THE SEVENTH edition of the Panama International Film Festival (IFF Panama) opens with a gala presentation of the Chilean drama A Fantastic Woman on Thursday, April 5 at the Balboa Theater.
It continues from April 5 to 11 in different venues in Panama city, with 74 presentations including films that have triumphed at the festivals of Cannes, Toronto, Venice, San Sebastian, and Berlin.
Pituka Ortega, director of the festival said "We have strengthened our role as a committed and relevant film festival in Latin America. A festival that pushes the construction of a regional and national cinema.
Diana Sánchez, the festival ’s artistic director of said " We are more than a film festival. We are trying To create connections, strengthen communities and create an environment where the people of the industry regional and international feel at home and have built a space where the Panamanian public can enjoy quality cinema in Spanish and in many other languages ".
From its first version, the IFF Panama accompanies the evolution of the national cinema and contributes
to the dissemination and distribution of Ibero-American cinema, says Ortega, citing the case of the "Chanal IFF Panama" program on Copa airlines which, started in January, where Latin American feature films have been presented.
Ortega sees IFF Panama as " an unparalleled platform for Panamanian filmmakers and their work. The exhibition and the care they receive will not be obtained at any other festival, while their careers are starting. This is their festival and it is their country."
Panama is represented this year with the documentaries T'ach, directed by Christian Escobar and based on the second book by culinary master Charlie Collins; When the Fist Opens, by Carlos Aguilar Navarro, on Alfonso Teófilo Brown, the first Ibero-American to be crowned world boxing champion; Paname, by Daniel Zapateiro, about Ferdinand de Lesseps and the attempt of the French to make a Canal through the isthmus; A
Night of Calypso, by Fernando Muñoz, about Grupo Amistad, one of the last active calypso
and La Fuerza del Balón, a look at Panama football, by Alberto Serra.
The decision to show the Chilean drama A Fantastic Woman at the opening gala was made before its Oscar nomination and before it won its category: best foreign film.
A Fantastic Woman returns on Monday, April 9, at 10:00 p.m., in room 6 Copa Airlines at Multiplaza Cinepolis.
The Isthmian documentary I do not call myself Rubén Blades, by Abner Benaim, will be the gala closing on Wednesday, April 11, at 8:00 p.m., at the Balboa Theater.
"Abner is the most relevant director of Panamanian cinema so far. A documentary of Rubén Blades by Abner Benaim, There was not much to think about in making the choice" said Ortega.