International Film Festival

APRIL 11-17, 2013

Panels and Talks


12:00 A 1:00 P.M. – CINEPOLIS 3

An opportunity to learn more about the fascinating world of silent cinema and how filmmakers and the academy have rediscovered a place for these types of stories  reinforcing the impact of the image over sound dialogue.

Speaker: Pablo Berger, Director of Snow White (SPAIN) 
Moderator: Alexandra Schjelderup, Director of Enredarte (PANAMÁ)

Berger directed his first short, Mamá, in 1998, under the artistic direction of Alex de la Iglesia. His first feature, the comedy “Torremolinos 73”, starred Javier Cámara, Fernando Tejero and Candela Peña. His latest film, “Blancanieves” won ten Goya awards and was the Spanish selection for the 2012 Best Foreign Film Award.


3:30 P.M. – CINEPOLIS 7


4:50 A 5:15 P.M – CINEPOLIS 7

After the screening of the famous silent film, The Kid, written, directed and produced by Charlies Chaplin, his daughter, Geraldine Chaplin will discuss how this film was influential in her own career.

Speaker: Geraldine Chaplin, Actrice (UNITED STATES)

Throughout her artistic career, Geraldine has been an influential figure in the world of cinema.  From a very young age she worked with her father, Charles Chaplin and important directors like David Lean, Jack Rivette, Robert Altman and Carlos Saura.  In 1965, she earned a Golden Globe for her performance in Doctor Zhivago and ten years later she was nominated for her role in Altman’s Nashville.  The acclaimed film  Cría Cuervos, directed by Carlos Saura, received the distinction of Special Jury award in Cannes in 1976.  Geraldine will share with the Panamanian audience, her vast experience in the cinema.




11:00 A 12:30 M.D. – CINEPOLIS 3

In order to secure a film’s success, one of the most important steps is finding a sales representative. These professionals are familiar with the market as well as the film industry and know the distributors that could be interested in your material. The question is: how can we get to them?

Speaker: Nate Bolotin (UNITED STATES) co-founded XYZ Films in 2008 alongside partners Nick Spicer and Aram Tertzakian.

Nate Bolotin, (UNITED STATES) before founding XYZ Films, was a senior executive at The Collective where he specialized in independent film finance, sales and packaging. He was instrumental in the financing and sale of dozens of independent films including The Messenger, starring Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster, which was nominated for two Oscars. Bolotin has also held various positions at HBO Films, Montecito Picture Co., Sony Pictures Digital and Strategic Film Partners. Bolotin is also a producer on the live stage musical adaptation of the acclaimed novel, American Psycho.

Aram Tertzakian, (UNITED STATES) co-founder XYZ Films. Previous to XYZ Films, Tertzakian primarily focused on creative development with a diverse group of filmmakers and producers including Academy Award winning director Alexander Payne (The Descendants, Sideways, About Schmidt). He has also collaborated with, veteran producers Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy (The Bourne franchise, The Adventures of Tin Tin, Munich) as well as producer Ted Field (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Last Samurai) at Radar Pictures.



2:30 A 3:30 M.D. – CINEPOLIS 3

All great actors, directors, producers, writers need someone’s help to sell their image, protect their interests and find the best job opportunities. For many, a good agent can open the door to success. The question is: how can we get their attention?

Speaker: Charlie Ferraro, Literary Agent at United Talent Agency (UNITED STATES) / Wayne Fitterman, partner at UTA (UNITED STATES) / Robert Arakelian, Commercial Division Director, UTA (UNITED STATES)

Wayne Fitterman is a Partner and Head of the Production Department at United Talent Agency. Fitterman oversees a team of agents representing Oscar-winning cinematographers, film editors, production designers, producers and costume designers. 

Robert Arakelian runs the TV commercial division of UTA's production department. Arakelian overseers all of TV/video advertising related activities involving the department's best cinematographers, production and costume designers, assistant and second unit directors. Part of his responsabilities are identifying emerging commercial directors.

