IFF Panama Film Match 2020

IFF Panama Foundation activates the First Virtual Co-Production Forum in Central America and the Caribbean: IFF Panama Film Match

Friday, May 1, 2020

10 Central American projects in development will compete for the $ 10,000 co-production award sponsored by IDB-Lab


Ten projects from Central America and the Caribbean will participate from May 18 to 21, in the virtual meeting organized by the  Panama Film Match, PFM team. The countries participating in this first forum are Costa Rica, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and Panama. Four of the 10 selected projects are Panamanian.

"In these moments of great health and economic trauma, the creative industries of our countries suffer an unprecedented setback. Initiatives like PFM not only contribute to consolidate Panama's role as a meeting point and a generator of vital opportunities, but they also contribute and attest to the faith we have in our film industry,” said Pituka Ortega Heilbron, director of IFF Panama.

“PFM confirms the commitment of the Panamanian Isthmus to be a point of connection and opportunity for all. In addition, in these uncertain times for our nascent cinematography, it is essential that we have this meeting virtually to give faith and support, from knowledge to economics and creating the possibilities for the projects to meet with producers of the highest level from different parts of the world.  Thus, we offer the opportunity  for many members of the local and regional industry to be nourished by the different phases of the Forum, which will also offer knowledge and insight through virtual master classes ”, continued Ortega Heilbron.

Due  to the financing from the IDB Lab, IFF Panama  strengthens its commitment to the cinematography in the region, which even in moments of  the world crisis caused by COVID-19.  It  imagines and executes solutions to continue to support the films of the region. In a virtual way IFF Panama will offer a full week of cinema: from masterclasses, to meetings with international producers, distributors and programmers, who will in turn offer feedback and support to the selected projects.

“From the IDB Lab we continue, more than ever, supporting the creative industries to find ways of adjusting to this new, changing, situation. Technology has turned a great ally but it wouldn't be enough without the enthusiasm, the ideas and the energy of all stakeholders involved. Together, we’ll be able to overcome this. This edition of PFM proves that together we can do it, and this will bring opportunities not only for the film industry in Panama and but also in other countries in Central America,” explained Estrella Peinado-Vara.

“The current crisis has led us to create new ways of meeting, and the wonderful surprise is that we have had a movingly positive response from our guest experts. All have expressed solidarity, encouragement and good energy towards our nascent industry. That is one of the most profound and emotional lessons that the crisis has taught this team that makes IFF Panama: that we are not alone in this fight," Ortega concluded.

The IFF Panama Foundation works to strengthen Panama's economy and social development, in addition to the countries of Central America and the Caribbean, thanks to the reputation of its most precious asset, IFF Panama.

Forum: May 18-21, 2020.
Award Announcement: May 22, 2020

Producer - Programmer

Diana Bustamante Escobar, filmmaker and programmer, studied film at the National University of Colombia. He has constantly contributed to the international recognition of Colombian cinema, producing films such as “Los Viajes del Viento”, by Ciro Guerra, “El volco del Cangrejo” by Oscar Ruiz, winner of the 2010 FIPRESCI Award in Berlin, La Playa DC (Un Certain Regard, Cannes 2012) by Juan Andrés Arango, “La Sirga” by Willian Vega (Directors' Fortnight, Cannes 2012), Los Hongos by Oscar Ruiz-Navia (Locarno 2014) and the first film by César Augusto Acevedo, “La tierra y La Sombra ”, this last winner of the Caméra d'or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015. Her production company Burning also produced“ The Best Themes ”by Nicolás Pereda,“ Refugiado ”by Diego Lerman (Directors' Fortnight, Cannes 2014) and “Comprame un Revólver” by Julio Hernández (Directors' Fortnight, Cannes 2018), among others. His work proposes a constant construction of bridges between Latin American cinema and other cultures and points of view, he has focused his efforts to promote co-productions and cultural exchanges and better through cinema.

From 2014 to 2018, she has been artistic director and main programmer of the Cartagena International Film Festival (FICCI) and lately she has participated in numerous festivals and fund juries, in Sarajevo (SFF), Buenos Aires (BAFICI) or Amsterdam (IDFA) , Semain de la Critic de Cannes, Ficunam, among others.

As curator, he has collaborated with institutions such as La Cinemateca Distrital de Bogotá, the French Film Festival in Colombia and the Goethe Institute in numerous special programs, the latter the special program that celebrates the 250 of Alexander Von Humboldt (Humboldt Year 2019).


Producer - Cine-Sud Promotion

He is a producer, international press agent and creator of Cine-Sud Promotion, a company dedicated to promoting independent films. He has a degree in Modern Literature and Cinema, is Co-founder and General Delegate of the Montpellier Film Festival and the Writing Support Fund of the Amiens Festival.

Thanks to his work as a co-producer, he has been present in recent years at the Cannes Festival with films such as La Playa D.C. by Juan Andrés Arango, in the Un Certain Regard section (2012); La sirga by director William Vega, co-production between Colombia, Mexico and France, which had its premiere at the Directors' Fortnight (2012); and Gonzalo Tobal's Villegas, participant in the Official Selection of the festival (2012). His most recent work as co-producer was in William Vega's second feature film, Sal (2018), which took place at the Cannes Film Festival Residence.


Producer - La Marona Productions and Director of the DocsMx film festival

Documentary film director and producer. He started his career making the documentary "Neruda in Isla Negra". In 1995 he founded LA MAROMA producciones, a communication company focused on the development of documentary projects, including television series, documentary feature films and special projects. He is a founding partner and executive director of the Mexico City International Documentary Film Festival: DocsMX. He has participated as a jury in various festivals, including the Guadalajara Film Festival, Viña del Mar, Documenta Madrid, RIDM, FIDBA, Vision du Reel, DokFest and Miradas Doc, among others, as well as in project evaluation committees for the Mexican Institute of Cinematography (IMCINE), the National Film Council of Ecuador (CNCINE), the Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual of Uruguay (ICAU) and the Audiovisual Fund of Colombia (ProimAGES). He frequently gives lectures, workshops and talks for universities. In 2012 he received the Mente Imagen award, given by the Discovery Channel and Quo magazine. He is also founder of the Mexican Network of Film Festivals: RedMexFest, of which he currently holds the position of Liaison Coordinator.