More than 500 participants in IFF Panama’s Industry and Educational Program, as well as more than 2000 benefiting kids from the educational screenings

Thursday, April 26, 2018

IFF Panamá, with its educative and industry programs, imparted 11 activities which in total  amassed to more than 500 participants. Four talks, four workshops, two round tables, a session and the documentary workshop were amongst the sessions that were carried out during this program dedicated to strengthen the Panamanian movie industry. In addition, 5 free educative screenings, with a total of 2,347 attendees, as well as three special screenings of “Cine en el Barrio”, one at La Siesta de Tocumen, another one at Alcalde Díaz, and a third one at Juan Díaz. More than 200 spectators attended these proyections.

Pituka Ortega, IFF Panamá’s executive director, emphasized, “Each year, apart from creating spaces for the public to exchange with the movie creators at the festival, we seek to have educative segments that strengthen Panamanian talents and capacities regarding cinema production. Whether its kids, teenagers or even industry experts, they all find educative proposals that help the growth of local capacities.”


Isis Rivera: "Copyright Lawr".

In the DICINE’s “Copyright Law” talk, expert Isis Riverta spoke about moral and patrimonial rights of film and audiovisual productions and how these works are protected under the law. The rights given under Panamanian law, specifically Legislation 64 (2012), were explored. The law benefits the director, scriptwriter, music composer, and the illustrator and other generalizations of the law.

Sebastián Vázquez: "Sound Design and Production".

The “Sound Design and Production” talk, led by Sebastián Vásquez, aimed to identify the type of music one should use for a movie or a production based on its genre. Vásquez spoke about the importance of being able to use music or sound as a driving character within the movie and its theme, incurring techniques such as leitmotif, diegetic music - incidental music -, false diegesis,  as well as being able to know if preexistent or adapted music is required. He also mentioned production budgeting and legal rights.

Andrew Hevia: “Low-budget Filmmaking”

In his talk, “Low-budget Filmmaking”, Andrew Hevia, the producer of the Oscar winning picture Moonlight, now a leading producer for Cenizas, which screened at IFF Panamá 2018, offered the participants ideas and tools to create meaningful works attainable resources, as well as a way of solving problems by means of creative approaches. 

Paula Gastaud: Challenges and Opportunities for VOD in Latin America.

Paul Gastaud presided the “Challenges and Opportunities for VOD in Latin America” talk, exploring the ever changing theme of digital distribution of movies - ranging from the handling of digital assets, windows, contracts, and digital marketing in multiple platforms.


Paz Alicia Garciadiego in the "Screenwriting Workshop".

The "Screenwriting Workshop" that was carried out by renowned screenwriter Paz Alicia Garciadiego had the purpose of giving participants the necessary instruments to start telling stories. Garciadiego is hailed as one of the referrents of contemporary Latin American cinema and has worked in multiple international productions such as “Woman of the Port” (1991), “Deep Crimson” (1996) for which she won the Golden Osella for best screenplay, “No One Writes to the Colonel” (1999) and “The Ruination of Men” (2000), winner of the Golden Conch and the award for best screenplay.

Nyra Soberón at the "Acting for Kids"Workshop.

Nyra Soberón Torchía and Julio Matteo’s “Acting for Kids” workshop focused on acting ranging from the creation of the text and the characters, as well as improvisation as a creative instrument for the actor during shooting.  The workshop concluded with a short montage of the kids that participated.

Marcel Beltrán at the "Filmmaking for Teens"Workshop.

The “Filmmaking for Teens” workshop, led by urban cinema director Marcel Beltrán, aimed to teach young people to work as a team when creating a short. They carried out a multitude of different activities in order to appreciate the audiovisual world and look at cinema as a form of happiness.  As part of their experience in the workshop, the participants developed a short film.

Jorge Muñiz, "The art of direct sound recording".

Jorge Muñiz, Peruvian expert in sound production, carried out “The art of direct sound recording” workshop with the educative purpose of teaching people how to apply these new technologies to the process of recording sound straight from a movie, how to record and how to set up a scene.


Roundtable "Women’s Role in a Global World" with Judith Rodríguez, Vania Catani, Laura Gómez, Anna Serner and Laura Michalchyshyn.

The “Women’s Role in a Global World” roundtable brought together influential women from the cinematic industry. They explored the woman’s role in general, the woman in her surroundings and in this world. They each shared the first time they realized that things were different for women and their roles in not only society but also the cinematographic industry. Anna Serner, Laura Michalchyshyn, Laura Gómez, Judith Rodríguez, Vania Catani and the moderator of the event, Pituka Ortega, participated in this talk.

