Panels & Workshops


FRIDAY: April 27
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM – CINEMARK 3

Presented by EGEDA, this seminar will provide an essential breakdown of the legal structure of an audiovisual production with an emphasis on Intellectual Property law. Also of importance, the individual contract obligations and rights will be evaluated for authors of audiovisual works as well as contracts concerning interpreters and exploitation in the midst of the ever-evolving business model for audiovisual productions.

Speaker: Jose Antonio Suarez, contract advisor specialized in audiovisual projects and intellectual property for production and distribution companies, radio broadcasters, Spanish organizations as well as diverse Spanish and International associations.  He is the General Secretary of the EGEDA organization which oversees legal issues regarding the property rights of Audiovisual Producers in Ibero-America. Suarez has also actively participated in the Court of Arbitration in defense of audiovisual rights in Ibero-America through the IBERMEDIA fund program.       


PANAMA: SPOTLIGHT ON LOCATIONS AND LOCAL INCENTIVES                                                                                                                                                                     

FRIDAY: April 27
3:00 PM – 4:30 PM – CINEMARK 3

Panama is an ideal film shooting location; this panel will explore the various benefits that the country offers in terms of production. From the service offerings, easy access and fiscal incentives to the very diverse sceneries that can recreate Latin American landscapes as well as unique destinations such as Dubai, New Zealand or even Las Vegas.

Speaker: Arianne M. Benedetti, Director of the Panama Film Commission of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry. Benedetti has a Bachelor’s in Comunications with an emphasis on Publicity and in Producing and Directing form Film & TV from SHC, Alabama. At 22 she had already directed, produced and edited various national TV programs with international distribution. In 2000 her first short film shot on 16mm “Como la mires” was premiered.  At 23 she moved to Madrid to obtain a Master in 3D Animation and Postproduction. Since 2003 she has been working at VFX studio as Director and executive producer of commercials for various marketing companies in Panama such as JWT, Ogilby and Y&R, directed more than 250 commercials. In 2005 she published her first book, Mas Que Hermanos (More Than Brothers) an adaptation from the film script she wrote for a feature film she hopes one day to produce.


IBERO-AMERICAN CO-PRODUCTION PANEL AND INTERNATIONAL FILM FUNDS                                                                      
SATURDAY: April 28   
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM – CINEMARK 3  

Securing film funding is a universal challenge for the majority of audiovisual productions.  This panel will illustrate the benefits of some of the international funds, agreements, scholarships, markets and forums while also taking a close look at the financial and economic aspects of a co-production.Other themes of interest explored and related to the topic of co-production will be the active politics of development and regulation of the film market, majority/minority co-production topics, budget, commercial viabilities, financial plans and cash flow between co-producers. There are also new models for independent funding such as IndieGoGo and Kickstarter which are generating new possibilities and opening the doors for emerging filmmakers. The IBERMEDIA Film Fund program, one of the most successful and strongest funds for Ibero-American filmmakers, as well as CINERGIA, a Central American Film Fund, will also be explored.

Panelists: Hernan Musaluppi,General Secretary of the Argentine Chamber of the Cinematographic Industry (CAIC), producer of various films since 1997 and co-founder of RIZOMA, an independent production company which has produced many international co-productions since its inception in 2001. In 1999 and 2000 he was a programmer for the Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema (BAFICI) and since 2007 he is professor of production courses at the Universidad del Cine in Argentina as well as the Escuela Nacional de Experimentación y Realización Cinematográfica (E.N.E.R.C.), which is a film school supported by the National Film and Audiovisual Arts Institute of Argentina (INCAA). Musaluppi also teaches various production courses throughout Latin America and Europe. In 2010 he was the first Argentinian producer to become a member of the ACE (Ateliers du Cinéma Européen), one of the most prestigious entities for European producers.

