(Panama, August 16, 2012) – The film industry has become an important source of income in today’s world eceonomy, making exciting productions that are seen all over the world! Cinematography looks to find interesting and beautiful places throughout the world that help the production realize their vision, both on film or to showcase the release.

Panama has been the background where many movies have been films and now it will be the showcase, inviting stars of the world of cinema, producers, directors, and all those who take part in the movie making process, as Panama will be hosting the First Annual Panama International Film Festival (IFF Panama). This exciting event will be hosted in April 2013 – a date when stars will be  participating in the exhibition of their productions and partaking in the atmosphere of celebration shared with the people of Panama.

In an unprecedented effort, the Panamanian Government, represented by the Ministers of Trade and Industry, Roberto Henríquez and of Tourism Solomon Shamah, provides an important contribution to the cultural world by showing the Panamanian support for this new cultural venture.

In anticipation of the event, the organizers of IFF Panama announced that they will have a significant presence in the most important film festival in the world: The Toronto International Film Festival. IFF Panama is organizing a ceremony which will host Panamanian artists and stars and showcase them to the world, as well as promote the country of to the 1,400 international journalists, movie stars and filmmakers worldwide on all continents who are expected to be in attendance.

Minister Shamah said that this pre-event in September is an excellent opportunity to show the world what Panamanians have to offer with the attention of the world able to get a glimpse of the attractions that Panama has to offer visitors of the country.

According to Minister Henriquez, in addition to the activities and efforts that Panama has been doing to promote local industry abroad, establishing an international film festival will give them the opportunity to showcase the various locations and national talent to the renowned producers and directors the world.

The event is expected to be held from the 11 to 18 of April of next year. The IFF Panama, which has a board of advisors led by creative Panamanian filmmakers and people from local entertainment, including: Pituka Ortega Heilbron, Abner Benaim and Luis Pacheco. Also, the IFF Panama Board of Directors will be lead by world-renowned actor and singer Ruben Blades.

In order to create and organize this world class event, Panama has formed a government team that collaborates with Canadian producers Henk Van der Kolk and Rob Brown for the development of the festival.

Moreover, Panama is in the process of finding an international film school that allows the composition of a complete film market, where directors, actors, producers, technicians can get jobs on locations that Panama offers for films, thus benefiting all professionals within this important industry.