More locations confirmed for Panama filming,




A 78-year-old building that houses the Cultural Institute of Panama will be transformed into a hotel for the filming of the new James Bond film "Quantum of Solace". Shooting will also includes scenes set in the northern province of Colon.

Filming in the Instituto de Cultura building in the Old Town district of the Panamanian capital will start on February 11th. The shooting will last about a week and will include other sites in the area such as a former colonial social club.

The Instituto de Cultura has been repainted and fitted with new carpet for the filming. The building constructed in 1930 and served from 1932 as the seat of the Supreme Court.

Local press claim that one of the scenes include an assassination attempt on James Bond when he is in the hotel elevator.

For the filming will use hundreds of extras both in the Old Town and in Columbus, about 80 kilometres north of the capital.

For shooting in the Old Town, parking lots near the National Theater were rented and the area of an old public market was used as a focal point. Pitu Jaén, assistant head of the Old Town office, confirmed the details to local reporters.

Jaén said that the Panama locations will be doubling for Bolivia. Panama will not feature as Panama in the film.

He added that his office has been in consultation with the production to coordinate with local residents to "minimize inconvenience" during the shooting.

Elsewhere, Carlos Chavarria the district mayor of Portobelo, in the Atlantic province of Colon, said that filming in his area would take place between March 1st and March 4th.

"They are going to shoot in the town of La Guaira, on Goat Island and in the Tunnel of Love, a place where there is only mangroves and is located between the towns of Garrote and Cacique", he said.

Chavarria, who noted that the film highlights the historic sites of Portobelo, revealed there are plans to hire some 700 people to work as extras, 'although most are choosing to (the city of) Columbus'.

The Marketing Coordinator of the Panamanian Institute of Tourism, Andres Castro, said that Panama receives benefits of filming. "Many of the films we see in the movies leave us images that stay with us and encourage us to want to visit places where they thrive plots," he added. He stressed that "the production of a film also generates foreign exchange and creates local jobs associated with the films." He added that jobs, temporary or permanent, "serve as a great experience for the development of Panamanian qualified personnel in all areas of film production."

In July 2007, President Martin Torrijos signed a law on the Promotion of the Film and Broadcasting in Panama, which helps boost the country's film industry.