Jorge Sanchez Sosa, film producer since 1979 and director of, a dynamic film school, library, cinematheque and film viewing space in Mexico. He has worked on several films, six of which have participated at the Cannes International Film Festival. He also founded and presided over the Ibero-American Federation of Audiovisual Producers as well as the Zafra Video distribution company and the Macondo Cine y Video, Amaranta Producciones, and Filmanía audiovisual production companies. Sosa was also the General Director of the International Film Festival of Guadalajara from 2005 to 2010.

Elena Vilardell, Secretary General of Ibermedia, (Spain).

Maria Lourdes Cortes Pacheco, Director of CINERGIA, an audiovisual fund for Central America and the Caribbean. She was a researcher for the New Latin American Film Foundation and was Director of Veritas University, the first film and TV school in Central America founded in Costa Rica, as well as Director of the Costa Rican Center for Film Production. She has won the Joaquín García Monge prize for her work in cultural affairs and was a two-time recipient of the Ensayo Aquileo J. Echeverría prize for her published books on film: Love & Betrayal, Film and Literature in Latin America (1999) and The Broken Screen. One-Hundred Years of Film in Central America (2005). She is currently preparing an investigation on García Marquez and film as well as a Silvo Rodriquez screenplay. She has been a juror at various film festivals in France, Holland, Cuba and Mexico where she has also given lectures and workshops.  Cortes was also conferred the title of ‘’ Knight of the French Order of Honor’’ by the The French government in 2005.

Olga Conto, independent producer of the feature documentary film A COMMON GOAL which utilized alternative fundraising models such as Kickstarter.




SATURDAY: April 28
3:00 PM – 4:30 PM – CINEMARK 3

What are the differences between a Unit Production Manager and a Line Producer? How do Location Scouts and Location Managers work together? What are some of the challenges and benefits that result from this collaboration? This panel will discuss the differences and definitions of these roles that are integral to the development of a film and the filmmaking process.  The guest speakers, film industry specialists in their respective fields, will share their experiences and challenges that are common to these positions. 

Panelists: Mariana Secco, producer, line producer, distributor and also the founder and director of the film department for Salado Media, a production company based in Uruguay. She currently forms part of the Board of Directors for the Producer and Filmmakers Association of Uruguay (ASOPROD), as well as a board member for the Uruguayan Film Commission and Promotion Office and is Uruguay´s representative in the Ibero-American Federation of Audiovisual Producers (FIPCA). In December of 2010 Variety magazine classified her as one of the “10 talents to watch”.

Bernardo Kenny, film producer and owner of Cinemusic Productions (Panama), he started his film career in Argentina as Production Assistant and later worked as Assistant Director for various films and coproductions. He currently produces feature films and documentaries in Panama. Kenny also has experience as a location manager and production manager for several international film and TV productions that have taken place in Panama such as the US film Art of Travel, the French documentary Six Jours Au Panama, and the episode “Passport to Latin America” by the Travel Channel. He was the coordinator of Production for the successful Panamanian feature film Chance by Panamanian director Abner Benaim.  Kenny was also Production Manager for Benaim’s documentary Empleadas y Patrones and for the Panamanian coproductions Ruta de la Luna (Panama-Ecuador) and Melaza (Cuba-Panama). 

Anel Moreno, location scout, location manager, production manager, fixer and owner of Panama Films (Panama), a location and production services company. Moreno has several years of experience working in diverse roles in the film industry including production assistant and assistant director for various international film and TV productions. He was location scout for the recently released film Contraband of Universal Pictures starring actor and producer Mark Wahlberg, as well as location scout for Fast & Furious 5 of Universal Studios, Quantum of Solace (James Bond #22), Miami Vice of Universal Pictures, Basic and Tailor of Panama of Sony Pictures, among others. He has worked on international documentaries and short films as fixer, producer and unit manager for National Geographic, Discovery Channel, BBC London and several others. Additionaly, Anel has experience as photographer, location scout and producer for international TV commercials and photo shoots for HSBC, National Geographic,  New York Times Style Magazine and as location manager, producer and fixer for various international TV series such as Amazing Race 8 & 19, Amazing Race Latino, House Hunters, and Prison Break.



