The Panamanian International Film Festival In Los Angeles (PIFF/LA) Presents PANAFEST 5
The Panamanian International Film Festival in Los Angeles (PIFF/LA) presents PANAFEST 5. PIFF/LA’s non-traditional approach is reflected in the festival’s diverse slate of over 50 films from 11 countries, including dynamic features, feature-length docs, shorts, panels, and experiences. PIFF/LA opened October 18th through October 20th at The Downtown Independent Los Angeles located at 251 South Main Street, Los Angeles, California 90012. piffla.com
“PANAFEST 5 will share the work of a vibrant group of innovative storytellers whose fresh voices and perspectives illuminate things that matter to us all,” said PIFFLA’s Artistic Director Carlos Carrasco.
Carrasco, who is best known for his work as an actor as Popeye in Blood In Blood Out and Ortiz in Speed, created the Panama International Film Festival in Los Angeles (PIFF/LA) in 2014. Its evolution into PANAFEST, a multi-disciplinary celebration, is a salute to the pan-Latino nature of a diverse community. PIFF/LA is produced in partnership with Los Cortos and New Filmmakers Los Angeles.
“Celebrating our 5th year is a major milestone. Our approach to networking, education, and engaging filmmakers and film audiences, is more important than ever as our stories – all of our stories – are too vibrant not to be told. False narratives have defined our community for far too long. Together, we can bring new voices to new heights ” Carrasco said.
Inspiring themes like immigration, profiling, diversity, and identity are brought to life in new ways in films that range from heartwarming comedy to a technologically sophisticated thriller, to a horror film based on a Panamanian folk tale.
The encore screening of Raúl Juliá: The World’s A Stage was also chosen for its inspiring celebration of a man whose talent set the bar for Latinx talent for generations to come. “I got to work with Raúl Juliá on his last film ‘The Burning Season’, and I was deeply moved by Ben DeJesus’ work on telling his story,” said Carrasco. The award-winning film is presented in collaboration with Hispanicize, NGL Collective and NGL Studios, producers of the documentary. The highly acclaimed documentary is the first-ever done about Raúl Juliá and has premiered across the nation with sold-out screenings in Los Angeles (prompting a second screening at the TCL Chinese Theatre), Miami, New York, and Puerto Rico.
A new addition to PANAFEST 2019 is a prestigious judging panel. They join Carrasco who has been curating content along with Maia De Zan Hatch and Yaniv Waisman, founder of Los Cortos. Waisman returns to PANAFEST 2019 with an exciting display of 360 VR technology, sponsored by Samsung. This allows audience members to appreciate the work of filmmakers who are engaged in this innovative technique for dimensional storytelling.
The judging panel included Juan Escobedo, Juan Agustín Márquez, Angela Ortiz and Sabrina Precario. In addition to official award categories, PANAFEST is known for its innovative recognitions which have included the Yucca, Platano and Gandules Awards for noteworthy filmmaking elements.