Frequently Asked Questions PDF Print


  • Which permits are required to film in Panama?

    A work permit and visa is usually required in Panama. However, for filming there is a special Cinematographic and Audiovisual Industry Visa that serves as the official work permit for filming purposes.


  • How do I obtain the required Cinematographic and Audiovisual Industry Visa?

    After registering with the Panama Film Commission, the Commission will work with related governmental offices to process the special Cinematographic and Audiovisual Industry Visa. We handle everything so you can focus on your production.


  • What incentives are offered to productions filmed in Panama?

    There are no direct financial or tax incentives for international audiovisual productions shot in Panama. However, certain benefits such as tax exemptions do exist (Link to Benefits).


  • Is there production infrastructure in Panama and who are the most important contacts?

    Yes, there is. The Panama Film Commission will help you find professionals and specialized companies offering everything that your film, television and advertising productions may require.


  • Can the Panama Film Commission recommend local production services?

    Upon request, the Panama Film Commission will provide a list of local productions service providers. This list can be found in our Services Directory.


  • Can the Panama Film Commission recommend local crew?

    Upon request, the Panama Film Commission will provide a list of local crew. This list can be found in our Services Directory.


  • Can the Panama Film Commission recommend specific locations?

    Yes, the Panama Film Commission can recommend specific locations for any type of audiovisual production. Please contact us with your needs. We can also refer you to recommended location scouts.


  • Can the Panama Film Commission recommend transportation and accommodation?

    Yes, the Panama Film Commission can recommend various modes of transportation and nearby accommodation suiting your preferences or can recommend a location manager to facilitate these and other specific location needs.


  • What agency should be contacted regarding Customs issues?

    The Panama Film Commission works closely with the Customs and Immigration to facilitate your film production. There are total import tax exemptions for all introduced film equipment. A list of all film equipment is required for the exemption and must be forwarded to the Panama Film Commission 30 days prior to your arrival.


  • How is the Panamanian government supporting its local film industry?

    The government is helping Panama`s national cinematic and audiovisual industry by redrafting the current Panama Film Law N. 36 so that our local industry is financially supported by way of a National Film Fund and by establishing new incentives in the Law in order to strengthen and attract both local and foreign investment in the industry. The Panama Film Commission is also a government-run department (under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry) and is the official authority of the cinematic and audiovisual industry in Panama. The government, through the Commission, works to aid and promote local cinema at home and abroad by facilitating productions in Panama and attending international film festival markets and industry expos and conferences.


  • How can one help Panama`s film industry flourish?

    Interested organizations or individuals can help by offering donations or sponsorship to local film projects, directors, producers or local industry workshops as well as offering donations to the National Film Fund. Other great support can be offered via hiring local film crew for both short and long stay productions.


  • Has the National Film Fund been established?

    Yes. The National Film Fund exists under the current Cinema Law N. 36 but unfortunately it does not have the funds in place to be offered to local cinematic and audiovisual projects. The Panama Film Commission, along with other government authorities and associations within the local industry have collaborated on redrafting the current law so that the Fund is viable and working. The Panama Film Commission hopes to finish the re-drafting shortly so that it can be sent to the National Assembly and be established under Panamanian law.


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