SATURDAY: April 28


This lecture examines the fast paced changes in the global distribution of content. There are now more opportunities than ever before to reach the U.S. and other international markets through digital distribution. There are global aggregators such as Amazon, Netflix, iTunes, and YouTube among others that can help filmmakers reach their audience and increase viewership in ways that were unthinkable five years ago. This class will also contain a specific section on how Facebook and Twitter are branding and monetizing content. A brief presentation about SCAD University and its School of Film, Digital Media and Performing Arts will also be highlighted.

Speaker: Andrew Meyer has over 40 years of experience as a film executive and producer, educator and executive in the record business. He served as President of Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss’ A&M Films, Robert Redford’s Wildwood Productions, and Norman Lear’s Act III Productions. Notable among the many films he has produced, Fried Green Tomatoes was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

The first film Mr. Meyer developed and produced was the The Breakfast Club, named by Entertainment Weekly as the “Best High School Movie of all time”.  Mr. Meyer’s production company, A&M Films, produced Birdy directed by Alan Parker, starring Matthew Modine and Nicholas Cage. Birdy was selected as the recipient of the Grand Prix Special Jury Prize at the 1985 Cannes Film Festival.

Mr. Meyer is currently a professor at the Savannah College of Art and Design. He has taught screenwriting at the Master of Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California and has been an Adjunt Professor at UCLA teaching record business fundamentals. Mr. Meyer has been a Guest Lecturer at the Brattleboro Film Festival, the Griffin Film Festival, Bucknell University and at USC.


SUNDAY: April 29
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM – CINEMARK 4

This Master Class will provide film students, cinephiles and invited guests with the opportunity to hear first-hand about a career in the industry from a respected industry figure. One or more of the invited speaker´s films will be showcased to illustrate the process of directing a scene/film, the careful construction of narratives and the themes at play throughout the work(s).                        

Speaker: Special Guest Speaker TBA

MONDAY: April 30
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM – CINEMARK 3

One of the challenges for Independent Cinema is to reach its desired audience and the path to the multiplex can contain many obstacles. Luckily, there are many people that can aid the filmmakers on this path, beginning with national film boards and sales agents that can help get you into film festivals where international distributors can discover your film and open the way for it to be presented in theatres around the world.   

Panelists: Diana Sanchez, Artistic Director of the Panama International Film Festival and also the Ibero-American film festival programmer for the Toronto International Film Festival since 2002. She has worked as a consultant for various international film programs and festivals such as the Rotterdam Festival and the International Film Festival of Miami.               

Cristina Garza is the Director of Distribution for CANANA, a film production and distribution company founded in 2005 by Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna and Pablo Cruz. Before arriving at CANANA she lived in New York for ten years working for FiGa Films, a distributor and sales agency of Latin American Films and where she cofounded, a social website for independent film. She is currently the US representative for the Critics Week of the Cannes Film Festival and lives with her husband and dog in Mexico City.



MONDAY: April 30
3:00 PM – 4:30 PM – CINEMARK 3

The Cinematographic Industry is composed of a vast array of jobs including some that are not always in the spotlight but are just as integral to the production of an audiovisual project. What are the current day challenges of a Producer, Director, Assistant Director, Continuity Supervisor, Sound mixer/editor, and what is the importance of each role in the industry? Special guests of the International Film Festival of Panama will discuss the importance of defining and specializing in a role and will share their experiences and the particularities of their jobs.

Panelists: Natalia Smirnoff started her career in cinema as a casting director and first assistant director and has worked on several films with some of the best directors and talent in the Argentinian cinematic industry. Her directorial debut feature was for the film Puzzle (Rompecabezas, 2009) which was nominated for various awards including the Golden Berlin Bear at the Berlin Film Festival and won other international awards such as the Silver Condor for Best First Film by the Argentinean Film Critics Association Awards. She also has experience in TV industry as a former program director for a cable TV channel.