Moderator: Arianne M. Benedetti, Director of the Panama Film Commission of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry. 



3:45 A 5:00 P.M. – CINEPOLIS 3

Panama is an incredible place with great potential to attract foreign productions. Listen first hand from important producers to find out what they are looking for and their expections that go into choosing the location to shoot their next film.

Speaker: Mark Vahradian, executive producer at Paramount (UNITED STATES) / Tai Duncan, producer for Paul Schiff Productions  (UNITED STATES) / Michael Cole, production president at Weinstein Company (UNITED STATES)
Moderator: Elena Manrique, Producer of  Pan´s Labyrinth (SPAIN)

Mark Vahradian, excecutive producer at Paramount (UNITED STATES) Hollywood film Producer. Vahradian is the Producer of the Transformers Trilogy films - 2007 to 2011 and Red, 2010. His latest work includes Man on a Ledge, 2012.

Tai Duncan is a producer for Paul Schiff Productions (UNITED STATES).  As a producer at Paul Schiff Productions, Duncan oversees film projects from inception to completion encompassing all aspects of development, casting, finance and production. During his time at PSP, Duncan has been involved with various aspects of the feature films: Mona Lisa Smile (Sony Pictures
Entertainment), Walking Tall (MGM), Hooligans (Odd Lot Entertainment) Date Movie and Epic Movie (New Regency/20th Century Fox). In 2007, Duncan produced his first three movies, The Air I Breathe, Numb and Spin.

Michael Cole production president at Weinstein Company (UNITED STATES). Over his 20 year career in the film business, Michael Cole has been involved  with a number of different aspects of the making and marketing feature films process, both as a filmmaker and an executive.  From directing, writing, editing and producing, to running production and overseeing various aspects of acquisitions, finance, business affairs, strategic planning, marketing, and international and domestic distribution as an executive.



12:00 A 1:O0 P.M. – CINEPOLIS 3

Expert directors, screenwriters, producers and academics discuss the actual panorama of Central American film. They will also explore the advantages and disadvantages of the region for developing the sound and image industry and where the production world is headed.

Speaker: Carlos Lechuga, Director of Melaza (CUBA) / Ana Endara, Director of Majesty (PANAMA) / Abner Benaim, Director of Maids and Bosses (PANAMA) /  María Lourdes Cortés Pacheco, Director of Cinergia  (COSTA RICA) / Anayansi Prado, Director of Paradise for Sale (PANAMA) / Hilda Hidalgo Director of Love and other demons, Profesor of the New Cinema School Veritas (COSTA RICA)
Moderator: María Lourdes Cortés

Carlos Lechuga Director of Melaza (CUBA) graduated with a degree in scriptwriting from the International Film and Television School of San Antonio de Los Baños, Cuba (EICTV). The filmmaker also studied direction at the Superior Institute of Cuban Art and continues his studies in the International School of Film and Television of San Antonio de los Baños in the field of scriptwriting. Lechuga is presently working on other writing projects.

Ana Endara Director of Reinas (PANAMA) graduated from the International Film and Television School of San Antonio de los Baños, Cuba (EICTV). In 2007, she finished her documentary, Curundú, with funding from Cinergia.  In 2008, she was the director of the casting of extras of  Quantum of Solace.  Endara co-directed, along with Enrique Castro Ríos in 2012, the short film, Wata, which also won the Best Short Film Award at Icaro in Guatemala. In 2011, Endara founded the independent production company, Mansa Productora, under which she started the production of Reinas (Majesty). Her most recent film will have it’s world premiere in IFF Panamá 2013.

María Lourdes Cortés Pacheco Director of Cinergia  (COSTA RICA)  is a historian of Costa Rican and Central American Cinema and is a tenured professor at the University of Costa Rica and she is also a researcher for the Foundation of Latin American Cinema and the director of Cinergia. At the moment she is working on an investigation about the Nobel Laureate Gabriel García Márquez and the literary content of Silvio Rodriguez’s work. In 2005, The French Government awarded Cortés the Meritorial Knighthood of Honor.

