Key information for your next project

What to know about Panama

Tropical and subtropical with a dry season from December to April, transitional months in May and November, rainy season June to October.
Where is Panama located
Panama is in the middle of the Americas, in Central America. Between Colombia (to the South) and Costa Rica (to the North) and with Caribbean Sea and North Pacific Ocean on the coasts. Our strategic location means that direct flights from Miami are 3 hours in length and from New York 5 hours. Also, we are easy to reach during business hours as we are in EST time.
Panama’s political situation
Panama is a democratic country, they became independent from Colombia in 1903.
Iconic structure
The most iconic structure in Panama without a doubt is the Panama Canal, that started its toll in 1914 and every year between 13,000 to 14,000 ships use the canal. The new canal expansion was opened on 2016 to handle today’s megaships. The Canal contributes $1 billion to Panama’s economy each year.
Old Town Panama City
It was designated in 1999 by the UNESCO as a World Heritage for its architecture “Colonial city”, but in fact it is French and Republican styles, which UNESCO points out as one of the key elements for its designation as World Heritage, since it “lends a special quality from other colonial cities of Latin America lack (with the exception of New Orleans, where the architectural quality is markedly inferior).”
Cosmopolitan City
Panama City has many Highrise and a modern architecture with skyscraper buildings, in contrast to Old Town. Among them the Trump Ocean Club hotel and the Revolution Tower. The city can easily pass for Miami or other modern cities. Panama is the only capital city in the world that has a rainforest within its city limits, it is protected to safe guard the water level for the canal. It has the second-largest duty-free zone in the world, Colon Free Zone, second in size only to Hong Kong. Other areas very iconic for its look is were James Bond, Quantum of Solace was shot: Colon and El Chorrillo that looks and can replicate Haiti (in the run-down area of Old Town Panama). They also filmed in central Panama City replicating Bolivia.
The Islands
there are more than 1,500 islands in Panama. A lot of them are deserted and have crystal clear water and white sand beaches, like being in Bali.
Sunrise and Sunset in same spot
Panama has the only place in the world where you can see the sunrise on the Pacific and sunset on the Atlantic from the same spot! The country’s narrowest point has only 80 kilometers separating the Atlantic from the Pacific Ocean. The highest point is Volcano Barú with 3.475 m (11,400 feet).
Health System
Health system is free and as Panamanian law requires that doctors in the private sector also have office hours in the public or social security hospitals. As per Panamas Law anyone you hire needs to be insure (even if it’s a temporary job of a few hours), everyone needs to have Workers Insurance (Crew members, Talent, Drivers etc.). For that reason, Local Production company will be included coverage as part of our services and they will be under our Insurance Policy. If they hire a Fixer, they need to have that fixer Insure on their international Policy.
Work Visas for Production Crew
As long they are not paid in Panama, no Visa requiered for USA, Canadian and European Community. However, you must have a current valid passport for at least 6 months and a round way ticket to enter. Other countries will need to be review case by case.
Equipment importation
If there is the need to import any specific equipment, No ATA Carnets apply, you will need a letter form the Film Commission. For this we will need to present copy of the Passport of the crew member traveling, airline ticket with the equipment list including serial numbers. This takes about 7 work days to process.
Location Permits
Location permiting can take between 7 to 15 days for most permits. Highway permits could take up to 4 weeks.
Panama population
Ethnic is made up of 27% whites, 33% African-American, 40% Indigenous. Talent rates & buyout are one of the most competitive in the market.
Panama does not have any incentives for production of tv commercials or documentaries. However, it offers incentives for motion pictures with a minimum of $3 million investment in the country.