International Film Festival of Panama government sponsorship approval and launch (September 15 2011) PDF Print

Along with a newly drafted Panama Film Law that features more fiscal incentives for the local industry which the Ministry of Commerce & Industry (MICI) hopes to soon present to the National Assembly, the government is interested in further developing the foundations of the local film industry by sponsoring the country's first international film festival: The International Film Festival of Panama (IFFPanama).

 

On September 15th 2011, Panama´s National Economic Council approved the government´s sponsorship of the festival for one million one-hundred seven thousand dollars ($1,107,000.00).
Mr. Henk Van der Kolk and Mrs. Pituka Ortega Heilbron, co-directors of the festival, are collaborating with the Toronto International Film Festival in order to bring the knowledge necessary to Panama to guarantee that the event launches successfully.

 


IFFPanama is the new project of Mr. Henk Van der Kolk, one of the co-founders of the Toronto International Film Festival and a current resident of the tropical isthmus. His goal is to start with 50 international films in the first year and bring the international stars and industry professionals to visit Panama. The festival will take place April 11-17 2012.

 


Along with an eventual establishment of festival market, Henk Van der Kolk hopes to establish an international film school and a year-round space for alternative and world cinema. Laura Emerick, the Director of the Panama Film Commission from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, forms part of the creative advisory board of IFFPanama and has been helping in the organization of the festival since its inception in November of 2010. The IFFPanama team consists of many local industry professionals such as Abner Benaim (filmmaker), and Luis Pacheco (filmmaker and President of Panama's Cinematographic Association).

 


The Panama Film Commission along with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry's legal team have been working closely with IFFPanama over the past months to come up with a sponsorship agreement and has been collaborating with Panama´s Tourism Authority (ATP) to establish strategic marketing campaigns.

 


Most recently the Panama Film Commission along with the PROINVEX agency of MICI and ATP joined Henk Van der Kolk and the rest of the IFFPanama representatives at the festival's launch at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on Saturday September 10th of 2011. The launch included the unprecedented sponsorship of TIFF by another film festival and the sponsorship of the highly anticipated, Canadian film TAKE THIS WALTZ by Canadian film favorite, Sarah Polley. The film included impressive indie film credits: Michelle Williams, Seth Rogan, and Sarah Silverman.
The aim of the launch opportunity was to gain access to TIFF's major international film press members and audience.

 

From Left to Right in the Center: Ernesto Orillac, Sub-administraterof ATP; Laura Emerick, Director of the Panama Film Commission; Henk Van der Kolk, Co-director & founder of the International Film Festival of Panama & co-founder of the Toronto International Film Festival; and Pituka Ortega Heilbron, co-director of the International Film Festival of Panama.

 

All Rights Reserved (C) Panama Film Commission - Read Legal Disclaimer