Hilda Hidalgo Director of Love and other Demons, Profesor of the New Cinema School Veritas (COSTA RICA) is a Costa Rican filmmaker graduated with a degree in direction from the International Film and Television School from San Antonio de Los Baños Cuba.  She has written and directed half a dozen of fiction shorts and documentaries in Costa Rica, Italy, France, Butan, Benin, and the Paix Bas.  In 2010, Hidalgo made her debut with the feature length film Love and other Demons, based on the García Marquez novel. She works in Costa Rica as a professor and academic coordinator of the Veritas University and is presently in the stage of development of her new feature length film, Season of Violence.

Abner Benahim Director of Maids and Bosses (PANAMA) is a producer, director and scriptwriter and studied International Relations at the University of Pennsylvania in the United States, Film in Cámara Obscura, Tel Aviv (Israel).  His credits include Round Trip to Panama (Israel, 2002 documentary 33’) Bulldog-Noise (Israel 2002 documental 50’) Good Vibes (Israel 2003 documentary 50’) El Otro Lado (Panama 2005 Documentary Series) Chance (Panamá-México 2009 Fiction 90’) Maids and Bosses (Panama-Argentina 2010, 58’). Presently, Benahim is working on two fiction scripts: Vernissage (to be produced in the US and In the Interior; under development funded by Ibermedia).  He is also working on the documentary Where Were You (on December 20th of 1989), a documentary about the collective memory of Panamanians on the day of the US invasion in Panama (Cinergia-Morelia Lab).

Anayansi Prado, Director of Paradise for Sale (PANAMA) is her first documentary that explores the lives of Latin domestic helpers in Los Angeles, received many awards and was broadcasted nationally in the U.S. on PBS.  Her second production, Children in No Man's Land, about unaccompanied minors crossing the border between the U.S. and Mexico, has been screened in more than thirty countries around the world and has won several awards.
For the realization of her third independent production, Paradise for Sale, Prado returned to her native country to document the impact of American retirees and developers in local communities, particularly the indigenous area of Bocas del Toro.
Prado is Professor of Film at Chapman University in Southern California. She has also been working with the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs of the State Department of the United States since 2009, giving workshops on documentary filmmaking in various countries around the world including Burma, Angola, Nicaragua, Colombia, Peru, Bosnia, Singapore and Paraguay.




10:00 A 11:30 P.M – CINEPOLIS 3

Having a great idea for a film is not enough. We must know how to sell our story. Elena Manrique, producer of the Spanish film Pan’s Labyrinth, will reveal essential key points we must know to sell our script and take our story to the big screen.

Speaker: Elena Manrique, Producer of  Pan´s Labyrinth (SPAIN)

Manrique began working at the film department of Canal + in 1993. A few years later, she switched to Cinemania (film themed channel) as head of acquisitions and programming. In 1999, Manrique joined the Sogepaq Internacional team, where she played the titanic task of distributing Spanish cinema across the world. Years later she produced Lena, her first feature film, and in 2003 began working as executive producer at Telecinco Cinema. Among her favorite films as executive producer are: Cell 211, Pan's Labyrinth, Torremolinos 73, El Lobo, Casual Day, The King of the Mountain, The Orphanage, Oxford Murders, Rabia.  In 2011, she created Film Fatal, a film production company that develops various projects, and is currently preparing Delirio, Chus Gutiérrez’ next feature which will be a co-production with 64-A Films (Colombia). Marique currently works as head of acquisitions at INDIE SALES, an international sales company based in Paris.



12:00 A 1:30 P.M. – CINEPOLIS 3

What seemed unthinkable years ago is now a reality: Latin-American producers are making films in Spain and other countries of the European Union. What are the production and co-production models of Ibero-American film?

