IFF Panama festivalgoers grows by 33,97%


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The fifth edition of the International Film Festival of Panama brought 75 films to the country, enjoyed in 160 separate screenings – 26 more than the previous edition – held across the festival’s 5 featured venues. This year’s venues included the majestic and restored Teatro Balboa, with a 1,000-seat capacity, and the Anfiteatro de la Presidencia de la República as well as the Neighborhood Cinema program. The public’s growing interest was clearly evidenced by the increased number of festivalgoers in attendance to the different activities and events: from 28.624 in 2015 to 38.348 in 2016.

"The IFF Panama team feels very satisfied with the response from both our domestic audience and the international spectators who joined us to enjoy the show. We’re also proud of the educational and industry programs that always bear fruit for our local film industry, as evidenced by the remarkable growth Panamanian films and filmmakers this year," says Pituka Ortega Heilbron, director of IFF Panama.

Augusto Arosemena M., Minister of Commerce and Industry, opines: “Film is the universal language par excellence; it’s an art but it’s also an industry. Therefore the Ministerio de Comercio e Industrias, which I am honored to lead, and DICINE remain committed to and reiterate our unequivocal support for all Panamanians filmmakers and national productions – they have our ongoing support to help ensure that IFF Panama and the development of the national film industry will continue to be a reality. "

The notable increase in participation was felt in many ways: at the festival’s regular functions, many of which achieved sold-out status; at outdoor screenings held at the Mirador del Pacífico, which had an estimated audience of 6,200 people compared to the figure of 5,000 last year; and in the number of participants in the educational program, for a 2016 total of 750.

IFF Panama’s scope also saw growth in its free screenings for children of Panama, where total of 891 students enjoyed family-friendly films, grouped in 16 foundations, organizations and schools, as well as the beneficiaries of the initiative of the educational program Cine en el Barrio, which led to Brooklincito and Betania screenings, to which attended 180 neighbours. 

"International interest in IFF Panama and its prestige in the global film community are also increasing. That’s why we secure the participation of prominent personalities who contribute to both audience enjoyment and instruction of educational program participants," says Diana Sánchez, Artistic Director of IFF Panama, "a fact that reflects in both the national press and the numerous international media outlets that cover the festival."


Total IFF Panama 2016 participants: 38.348
Theatres Attendees: 25.500
Open-air screening attendees: 6,200
Attendees of free screenings for children: 891
Educational program and workshop participants: 750
Cine en el Barrio Attendees: 180
Growth Rate: 33,97%

Movies and premieres:

  • Total film count: 75
  • Number of Panamanian movies premieres: 5
  • Number of world premieres:
  • Number of international premieres:
  • Number of Latin American premieres: 11
  • Number of Central American premieres: 17
  • Total number of public screenings: 160
  • Number of Educational Program free screenings: 6
  • Number open-air screenings held at the Mirador del Pacífico: 4
  • Number of free screenings for schools:
  • Number of private screenings: 1
  • Number of Cine en el Barrio screenings: 2
  • Number of Primera Mirada screenings: 5
  • Number of industry/press-only screenings: 11
Screening venues:

Official venues

  • Teatro Balboa
  • Teatro Anita Villalaz
  • Mirador del Pacífico (Cinta Costera II)
  • Cinépolis Multiplaza
  • Anfiteatro de la Presidencia
Cine en el Barrio
  • Parque León A. Soto de Betania
  • Centro de Alcance Brooklincito
Events Attendance:
  • Countdown to the festival: 243
  • Opening Party: 550
  • Salsipuedes Celebration: 395
  • Guatemala Embassy Event: 75
  • Industry Party - Directors: 288
  • Primera Mirada Celebration: 208
  • Happy Hours: 1050
  • After-Movies: 1050
  • Closing Educational Program: 75
  • Other events: 454
  • Closing Party: 439
  • Total attendance: 4.825



The IFF Panama Foundation
The International Film Festival of Panama Foundation (IFF Panama Foundation) is a non-profit organization created to support the realization of IFF Panama and promote the cultural & educational activities that are an integral part of the event’s structure. The Festival is sponsored primarily by: the Ministerio de Comercio e Industrias (MICI), Autoridad de Turismo de Panamá, MasterCard®, Copa Airlines, 507 Red Lager, Alcaldía de Panamá, Revista K, TVN FIlms, and many other generous sponsors.