In the first edition of 2012, IFF Panamá and Copa Airlines gave the power to the audience, in order to choose the best picture, within those making up the Óperas Primas y Panorama Iberoamericano section. It was awarded at that time to the Cuban film Juan de los Muertos, by Alejandro Brugués.
IFF Panama, from that first record, is still committed to the public criteria and adds two more awards from the audience: The Audience Award for Best Documentary, sponsored by K-La Prensa Magazine and involving all documentaries included in the documentary section, MASTERCARD and Public Prize for Best Film of the Central American Cinema section.
Copa Airlines also continues to sponsor the 2013 Audience Award Cup for Best Picture by the eight films that will compete LAS debuts section and 12 films Iberoamerican Panorama section.
In the words of the director of IFF Panama, Pituka Ortega, "Our festival is targeting criteria strengthen the power of the audience as
an entity that can make the fate of the winning films."