which can show various locations and national talents to the world’s most renowned directors and producers, will be established.
It is anticipated that IFF Panama, which has a creative Advisory Board headed by Panamanian filmmakers and local entertainers, including: Pituka Ortega Heilbron, Abner Benaim and Luis Pacheco, will gather from April, 11th to the 18th of next year. The IFF Panama Board of Directors will also have the participation of world renowned Panamanian actor and songwriter, Ruben Blades.
To ensure the success of this prestigious global event, a Government team has formed which collaborates with Canadian producers Henk Van der Kolk and Rob Brown, in the development of all events.
They are also seeking to create an international film school that allows for the composition of a complete film market. One in which directors, actors, producers, and technicians can find employment opportunities on films looking to use Panama as a location. Such a reality would benefit many of the Panamanian professionals within this important industry.