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International Film Industry In Panama

“Kathleen, as one of your e-mail subscribers I am fascinated by Panama right now. I just watched ‘Contraband,’ a new motion picture starring Mark Wahlberg that opened in U.S. theaters last week. A considerable amount of the story takes place in Panama City. Much of the filming was done there, and there are some great shots of the city in the middle of the movie.

“I watch a lot of movies, and this is the most I have seen of Panama in a major Hollywood film that I can remember. I know that the last James Bond movie filmed in Panama in 2008, but, in that movie, Panama was a stand-in for Bolivia. I wonder if this is a sign of a boost in movie activity in Panama, perhaps because of the favorable tax situation, etc.”

–Monroe R., United States

In fact, I believe it may be. We know of one investment group that recently opened a studio in Panama City. As you say, there are tax benefits. Plus the costs of production are very controlled.

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“Lief, you’re so right. Unfortunately, so many Americans have accepted their roles as ‘dependents.’ This basically means sacrificing freedom of choice for ‘Father Knows Best.’

“I’ve lived abroad in countries known as Third World and have enjoyed more freedom of choice in these places than I perceive in the United States right now. Of course, with this comes responsibility, as you have been saying…”

–Dejas O., United States

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