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Home Latest News Latest Founder of TIFF launching new Film Festival in Panama

Founder of TIFF launching new Film Festival in Panama

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Henk Van Der Kolk, Founder of TIFF, being interviewed by La Presna Entertainment Editor Daniel Dominguez


The Toronto International Film Festival ( - now in its 35th year, has become the largest film festival in the world. 

TIFF attracts over 500,000 visitors over 11 days each September (44% of which come from outside Ontario), over 1,000 international jouranalsts, and 4,500 film industry professionals.

The Festival generates over $170 Million in economic impact for the City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario. TIFF employs over 600 full and part-time staff and uses over 2,000 volunteers.

It kick-started the Canadian film industry and spawned hundreds of film education classes, courses and film schools.

Henk Van Der Kolk, the Founder of TIFF announced today that he and his wife Yanka will be moving to Panama full-time on November 1st.

Following an action-packed week of meetings with high-ranking government Minsiters, film industry proessionals and potential sponsors, Henk expressed his enthusiasm about starting a new film festival in Panama.

"Panama is a destination where people in the film industry will want to come to; Getting to Panama is easy, it has wonderful beaches, exotic jungles and a cosmopolitan life. Panama is unique. It is the perfect place to launch a new international film festival", added Van Der Kolk.

The Founder of TIFF confirms interest in creating a Film Festival in Panama.

Panama, October 7th, 2010.
The Ministers of Tourism, Salomon Shamah; Trade and Industries, Roberto Henríquez and the Director of the National Institute of Culture (INAC); María Eugenia Herrera, held a meeting with Mr. Henk Van Der Kolk, founder of the Toronto International Film Festival ( and Mr. T. Rob Brown, Founder/Chairman of Artsmarketing Services Inc (, to discuss the shared interest in creating an International Film Festival in Panama (
Such a festival would attract the best of the international film industry, including movie stars, producers, directors, and international journalists to Panama.

The Ministers of Tourism, Culture, Commerce, The Office of The Presidency as well as Mr. Van Der Kolk and Mr. Brown, concurred, saying the time is right to unite efforts and develop a world class event in our country.

In 1976 Henk Van Der Kolk and his partner Bill Marshall had the vision of creating a market for the international film industry in Canada. It was called the Festval of Festivals bac then. 35 years later, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is known worldwide, and attracts major movie stars, the best film producers and directors, as well as world premiers of important international productions.

"The situation of the film industry in Panama is very similar to what the Canadian experience was before TIFF was created. The success attained by Panamanian filmmakers in the international markets and the social and financial conditions of the country indicates that Panama would be a magnificent host for an international Film Festival", stated Mr. Van Der Kolk.

We are very excited to have Ms. Diana Sanchez, the Director of International Programming for TIFF since 1999 on board as well, said Mr. Van Der Kolk. "Diana Sanchez is one of the most influential people in Spanish-language film today" said Mr. Brown.
In addition to TIFF, Ms. Sanchez consults with film festivals around the world including Miami and Rotterdam Film Festivals. Ms. Sanchez programmed 18 Spanish-language films at TIFF this year alone.

Ministers Shamah and Henriquez proposed the integration of a team made up by the Film Comission of Panama, the Ministry of Trade and Industries, the National Institute of Culture, the Tourism Authority of Panama, among other entities, to develop along with the work team of Mr. Van Der Kolk and Mr. Brown.
Part of the dream is to builld a Festival Center which will house both the Film Festival and a Film School.
"Panama is the perfecdt place to launch this exciting new festival. It is the right time and the right place. I have no doubt this will be a resounding sucess" said Van Der Kolk. 
For more information go to:
Last Updated on Friday, 15 October 2010 12:57  
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