International Film Festival wrap-up

“Caja 25” (“Box 25”), winner of the Panama Film Commission’s annual prize, will have its world premiere

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Barack Obama was in town during Panama’s fourth annual International Film Festival recently but didn’t manage to see any of the 73 films that were shown. Raúl Castro didn’t see any movies either while he was at the Super Summit, even though he probably would have enjoyed viewing some of the “Stories from Central American and Caribbean” showcase. Nicolás Maduro might have benefitted from seeing “The Liberator,” a Venezuelan/Spanish co-production about the legendary leader Simon Bolivar, which was a feature of the “Ibero-American Panorama” selection of movies.

“Caja 25” (“Box 25”), winner of the Panama Film Commission’s annual prize, will have its world premiere

Scene from “Caja 25” (“Box 25”).

According to an article in Variety, “The fact the festival coincided with the Summit of the Americas was in the end seen as a positive. Other than the added pre-festival stress it brought to both the organizers and their teams, it did create more interest in both Panama and the festival, and many of the international media in town for the summit filed festival-related stories.”

While it did seem that attendance was down the first two days of the festival, when the summit ended, crowds returned for the remainder of the schedule and enjoyed the unique projections on the façade of the National Theatre by French visual artist, Miguel Chevalier.

Attendance was also reported to be from good to over-flowing at Cinépolis Multiplaza, where the majority of the films were screened. Dozens of workshops dealing with the film industry were also well attended. The always popular free outdoor screenings, this time at the Mirador del Pacífico, also went off without a hitch due to the excellent work of Outdoor Movies, a state-of-the-art projection company that upgraded all projections and sound systems starting last year.

The IFF of Panama closed its successful-against-all-odds week of cinema with the red-carpet screening of the popular U.S. movie, Whiplash, a winner of three Academy Awards.

“The Visitor” congratulates the winners of this year’s IFF People’s Choice Awards:

“Revista K” People’s Choice Award for Best Documentary:

“Caja 25” (“Box 25”)

Dir. Delfina Vidal & Mercedes Arias, Panamá

“MasterCard” People’s Choice Award for Best Central American / Caribbean Film:

“Caja 25” (“Box 25”)

Dir. Delfina Vidal & Mercedes Arias, Panamá

“Copa Airlines” People’s Choice Award for Best Iberoamerican Fiction Movie:

“La distancia más larga” (“The Longest Distance”)

Dir. Claudia Pinto, Venezuela

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