In the News from Panama

Panama City Ready for Annual Film Festival

The fast-growing International Film Festival Panama returns to Panama City for its seventh edition, April 5-11, featuring top cinema talent from around the region.

Dozens of actors, directors, producers, and agents will be in Panama City for the festival, which has developed into a major cultural event on the Panama City calendar—and an example of Panama’s growing influence on culture and the arts. The festival will open with the Chilean film, Una Mujer fantástica, which recently won the Oscar for the best foreign feature film.

“IFF Panama exists thanks to the immense passion felt by the Panamanian public towards the cinema,” the festival says on its Web site. “It is the audience of this country, always open to exchanging with all the nations of the world, which marked the birth of the festival in 2012 and which has made it grow by recognizing it and supporting it as an essential cultural nutrient.”

The festival has important goals, beyond entertainment. It has developed as an important outlet for local filmmakers and an education opportunity for aspiring talent. The schedule includes a wide range of workshops and speakers talking cinema.

Variety, the industry Bible, recently noted the growing importance of Primera Mirada, a “sidebar” to the film festival focusing on regional films-in-progress. The sidebar event gives regional films at an advanced stage a chance for personal screenings for top industry executives.

“The sidebar is particularly important for the region’s filmmakers who often desperately require post-production completion finance and mentoring advice,” Variety notes. “Three out of last year’s four Primera Mirada projects are screening at IFF Panama this year – joint winners ‘Cocote’ and ‘Calypso Night,’ plus ‘Who Are You?’”

The number of films submitted to the sidebar has risen by almost 50 percent this year, from 48 in 2017 to 67 this year.

For more information and tickets, click here.