November 12, 2010

An Isthmian Festival.

      I would like to "post" a news that appeared on a Panama’s newspaper and I found it interesting to post on the blog. I hope that you find it interesting.
     “34 years ago, Henk Van Der Kolk was an architect who wanted to turn around his life and did so.
     This Canadian is one of the founders of the Toronto’s Film Festival, considered one of the most important in the world alongside Cannes and Venice.
     Beginning in November, he will reside in Panama, in the community of Santa Clara, home of T. Rob Brown, a patron of the arts, who is married to Yolanda, Van Der Kolk’s painter daughter.
     As he was in love with the isthmus, he wants to make a film festival here (Panama).
     Perhaps it couldn’t be difficult if with a handful of employees and enthusiasm founded in 1976 the Toronto’s Film Festival.
     He believes that Panama is the ideal spot of Central America for this project because it has a stable currency, safety, an efficient network of air links and has become a popular place to go to retire and says he is proof of that.
     We are pleased that Panama also offers the option of being in a tropical rainforest in the morning and be back at night to sleep in a five star hotel.
     Such variety is another impetus to develop, because in his opinion it wouldn’t be more difficult to convince Hollywood producers to shoot in this land.
     His Isthmian Festival would have a strong Latin American component, and he regretted that a high percentage of the screen quota in Panama is lead by commercial Hollywood cinema.
     The first version of the festival will be in April 2012. "Panama has a better infrastructure than Toronto had 34 years ago when he started the festival. Perhaps it not achieved the same worldwide, but will be as similar as possible."
     He is pleased to have been well received by the Ministers of Tourism, Salomon Shamah, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Roberto Henríquez and INAC Director, María Eugenia Herrera.
     How much required investment is not known , but he began to knock doors in North America.
     It should not be difficult if your team is able to get the $ 7 million that is needed each year to “jump-start” the Toronto Film Festival.”
     On the other hand, it is already taking the first steps for the development of cinema in Panama. In the City of Knowledge (Panama City), since 11th to 22th October, 2010, it developed the II Meeting of “Cine Iberoamérica Panamá, 2010”. Among the films to be projected highlight two that have seal of Panama: “Chance” and “Business”. During this meeting, film workshops and film competitions were held.

By: Daniel Dominguez Z. La Prensa.
Translation: Jack
See Spanish publication at: vivir + LA PRENSA