The Panamanian International Film Festival was created nine years ago as a bridge between the filmmaking talent in Latin America and the United States. In the eight seasons produced so far, PIFFLA has showcased storytellers from Venezuela, Argentina, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, Brazil, Chile, Spain, Canada, Ecuador, Guatemala, Cuba, El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia and Puerto Rico as well as different Latino communities in the United States. Throughout its existence, the organization has also strived to provide educational content for creators by hosting industry panels with working professionals covering topics as wide ranging as fundraising initiatives and demographic crossover challenges. The festival also strives to reach out to underserved communities with site visits to community centers and educational institutions.
For the past two seasons PIFFLA has engaged in a partnership with TELASOFA(https://telasofa.org/), producers of the East Los Angeles Film Festival, that has taken it deeper into the heart of the grassroots community in Los Angeles and provided opportunities for collaborations in working with young filmmakers and even children in becoming familiar with the film medium and telling their own stories.
In 2021, PIFFLA and TELASOFA joined forces by combining their festivals into an event labeled TAKE2 (From the 'Hood to Hollywood) which allowed both organizations to widen their audience and breadth of content to everything from Miami salsa to Day of the Dead altars from East LA. Both organizations emerged refreshed by the experience and are eager to continue the collaboration.
The thing about putting on a festival is that you need a place to do it that comes with screens, seats, at least one projector and a guy to run it. Money, honey. Then you need a team to help you with all the tasks involved, from running the box office to selling refreshments to loading and unloading stuff. And even though volunteers are greatly cherished, some stuff you just have to pay for like web and graphic design and public relations. No PR, no audience. And then you have to insure the whole thing in case a light falls on somebody's head or Doña Matilde falls in the lobby and breaks something. You need food because the thing goes on for hours and you don't want audience members fainting, plus in the evenings people expect a little vinito. You need a photographer for when your PR guy says “What am I supposed to work with?” And if you're giving out awards, well, you have to have them made. And every day, something else comes up like “We're out of napkins again!” and what are you gonna do? Nowadays you also need a 20-year old to decipher the social media jungle and it's either pay up or check into the home early. And any extra money would be useful for year-round updating of websites and periodic newsletters. So the ask in this campaign is truly for the bare bones required to bring the event to life, and the numbers (though always fluid) are based on eight previous iterations of the event. The budget could easily be five times this amount in order to sustain a year-round operation, but the asked amount will at least keep the flame alive.
What We Do
Funding is a challenge faced by all arts organizations. Growth can be slow but hopefully incremental. In its eight years of existence, The Panamanian International Film Festival had been on that traditional gradual increase in public and private support. By the end of the 5th edition it seemed as though a solid base of corporate support had finally been achieved and State Arts funding had increased as well. And then came the pandemic. Public monies had already been secured for a 6th edition, which actually held a contractual obligation to produce the event; but the fledgling corporate support had vanished into the depths of the lockdown. By the 7th edition, public monies had been withdrawn as well, so the decision was made to join forces with another struggling festival and the two organizations managed to pull off an exceptionally joyful event, funded in large part by private monies. It was wonderful but unsustainable. Now we are poised on the ledge of this year's precipice and driven by the hopes and expectations of the family we've been growing for almost a decade now who have come to look forward to the support, fellowship and eclectic artistic atmosphere that we have become known for. So here we are- our hearts full and our spirits more than willing to host our family again without the least idea of how we're going to pull it off but with the faith that we will be blessed once again.
Juan Escobedo is an award-winning actor, director and photographer. His recent film Marisol has won several awards including "Best Dramatic Short Film" at the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival. Marisol was also Oscar qualified and the script inducted into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Margaret Herrick Library.
Mr. Escobedo has a degree in Theater Arts with an emphasis on Directing from Cal State LA. He is the founder of The East LA Society of Film and Arts (TELASOFA) and the East LA Film Festival (ELAFF) with the mission of "Provoking Thought and Inspiring Solutions" for youth, emerging artists, filmmakers and photographers.
Juan believes art, film and photography can be used as a medium for youth and families to inspire a healthier life in their communities.
