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Home Latest News Latest Major newspaper coverage for PANIFF

Major newspaper coverage for PANIFF

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 La Prensa, Panama's largest newspaper ran a two page article on the Panama International Film Festival (

To see the article in Spanish: (vivir section). 

The following is an English translation of the cover article:

An Isthmian Festival

Henk Van Der Kolk, founder of the Toronto Film Festival wishes to organize in Panama an annual film get-together.

As of this November he will be relocating to the isthmus, where his daughter already lives with his son-in-law, T. Rob Brown. 

43 years ago Henk Val Der Kolk was an architect that dreamed of changing the course of his life and, he did.

This Canadian is one of the Toronto Film Festival founders, which is considered one of the most important worldwide, along with the Cannes and Venice festivals.

As of November he will be residing in the Santa Clara Beach community in T. Rob Brown’s home – an arts’ patron, who is married to Yolanda, the painter-daughter of Kolk.

Since he fell in love with the isthmus he now wants to see a film festival taking place here.

It may not be difficult, if with a handful of collaborators and a lot of enthusiasm, in 1976 he founded The Toronto International Film Festival (

He considers that Panama is the ideal point in Central America for this project because it has a stable currency, it is a safe place, has an efficient flight connections’ network and it has become a popular place to retire – and, he points out that he is proof of such.

Kolk finds Panama agreeable. It also offers the option of being in a tropical jungle in the morning and be back in the evening to sleep in a 5-star hotel.

Such variety is another stimulus to develop since, in his opinion it would not be difficult to convince more Hollywood producers to film in this country.

His isthmian festival would have a strong Latin Amerian contingency because, he laments, a large percentage of the screen quotas in Panama are taken up by Hollywood commercial films.

The first version of the festival will be in April, 2012. “Panama has a better infrastructure than Toronto had 24 years ago when we started that festival. Maybe we won’t achieve the same worldwide scale but, it will be as similar as possible.

He is pleased that he has been well received by the Ministers of Tourism, Salomon Shamah and of Commerce and Industry, Roberto Henrique as well as the Director of the National Institute of Culture, Maria Eugenia Herrera.

As of yet he still has no idea how much investment will be required but, he already started knocking on doors in North| America.
It should not be too difficult if his team is capable of obtaining the 7 million dollars that are needed each year to keep the Toronto Film Festival running.


Last Updated on Friday, 15 October 2010 13:03  

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