IFF Copa Airlines pact

Source: Edison Sánchez / IFF Panamá

IFF Panama (International Film Festival Of Panama) has struck a distribution deal with national carrier Copa Airlines, the parties announced at Ventana Sur on Wednesday (November 29).

Under the unprecedented pact, IFF Panama director Pituka Ortega said Copa will have more than 75 films to choose from for its dedicated in-flight IFF Panama channel and the number is expected to grow each year.

Initially 11 films will screen each year and the partnership kicks off in January with three titles: Ricardo Aguilar Navarro’s Panamanian boxing drama, Salsipuedes; José Maria Cabral’s prison drama, Woodpeckers (Carpinteros) from the Dominican Republic; and Alberta Rodriguez’s Spanish thriller, Unit 7 (Grupo Siete).

Copa Airlines regional manager Gustavo Esusy said the channel would initially run on longer-haul flights equipped with individual screens, which accounts for roughly one-third of the fleet.

“Panama believes film is the most powerful expression of our artistic times and to have a channel such as this is fantastic,” Ortega said. “We want films to be seen and hope other airlines will follow this example. We thank Copa for their vision.”

Esusy said he hoped the entire fleet would eventually be able to carry the channel once individual screens were fitted to every seat.

“We’re supporting Latin American films that might not be so visible,” Esusy said. “Passengers spend much of their time on planes and now will be able to enjoy this new service.”

Ortega Heilbron said the film selection will rotate every three months.