Strong leadership to drive IFF Panama to success

3 February 2012

Panama, February 3, 2012 – A combined total of 30 years of experience creating and organizing film festivals come together to inaugurate the first edition of the Panama International Film Festival (Panama IFF) to be held in Panama City from April 26 to May 2nd this year. National and foreign experts have joined forces to make it a sounding success.   

Starting with its director, Henk Van Der Kolk, successful film producer and co-founder of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), one of the world’s most important film events; together with renowned documentary producer Pituka Ortega Helibron, deputy director, the Panama IFF has brought aboard a considerable amount of national and foreign talent:

Diana Sanchez, a well-known expert in Latin American Cinematography was invited by Van Der Kolk and Ortega to take charge of the festival’s art direction. She has been managing the selection of Spanish and Latin American films for the International Film Festival of Toronto since 2002. She expressed her satisfaction with a program that will fulfill the visitors’ expectations. Sanchez has also been involved in the programming of City to City, Buenos Aires 2011 and Vida de Novo, Brazil´s New Cinema, TIFF National Spotlight 2003. She is currently programming consultant for the Rotterdam Festival and Senior Consultant for the Miami International Film Festival. She is also in charge of programming the Calgary Latin Wave, a series of Latin American films, and collaborates with Argentina’s PROA Foundation.

IFF Panama counts also with the professional support of Denise Hughes, 
involved for many years with international film festivals such as the Miami International Film Festival, the Cartagena de Indias International Film Festival de Indias, and the New York Documentary Festival (NY DOC).
Hughes has extensive experience creating, organizing, planning 
and structuring film festivals in Latin American markets. Similarly, IFF Panama has the advice of leading Panamanian personalities from the local cultural scene, among them Abner Benaim director of Chance; Luis Pacheco, president of the Panamanian Association of Film Producers (ASOCINE); prominent painter Olga Sinclair and lawyer Yasser Williams Arosemena, who serves as Chairman of the Board.
 

About IFF Panama


The International Film Festival of Panama (Panama IFF) is a world-class 
film and culture encounter to be held in Panama City from April 26 to May 2nd 2012. Panama IFF's mission is to lay down a bridge of cultural communication to the best of the world’s cinematographic production and showcase the work of outstanding filmmakers. The festival is supported by the Panamanian government through the Ministry of Commerce and Industries, the Film Commission, the National Institute of Culture and the Tourism Authority.
Panama IFF, the brainchild of Henk Van Der Kolk and T. Rob Brown,
aims to disseminate the best of international cinematography in
Panama;  promote new cultural resources and film education; advance the local industry, and establish the festival as a tourist destination.
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