Press Releases  ·  08 | 02 | 2019

Locarno Industry Academy International extends to Panama

The Locarno Film Festival announces the first ever Locarno Industry Academy International in Panama, in cooperation with the International Film Festival of Panama and the Panama Film Commission, opening an outreach gateway to Central America and the Caribbean.

The Locarno Industry Academy is a program of truly international scope, aimed at young professionals working in the field of international film sales, marketing, traditional and online distribution, as well as in programming for festivals, film clubs, and cinematheques. The project is designed to offer assistance in understanding the challenges of the film industry, expanding their network of contacts and fostering professional development.

Nadia Dresti, Head of Locarno Pro, said “We are especially pleased to be announcing the Panama–Locarno Industry Academy International, in tandem with the IFF in Panama, thereby completing our coverage of Latin America: Panama will mainly be a hub for Central America and the Caribbean islands, as is Morelia for the northern region of the continent; Valparaíso will cover the southern, and São Paolo the Portuguese-speaking areas. Each Industry Academy is focused principally on its respective region, but all of the programs are open to young professionals from Latin America, the USA, and Europe. Participants will access a privileged space that keeps them connected, allowing them to exchange ideas and contacts. We are effectively creating an international network of the future players who will contribute to the development of new business models.”

Pituka Ortega Heilbron, Executive Director IFF Panama, notes that
“Between Central America and the Caribbean, there is a population of over 85 million people. Its burgeoning industry needs drivers to distribute and exhibit its films. There is a market there waiting to be developed."

The first edition of the Panama–Locarno Industry Academy will take place during IFF Panama from 7 to 10 April 2019 and will be open to eight participants from Central America, the USA, and Europe. The application process opens officially today and continues through 1st March 2019. To learn more and apply online, go to

The Industry Academy International projects are developed along coordinated lines under the supervision of International Project Manager Marion Klotz. They offer a unique training program with significant international reach, addressing the problems and specific issues facing the region concerned, together with a regional Project Manager: for the Panama-Locarno Industry Academy International it will be Sandra Gómez.

Locarno Industry Academy International is already present in Latin America, working with partner organizations in Mexico – the Morelia International Film Festival (FICM), in Brazil – the São Paulo International Film Festival, and in Chile, with Australab during the DocsBarcelona Festival in Valparaíso. It is also established in the USA thanks to its partnership with the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York; in Europe with the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, and in the Middle East through the Metropolis Cinema and the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) in Beirut.

The Locarno Industry Academies also benefit from cooperation with Europa International, Europa Distribution and Europa Cinemas.