Twin brothers Guillaume and Jérôme Dufour have professional experience in film and TV since 1986, having filmed more than 30 shorts (35mm and 16mm).  As producer and director, Guillaume initiated his career as a camera operator (35mm, Super 16 and 16mm), submarine cameraman (16mm and bétacam) and in film editing (35mm and 16mm) for 6 years before devoting himself to the direction and executive production of audiovisual productions. Jérôme initiated his cinema career as sound engineer, then as a director of photography (Cinema, 35, Super 16 and 16mm) for 5 years before initiating his now full-time career in executive production. Both brothers handle every aspect of their film and TV projects in France, Costa Rica, Panama and Mexico from the production design through to the post-production. The Dufours have vast experience in managing and directing technical teams and production equipment in film and TV productions. 

Pablo Schverdfinger started his cinematographic career with the film Highlander II and from that moment he has developed his film carreer as Director of Photography. Since then he has filmed numerous commercials for Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Chile, Panama, Spain and the U.S. for popular clients such as Kodak, Telefónica de Argentina, Coca Cola, Brahma, Nescafé, Ala, Sedal, Clorox, Renault, Peugot, Banco do Brasil, Air Wick, Lysol, etc. Schverdfingere has also been DP for various feature films: Palermo Hollywood (Sundance Film Festival’s World Dramatic Official Competition 2005) Hide (2006), Aguas Verdes (Forum competition participant at the Berlin Film Festival 2009), Un Novio Para Mi Mujer (2008), and Cuestion de Principios (2009). From 2008 until 2010 he was Vice President of the Argentinian Authors Association for Directors of Photography and also a juror of the Official Competition at the Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival (BAFICI). He later decided to move to Panama where he could combine his two passions: film and living in Panama, which he loves. In Panama he started Dragon Films and began directing commercials and documentaries for the local market. In 2012 the company name was changed to Manglar Films and he now works on fiction films and documentary productions.


MARKETING OF CINEMATOGRAPHIC PROJECTS                                                                                                     
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM – CINEMARK 3

This workshop is designed to guarantee that all active members of the audiovisual industry (technicians, talent, and mostly producers, exhibitors, distributors, script writers and directors) can count on a cohesive vision that comprehensively incorporates every aspect of the industry. The aim of this course is to simplify the process of project development and establish a methodology in order to systematize the various procedures required to producing quality films that are sustainable and attractive to a determined audience.   

Speaker: Hugo Castro Fau, film producer, Lagarto Cine (Argentina), and facilitator of film workshops and master classes. He was on of the official facilitators in the Ibero-American Cinematographic Production Diploma offered by the Cinematographic Association of Panama (ASOCINE) in 2006 & 2009.  

3:00 PM – 4:30 PM – CINEMARK 3
Panamanian Film Director Abner Benaim (screenwriter, director, and producer) will share his filmmaking experience in Panama and will discuss how to make the most of the difficulties and limitations widely accepted as deterrent factors in the local filmmaking landscape. Quoting the popular saying: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, Benaim will showcase his feature film Chance and his documentary Empleadas y patrones (Maids & Bosses) as examples.

Speaker: Abner Benaim, Producer and Director, Apertura Films (Panama)



3:00 PM – 4:30 PM – CINEMARK 3

Most movies aim to entertain us. But great movies have the power to inspire, challenge and transform us - staying in our hearts and minds forever. In this fun and fascinating lecture by Paul Brown, students will watch entertaining film clips and learn such ''secrets'' as ''The Ghost in All Stories,'' ''Four Hidden Selves in Every Character,'' ''The Trap of Dilemmas & Needs," "Character Flaws and Secret Desires," "Ego, Addiction & the Dark Side," "Tapping into Wishes & Dreams," and "The Power of Fear & Love," that connect audiences to great movies.

Speaker:  Paul Brown is an award-winning writer, director and producer, having worked in film and television for over twenty-five years. He has produced over a hundred hours of network television drama, pilots, and television movies, working on such series as The X-Files, Quantum Leap, Twilight Zone, Star Trek Voyager & Enterprise.