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You are in: Home > 2013. 61st Edition  > Festival Diary > Panama: First Fruit of Film Boost
Festival Diary » THE INDUSTRY CLUB
Panama: First Fruit of Film Boost
Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

A year after approving its Cinema Law and as it readies to launch its brand new studio complex in the first half of 2014, Panamá’s boost for local productions and co-productions is showing its first results.

This kick-start adds Panamá to the list of smaller emerging markets in Latin America now seeing a movie production build.

“With the exception of 2007, from year 2000 to 2012 Panama’s average investment in foreign shoots was $2 million to $3 million every year. The figure climbed to $23 million in 2013,” said Panama film commissioner Arianne Benedetti.

Foreign productions benefit from a 15% rebate on local spend. The country also makes it easy to shoot with a foreign crew by facilitating the paperwork for foreign employers as well as applying atax exemption on any material and/or equipments entering the country.

As for local productions or co-productions, Panama-based companies can benefit from a 25% tax rebate that has made film financing very attractive for broadcasters, among others.

Tax rebates apply for a total six-project short-list selected by an International jury. These are projects that also receive ubsidies from a $3 million Fondocine film fund. Candidates can be international coproductions if helmed by a Panamanian director.

Fondocine adjudicates grants of up to $1 million to three feature films each year, as well as three documentaries that can tap up to $100,00 per pic.

This year’s selected feature films have been Enrique Castro’s “Sultan,” which received $700,000, and Ricardo Aguilar’s Salsipuedes and Aldo Valderrama’s La última sonrisa, with $555,000 each.

And there’s life beyond Fondocine too: Gauguin y el Canal, produced by Luis Pacheco (Carlos Cesar Arvelaez’s The Colors of the Mountain) and directed byFrank Spano, is set to be shoot in2015with Carlos Bardem.

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