Filming is boxing in Central America

May 2006 -

Film makers from Mexico and Argentina have been on the move for some time now. This year's 59th Film Festival of Cannes leaves no room for misunderstandings. No less than two Mexicans have been nominated for the Golden Palm, the festival's grand prize: Alejandro González Iñárritu with Babel and Guillermo del Toro with El Laberinto Del Fauno. These two South Americans have since been adopted by Hollywood. Things have quieted down significantly on the film front in Central America. There is more than enough desire to make films, but the governments of countries like Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala have no audio-visual policy. Panama recently became the exception to the rule in this region. This is the reason why no real film industry has emerged in Central America. Although some progress has been achieved in the past five years, with more than fifteen films, makers are still forced to resort to films by order and advertising projects or, if they are a bit more ambitions, to foreign funding and film scouts.


Still from Barrio Cuba by Humberto Solás, which will be screened at the Latin American Film Festival

One example that was recently established is Cinergia, with offices in Costa Rica since 2003. the fund has assigned itself the task of stimulating the film sector in Central America and Cuba.

Los Puños de una Natión (The Fist of a Nation) is a documentary made with the support of Cinergia. It tells the story of the Panamanian boxing legend Roberto Durán, better known as Mano de Piedra (Hand of Stone). The Panamanian scenario writer and director Pituka Ortega-Heilbron sketches the history of her country using the boxer's story. The parallel is clear.