Firstly, and it really goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway – Panama is a beautiful country!
It has fantastic weather, and a wealth of great places to visit, from mountains to jungle, city, to tropical islands, Panama has it all. Which is why it is a great place for film locations.
In fact, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Panamanian government has increased its film cash-back incentive from 15% to 25%, and the minimum expenditure has been reduced from $3m to $500,000. This is for all production types including film, tv, and videogames. On top of this most filming locations within Panama are free. This makes Panama an incredibly attractive location for filmmakers financially as well as aesthetically.
You may not know this but Panama has already been used in a number of well-known films including:
- The Tailor of Panama (2001) with Pierce Brosnan
- Basic (2003) with John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson
- James Bond’s Quantum of Solace (2008) with Daniel Craig
- Fast and Furious (2009) with Vin Diesel
- Contraband (2012) with Mark Wahlberg and Kate Beckinsale
- Escobar (2014) with Benicio Del Toro
- Hands of Stone (2015) with Edgar Ramirez, Ana de Armas and Robert De Niro
- The Suicide Squad (2021) with Margot Robbie, Idris Elba and John Cena
There have also been numerous documentaries and indie films shot here as well as famous TV shows such as La Casa de Papel/Money Heist.
Most of the films choose to use locations in the City with a lot featuring Casco Viejo. Another popular filming location is San Blas islands with its beautiful white sand and pristine blue waters all around, a tropical paradise indeed.
Panama’s own film production industry is still small but it is growing and developing. Panama hosts its own International Film Festival every year which has been running since 2011. This year the festival will run from the 1st to 3rd of December and aims to showcase local talent from across Central America and the Caribbean. Check out their website for more information.
We’re excited to see what the future holds for this growing industry…