1. Panama. Director Anayansi Prado is presenting her third film Paraiso for Sale at the Los Angeles Film Festival. She returns to her homeland of Panama to document the effects of a fast-growing migration in Bocas del Toro. We learn that migration between Latin America and the US is not a one way street. The film explores issues of modern day colonialism, residential tourism and global gentrification.
2. What price would you pay for paradise? According to Prado, it’s a devastating price that indigenous people are paying at the hands of a weak government and greedy corporations.
“There are a lot of factors that contribute to the issue, the involvement of the Panamanian government and the big corporations that are coming in with a lot of money wanting big pieces of land. The most vulnerable group are the indigenous residents who are left without their lands and often not heard by the government.”
3. Ways to help. Prado says her main goal is for Paraiso for Sale to serve as a catalyst for change and awareness.
“What I’m hoping is for this film to become a tool in their struggle and that it will help bring attention to the situation. The Panamanian people still have a dark future ahead but they still have a lot of courage left in them. I’m hoping that this film will also educate people. For those who are thinking of investing in Panama or retiring there to begin to ask questions on how their presence is really affecting the local community and who are they buying the land from.”
Prado encourages audience members who are interested in taking a more active approach and helping the people of Bocas del Toro or any Latin American country going through similar issues to visit CulturalSurvival.org, a non-profit organization that partners with indigenous groups to defend their lands.
4. Entrepreneur. This Panamanian director is quite business-savvy. She started her own production company, Impacto Films, in 2000. Since then Prado has created a handful of films that explore issues of immigration, labor, globalization, social justice and human rights.
5. LAFF. Excited to be part of the LAFF, Prado is also a fan of many of the female directors debuting their films at the festival. She eagerly recommends Where Soldiers Come From and The Watchman (El Velador).