Annette is a Producer/Director/Writer/Actor. As an actor she starred in the dramatic short film Lossed, which she also wrote and produced with her producing partner Carlos Carrasco and JACK Productions. . Annette directed the short film Amor, Vale, starring Manny Rey (Fasha Films) and Carlos. It won best Foreign Dramatic Short at the International Family Film Festival (IFFF). Their short film ONE received many festival accolades, including an Audience Award at PIFFLA 2018. Annette, Carlos and Manny have recently completed their latest film, Disarm, which tackles the seemingly endless spare of school shootings.
Jose Luis Campos was born in Panama. While he was studying Marketing and Advertising, he started his professional career working at a Model Agency as a Casting and Event Coordinator. After that, from 2005 to 2007 he worked selling advertising slots and as a Content Producer for the TV show Moda Inc. Campos has 10 years of experience working for different production companies and advertising agencies, like Switch Marketing Estratégico (Costa Rica) where he does BTL and organizes events for brands such as Tosh and L’Bel. Campos worked for 5 years at the International Film Festival of Panama (IFF Panama) at the Production Department. Campos founded 23 del Doce Producciones, his own production company. Inside the film industry, he has also worked at several Panamanian feature films such as Más que Hermanos (2017) as Casting Assistant and Sin Pepitas en la Lengua (2018) as 3rd Assistant Director.
Born on a small island near Puerto Rico, called Manhattan, Newman-Carrasco has spent 30 years specializing in US Hispanic marketing. She has contributed to the development of culturally attuned strategies for some of the nation’s top marketers, including Procter & Gamble, and General Foods, to name a few. Currently based in LA, Ms. Newman-Carrasco oversees Hispanic marketing initiatives at Walton|Isaacson. Prior to Walton|Isaacson, Ms. Newman-Carrasco spent 15 years as co-founder and CEO of Enlace Communications, Inc. She launched the agency after her tenure as the President of FoVa-West, Grey Advertising’s Hispanic division.
This is it! Less than one day to go and we are so close to reaching our minimum!!!
Once we do we can keep all the funds we've raised.
Thank you to each and every one of you for your support so far. Please share the campaign via text with a couple of your friends and ask them to give ANY amount.
We are almost there!
And the miracle is you!
Here we are. We have less than 2 days left on our campaign.
As of today, we have raised close to $9000! That is simply AMAZING. We're blown away by the support. That being said, we must reach at least our minimum goal of $10,000 or we get none of it. That’s right, we either reach that minimum goal or we get NOTHING. We would also LOVE to get as close as possible to our goal of $20,000. Every little bit counts.
Will you help us get there?
If you haven't made a financial contribution, please do so today; any amount makes a big difference.
If you already gave, please consider increasing the amount of your contribution by a few dollars. But only if you're able to. We're already very grateful for your contribution.
Also, please share our page with others. Ask a couple of your friends to make a contribution in any amount.
Thank you so much. We know that with your support we will get there! https://www.supportourstory.com/panafest22
It's amazing how many have responded already with half as many promising to kick in by the deadline! We're in the homestretch and we still need you to help us reach our goal. Take a look at our incentives and help us help our Latino filmmaking community. We're counting on you!!
Here we are, celebrating the Fourth of July and the number of true believers that have stepped up to help us reach our goal.
Gracias, gracias to all these rock stars: Gabriel Reyes, Sergio Guerrero Garzafox, Allan Wasserman, Pete Bollinger, Chris and Annette Crump, Daniel Mora, Rochelle Newman, Maia de Zahn Hatch, Sylvia Ferullo, Jeff Newman, Paulo Martínez, Leo Wiznitzer, Alexander Dunker, Dan Guerrero, Krystal Sierra Longoria, Margaret Medina, Sabrina Percario, Connie Zastoupil, Michael Gonzales, George Scribner, Jannel Tanna, Alex Lopez Negrete, Pablo Buffagni, Mark Collins, Malcolm Ellis, Raul A. Hernandez, Angela Ortíz, Yeniffer Behrens, Mauricio Mendoza, Sarey Martín Concepción, Eileen Galindo, Cyntia Moreno, Keith Murphy, Art Bonilla, Emma Carrasco, Jane D. Stevenson, Julio Cisneros, Blake Vaz, Marjorie Carr, Amanda Kreglow, Jaime Tirelli, Johanna Siegmann, Ana Forte Mayer, Valente Rodriguez, Eugene Lee.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Seguimos!