Speaker: Elena Manrique, Producer of  Pan´s Labyrinth (SPAIN) / Simón de Santiago, director of international production for Sogecine & Sogepaq (SPAIN) / Flor Schapiro,  Director of LAT-E (ARGENTINA) / Cynthia Wiesner, Director of Wiesner Distribution (PUERTO RICO)

Simón de Santiago, Director of International Production for Sogecine & Sogepaq (SPAIN) joined the Sogecable Group in 1997 and fullfilled several positions in the film acquisitions department of Canal + Spain. In 2000, he relaunched the development program Canal + Scripts, created for  gifted young writers. Santiago was appointed Deputy Director of Distribution in 2002, internationally promoting and selling acclaimed productions such as The Sea Inside, by Alejandro Amenabar, Sex and Lucia, by Julio Medem, Mondays in the Sun, by Fernando Leon de Aranoa and I Give You My Eyes, by Iclar Bollaín. Since 2004, he has held his position as Director of International Production at Sogecine & Sogepaq.

Flor Schapiro,  Director of LAT-E (ARGENTINA), after working as a sales agent and Director of International Sales for the production and distribution company Coproduction Office (France / Germany / Denmark) and managing their headquarters in Paris for six years, Shapiro moved to Buenos Aires in 2008 and created LAT-E. The company specializes in distribution services, and through acquisition, marketing and distribution, brings arthouse films closer to audiences eager for new proposals. Between 2009 and 2012, she has managed European acquisitions of titles like Amour by Michael Haneke, The Angel's Share by Ken Loach, Elles by Malgorzata Szumowska, Vincere by Marco Bellochio, Tuesday after Christmas by Radu Muntean and Certified Copy by Abbas Kiarostami for Conosur for different distributors, primarily CDI Films.

Cynthia Wiesner, Director of Wiesner Distribution (PUERTO RICO), Since 2000, Wiesner Distribution has selected and distributed the best independent films – mainly in Spanish – for exhibition in movie theaters and homes in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.



10:00 A 11:30 P.M. – CINEPOLIS 3

Jody Shapiro talks about the Green Porns short films in which she produced with Isabella Rossellini. The original concept behind the short film was to create original content for cellphones. The big question at the time (2008) was who would finance this kind of content and how they would make money out of it.  As we move from iPhones to tablets, the future of short films, particularly for the small screen, is uncertain.
This discussion will be accompanied by the screening of some of the Green Porns, as well as the short film, My Father is 100 Years Old, by director Guy Maddin and written by Isabella Rossellini. The film is meant as a love letter to her father with the intent of being shown before his feature films in numerous retrospectives commemorating the 100th anniversary of his birth.

Speaker:  Jody Shapiro, Producer and Co-director of  Green Porns (CANADA) / Diana Sánchez, Artistic Director of IFF Panamá (CANADA) / Luis Palomo, Director of Cell Fest (PANAMA)



The dynamics will be explained by the director the day of the workshop.

Actors:  Sherilyn Fenn, (United States), William MaCnamara (United States)
Director: Jennifer Lynch (UNITED STATES)

Jennifer Lynch, director, (UNITED STATES) was born into art and film in 1968 and daughter to filmmaker, David Lynch and artist Peggy Reavey. Lynch has truly been raised on film sets and in studios.  From acting in films to producing, writing and directing, she has her hands and heart fully immersed in the process.
Her feature film, Surveillance, took Best Director and Best Actress at the New York Horror Festival, (the first time a female has won this prestigious award) and was given a standing ovation at the CANNES FILM FESTVAL in France in the OFFICIAL SELECTIONS, and won BEST PICTURE at Sitges, Spain. Jennifer has written the feature script, A Fall From Grace, due to shoot this summer in St. Louis, (starring Tim Roth, Paz Vega, Vincent D’Onofrio, Willow Shields, French Stewart, etc.)   Lynch reguarly directs episodic television.