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IFF Panama: ‘1977, The Treaty: Son of Tiger and Mule’ Explores how Panama Took Over its Canal

Variety logo Variety 3/30/2017 Anna Marie de la Fuente
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Buyers are circling around Annie Canavaggio’s upcoming Panama Canal docudrama “1977, The Treaty: Son of Tiger and Mule,” which will trace Panama’s contentious path towards recovering its sovereign rights to the Canal. Scoring best docu at the December round of Panama’s state fund awards, the docu will focus on the seven-year negotiations leading up the signing of the treaty by General Torrijos and President Carter, and its ratification afterwards.

Taking a page from Michael Winterbottom’s “The Road to Guantanamo,” Canavaggio aims to blur fact and fictional re-creation in her docudrama. “I hope to show more nuanced facets of the key players in this major event by combining reenactments with archival material,” said Canavaggio. “I want to show Torrijos as a human being, not just the hero he has been portrayed to be,” she said. “By merging my co-writer Vicente Ferraz’s investigative skills and my narrative flair, I think we can achieve what I want,” she added.

Produced by Maria Neyla Santamaria, “1977, The Treaty” is among a dozen projects selected to participate in the 6th Panama Int’l Film Festival’s inaugural workshop Talent Campus Latino, in collaboration with the Goethe Institute.

This will be the fourth docu for the London Film School grad who has covered a variety of subjects, starting with her first doc, “Liza Like Her,” which tells the story of a gay indigenous native, followed by “Breaking the Wave,” about three talented local surfers in the surfing mecca of Santa Catalina, Panama.  She is now in post on her third doc, “In Search of the Rabbit Indian,” which took her into the depths of the Panamanian jungle in search of a mysterious, allegedly cannibalistic tribe. “I think making documentaries and shorts prepare you to make feature films,” said Canavaggio. “My next project will probably be a fiction feature.”

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