By Lourdes Quijada
THE SIXTH edition of Panama’s International Film Festival was scheduled for its official red carpet kick off on Thursday evening, March 30, at the Balboa Theater.
Film buffs, will have their time cut out to sample even a portion of the 70 films from 23 countries from Iran to Canada, and a predictably large sampling of Latin American films, all reportedly with English dialogue or sub-titles.
The range of offerings should satisfy all tastes, minus perhaps fans of the shoot-em-up, car wreck Hollywood blockbusters, but they will be around for the rest of the year In the meantime make the most of some fine viewing experiences, available with discounted packages and even free showings, over the following five days.
The opening screening is Spanish musical documentary La Jota, directed and written by Carlos Saura.
From, Friday, the action spreads to the Cinépolis cinemas 5, 6, 7 and 8 in Multiplaza, the Ateneo in the City of Knowledge and the Balboa and Anita Villalaz theaters.
Free presentations are on the Cinta Costera in Panama City, in Colón, Portobelo, Betania, La Chorrera, and Pedregal
All told , there will be 142 projections.
Last year over 38,000 people attended the festival and the organizers anticipate surpassing that figure this time aound.
Reaching the sixth edition of IFF , "is an achievement, of course, but also proof that Panamanians absorb films with enthusiasm and commitment, said Pituka Ortega Heilbron, director general of the event. “IFF Panama is "much more than going to the movies but part of a cultural movement.
The programming includes like The Client (Iran), which won this year’s Oscar as Best non-English film, and Elle (France) by Paul Verhoeven, winner of two Golden Globes (foreign film and actress).
You can also see the Oscar nominees the separate foreign feature film: Toni
Erdmann (Germany), by Maren Ade; A man named Ove (Sweden), by Hannes Holm;
And Tanna (Australia), Bentley Dean and Martin Butler.
Panama will be represented by documentaries La Matamoros, by Delfina Vidal;
Happiness of Sound, by Ana Endara Mislov; Cimarronaje en Panamá, by Toshi Sakai;
Sports drama Kimura, by Aldo Rey Valderrama.