Roundtable: Film Criticsm with José Romero, Daniel Domínguez, Edgar Soberón, Klaus Eder and Pituka Ortega.

Another roundtable took place as well, titled “Film Criticism”, which spoke about how film criticism affects and changes the way in which cinema evolves on a daily basis. The role of the film critic as well as what it means to criticize were debated. The participants were Klaus Eder (Director of FIPRESCI, International Federation of Film Critics, since 1987), José Romero Carrillo, Daniel Domínguez and Edgar Soberón Torchía.

Documentary Workshop

Bettina Walter and Everardo González, Documentary Workshop.

For the Seventh Edition of the International Film Festival of Panamá, IFF Panamá, in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut Mexiko, brought on ten projects in development from Central America and Mexico to participate in the documentary development workshop called “Develop a documentary project for the international market”. The fundamental purpose of the workshop was for the participants to establish full consistency between the initial idea and theme selection with the strategies that would be implemented,  the author’s vision and the narrative mapping, as well as achieving concordance with the finance and production strategies. The narrative development strategies were tackled, how to break into an international market, how to sell the product and distribute it once it's done.

Thom Powers, programmer of festivals such as TIFF (Toronto International Film festival) and artistic director of DOC NY, Everardo González, one of the most prominent voices of the documentary world in Latin America, and Bettina Walter, Amplia Trayectoria’s audiovisual producer were the speakers at the documentary workshop.

Educational Screenings for Kids

Ever since its First Edition, the International Film Festival of Panamá has offered free educational screenings for the benefit of kids and teens with the goal of enriching and exposing them culturally.

Maritza Rincón González, Lila's Book producer, with kids from the educational program.

During the week of the 5th to the 11th of April, 2018, three movies were screened within the Educational Program on Friday 6th, Saturday 7th, Sunday 8th and Monday 9th, where 2,347 kids and adolescents from different areas attended, such as the Panamá City, Colón, Chorrera, Arraiján, Penonomé, and Portobelo.  

In the seventh edition of IFF Panamá, 2,347 kids benefited from attending the special screenings. IFF Panamá counted with the support of 36 foundations, organizations, and schools that helped bring kids and teenagers to the screenings Among the organizations present were Fundación Barrios Panamá. Fundación Eco Creando, Fundación Arte en el Parque de Penonomé, FUNDADER Fundación para el desarrollo integral de la mujer y la familia, Fundación Down Panamá, la Fundación Bahía de Portobelo con su Escuelita del Ritmo, Fundación Sinfonía Concertante de Panamá and Centro de formación integral Nuestra Señora de la Merced. Also present during the screenings were students from various schools from Colón, such as the Juan García School, School of Villa Alondra, School of Quebrada Ancha, and the School of the Republic of South Africa.

Special screenings of the educational program:

1. Lila’s book, Friday, April 6th, 2018 - Balboa Theater

Animated colombian movie, 2017. Director: Marcela Rincón González. Duration: 76 minutes.

Synopsis: Lila is a character of a book that suddenly gets left out of her story world, now being trapped in a place where she doesn’t belong… And so the adventure starts, where Lila will discover that Ramón, the kid that used to read her story years prior, is the only one that can save her. However, this isn’t such an easy task; Ramón isn’t the same as before, he has grown up and not only stopped reading but also stopped believing in fantasy… it is then when Lila and her new friend manuela have to get by to convince him of what is happening and begin what will be a risky journey towards “Oblivion”, a scary place where “Lila’s Book” has fallen. Throughout this journey across magical worlds, kids will discover the real value of friendship and the power of fantasy.

2. The Breadwinner (Parvana) Saturday, April 7th and Sunday, April 8th, 2018. Cinépolis room 6. Canada, Ireland, Luxembourg 2017. Director: Nora Towney. Duration: 94 minutes.

Synopsis: Parvana is an 11 year old girl that lives in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, during the period of taliban dominion.  When her father is arrested, her family members are left without resources and, due to the fact that women are forbidden of making money, they decide to transform Parvana into a boy so she can work. While she works, the rest of her family marches towards Mazar to marry their oldest daughter but they get trapped there due to the tabilans. Parvana and her recently freed father must go on an adventure to find their detained family members.

3. Caidos del Mapa. Sunday, April 8th and Monday, April 9th, 2018. 

Argentina 2013. Director: Leandro Mark and Nicolás Silbert. Duration: 75 minutes.

Synopsis: Four kids from seventh grade plan on hiding in the basement of their school to skip class, but, unexpectedly, they must bring along Miriam, an undesirable classmate, or else she will tell on them. While they interact and reveal personal things such as jealousy, regrets, fears and secret loves, on the ground level the professors, the principal and the parents react differently to the kid’s behavior.