Viva Panama Organization (VPO) and NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) are pleased to announce the launch of the 1st annual Panama International Film Festival L.A., officially presented by Union Bank and endorsed by the Panama Film Festival and The Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Panama.
The festival, designed to cast a spotlight on the emerging film industry in Panama and Central America, will feature works by up-and-coming filmmakers from the area as well as visual arts, musical and dance exhibitions and even culinary samples from the region. Our special Panamanian guest, Justine Pasek, Miss Universe 2002, will be at the Inauguration Reception and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.
The inaugural event will take place on Saturday, November 21, 2015 at the AT&T Center located at 1133 S. Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90015 and will feature four productions by Panamanian directors: Reinas by Ana Endara Mislov, Let Me Finish by Carlos Carrasco, Chance by Abner Benaim, Transparent Hero by Orgun Wagua's and the US Premier screening of Box 25 by Mercedes Arias & Delfina Vidal.
Reinas takes us on a tour of the spectacular and complex world of festival queen competitions, an integral part of Panamanian folklore. Chance, a film by Abner Bena?¡m, is a modern comedy of manners which expertly mines the relationships between the haves and the have-nots for its rich comedic content. Let Me Finish examines the lengths to which individuals will go in search of basic companionship. Transparent Hero portrays the life of Victoriano Lorenzo, who successfully waged guerilla warfare against the central government in Panama in the early 1900's. Box 25, Winner of Best Film from Central America and the Caribbean, and The Audience Award for Best Documentary at the 2015 International Film Festival in Panama, examines the complicated relationship between the United States and Panama, cemented since the U.S. participation in the creation of the country and the construction of the Panama Canal.
VPO is a Southern California non-profit organization dedicated for over two decades to showcasing Panamanian arts and culture to North American audiences. Known as "Panamanian Cultural Ambassadors in the U.S.", the members of the Viva Panama Organization and its Ballet Folkl??rico have proudly represented their nation and its culture at venues and events as diverse as the Anson Ford Amphitheatre, the Central American Independence parades and at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games.
VPO recently managed the coordination and logistics for the participation of the first Panamanian marching band in the world-renowned Pasadena Tournament of Roses. VPO also hosts an annual gala to recognize and honor distinguished Panamanians in the U.S. Recent honorees include: Miss Universe 2002 Justine Pasek, legendary jockey Laffit Pincay, Jr., and NASA scientist Dr. Erika Podest.
NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) is a non-profit organization designed to showcase innovative works by emerging filmmakers from around the world, providing the Los Angeles community of entertainment professionals and film goers with a constant surge of monthly screening events. NFMLA provides a forum where filmmakers can be recognized for their contributions, have open audience discussions about their projects and connect with industry professionals for insight on distribution, production, acquisition and representation.
These two dynamic organizations have joined forces to turn the spotlight on one of the fastest-growing and fertile film locations in the Americas.