Plaza Catedral (2021)

Director: Abner Benaim Run Time: 94 min. Rating: NR Release Year: 2021

Starring: Fernando Xavier De Casta, Ilse Salas, Manolo Cardona

Country: Panama
Language: Spanish

About the film:

Winner of the Best Actor and Best Actress Awards at the 2021 Guadalajara Film Festival. Grieving the death of her son, Alicia has isolated herself from society. Now living in the old quarter of Panama City, a rich colonial enclave surrounded by poor neighborhoods, her world is turned upside down when Chief, a witty teen who looks after people’s cars, stumbles into her house bleeding. By opening the door to Chief, she opens the door to an unforeseen emotional bond.

Abner Benaim’s Plaza Catedral was Panama’s official entry for Best International Feature Film at the 94th Academy Awards and was selected for the Shortlist.

About the filmmaker:

A pioneer in Panamanian cinema, Abner Benaim’s debut feature film, 2009’s Chance, was the first Panamanian film produced in 60 years. He studied International Affairs and Economics at Penn State University and film directing at Camera Obscura in Tel Aviv before founding the independent production company Apertura Films. He has crafted three of his country’s official entries to the Academy Awards. The first two were documentaries — his 2014 film Invasion on the 1989 US invasion of Panama, and Ruben Blades is Not My Name, which received the People’s Choice Award at SXSW 2018.

His third, Plaza Catedral, incorporates the realities of gun violence present in his home country, and just months prior to its world premiere, award-winning actor Fernando Xavier de Casta was a victim of that violence. Read more from the filmmaker here.

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MAJOR SUPPORT
Ohio Arts Council
Greater Columbus Arts Council
The Columbus Foundation
Campus Partners
National Endowment for the Arts
WITH HELP FROM
G&J Pepsi
WOSU Public Media

Trailer