Facility rides on wake of country's new film incentives
In the wake of a new Panama film law that provides a 15% cash rebate to foreign location shoots, plans for a studio production facility have been announced by a partnership that includes producer Jonathan Sanger, veteran location manager Sam Tedesco and attorney Michael Moore. Phase one will include soundstages, office space, screening rooms and space for tenants offering camera, grip and utilities packages.“I’ve always felt that Panama would be an ideal location for the development of a vibrant film industry,” said Sanger, who spent part of his childhood years in Panama, and has lived and worked across Latin America. Tedesco took the Mark Wahlberg action pic “Contraband” last winter to shoot in Panama. “What really sets Panama apart as a location for a studio, aside from its infrastructure, its proximity to the United States and its use of the U.S. dollar, is the variety of looks found in the country, allowing a producer to replicate everything from New York to Los Angeles, as well as classic Caribbean architecture, lush jungles and rivers,” he said. “We’re the new kid on the film block and we welcome the world’s film community to be part of our journey,” said Panama film commissioner Arianne Benedetti.