Why Shoot in Panama PDF Print



Source: "Pros pick best places for filmmaking."


Variety. Posted: Oct. 23, 2009. "Variety recently conducted an online poll among several hundred location managers, unit production managers, cinematographers, directors and assistant directors asking them to rate their favorite locations according to visual appeal, incentives, film-office support, production resources, and ability to substitute for another location." Variety ranked Panama under its "Best Visual Appeal" category, stating that, "With its relative proximity to the U.S. and more than 30,000 square miles of terrain, Panama presents filmmakers with a variety of locations, including tropical rain forest, Caribbean beaches, volcanic areas, islands and a cosmopolitan skyline."


Benefits for the film industry in Panama:


• Tax incentives such as tax-free temporary importation of all film equipment with no deposit required.
• No payroll tax.
• Low labor costs (there are no film industry trade unions in Panama).
• Customs and immigration benefits (certain immigration service fees are greatly reduced, and some altogether eliminated, for film and audiovisual production companies). Cost of Visa as well as processing fees are offered at a reduced rate. Additionally, multiple entries into the country are permitted with the Visa.
• Work Permits are free.
• Special economic areas are provided for the development of the film industry.
• Considerably low location permit costs, depending on location.
• Temporary Residency Visas are provided for film industry related work.
• Permanent Residency Visas are provided to film and audiovisual industry investors.
• One-stop shop for all film production paperwork and licensing.

Other reasons to shoot in Panama:

• Privileged geographic location (6hr 30 min direct flight from Los Angeles to Panama City and 5hr direct flight from New York City to Panama City).
Fiscal and tax waiver incentives for film and audiovisual companies.
U.S. dollar based economy.
• Political, economic and legal stability.
Low costs of labor, transportation, lodging, meals and production services.
• Excellent living and safety conditions.
• A wide range of top hotel brands.
• Special areas which provide fiscal benefits are available for the development of the film industry.
Unexplored landscapes: most areas of Panama have not been filmed by international film and audiovisual productions.
• Preserved historic landmarks such as the Panama Canal and several UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
• 49 ecological reservations along with 5 natural parks all conveniently located close to Panama City.
• Pick from a variety of geographic landscapes and diverse architecture which provide endless possibilities to recreate settings of other countries.
• Geographic landscapes include extensive low and highlands, century-old rainforests, pristine and secluded beaches of both black and white sand, volcanic settings and deserts, varied coastlines bordering Caribbean and Pacific waters, all easily accessible and with convenient proximity.
• Architectural diversity including a major city with a modern skyline of high-rise buildings, picturesque colonial and modern neighborhoods, as well as rural towns and villages throughout the country.
• A multi-ethnic culture and the region´s most impressive biodiversity with an abundance of natural landscapes.
• A country free of natural disasters and blessed with a year-round tropical climate (temperatures range from 80°F (27°C) to 89°F (32°C)).
• For location scouting, one can enter the country of Panama on a Tourist Visa which includes Tourist Insurance for emergency medical coverage which will be covered by the Tourism Authority of Panama if it occurs within the first 30 days of issuance of a Panama entry stamp. For more information on the tourist insurance please call: +(507) 204-9300 or +(507) 800-2312

Economic and Social Indicators

Population 3.39 million (2008)
Language: Spanish, with a growing
Bilingual workforce (English & Spanish)

Special businesses, including those in the film industry, locating to the PanAmerica Corporate Center can take advantage of Panama’s status as a Special Economic Zone, providing significant tax, legal, immigration, customs and fiscal benefits to companies. Source: http://PanamaPacifico.com
GDP: $ 18,917.6 million USD (2008) / Rate of Growth: 10.7% (2008)
GDP per capita: US$ 5,572.00 (2008)
Foreign Direct Investment: $ 1,825.1 million in USD (Dec. 2007)
Unemployment dropped from 8.7% to 5.6% (2006 to 2008)
Average (5 years) Inflation rate: 2.44 %
Colon Free Zone: International Commercial Exchange of $19,209.9 million (2008)
Latin America´s largest banking and insurance center of 80 (international and national banks) with $68,742 millions USD in assets (2007).
• The world´s second largest free zone.
• World class telecommunication and logistic platform.
Source: http://www.mici.gob.pa/inversion.php

For more up to date information regarding Panamanian macroeconomic and investment facts, please contact the Ministry of Commerce and Industry´s PROINVEX Agency.




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